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Sexually Active Teens - Page 5

post #81 of 152
For the preteens in our house, I think the best we can do for them is model a healthy relationship. By providing a good example and creating an environment its the best we can do...
Right on. And I feel really good about the environment that dh and I have created, especially in light of my parent's relationship (unaffectionate, uptight). Dh and I obviously love each other and the kids know it. When they get older they'll both know that their parents have sex. (*shudder* Eww! Parental sex! That just ain't right!)

I don't want to give the impression dh and I have no discresion(sp?) around the kids. It's just that I grew up thinking my parents must have had sex a total of 4 times (4 kids). And that thought had something to do with my decision to have sex for the first time. I didn't want to be like them. I wanted to be a more joyful person.
post #82 of 152
I have a question for those who are saying "they may not have sex in my home" - how do you plan to enforce that? I had sex in my home as a teen - no one had ever said I may or may not but regardless, there were many times (some during the day, some in the evenings, weekdays, weekends) when no one else was home. My mom was a SAHM but she still had to go to the grocery store, you know?

We all (whether we feel we have liberal or conservative views on this - or any - topic) plan to pass those values, ideas, etc. on to our children. Many of us will say we want them to make up their own minds (no problem, they will!) but even so, we must think our way is good or we wouldn't believe it. What if our kids look over the information and come up with a different decision?

Now of course someone could ask me how do I plan to enforce 'no smoking' in my house since I will not be here 24/7. I suppose I am hoping that that will continue to become less popular, and that my kids will be smart enough (we've been talking about it for years - they continually try to convince my brother/their uncle to quit) to never try it. And there is not the overwhelmingly strong hormonal component to fight.... Plus, I don't think a lot of teenage girls mix up nicotine and love.

I just think there is a middle ground between "I'll forbid it" and "I'll allow it". For me that is I totally expect that it will happen and I'd much rather it be in her bed than in a car or outside or in the locker room. I don't have to sit downstairs watching Desperate Housewives while she is upstairs with her boyfriend, knowing what is happening. Ugh. (is there a shudder smilie?) But if she takes advantage of the fact that her parents take her younger siblings on a bike ride - well, that's what teens do. I just don't see how I can win a war against teenage love and hormones. And really, I don't want to. I have many fond memories of that time in my life. I am sure it will be hard for me when I am the mom of that teen but I hope I can deal for her sake.
post #83 of 152
Originally Posted by Kirsten
I have a question for those who are saying "they may not have sex in my home" - how do you plan to enforce that?
To me, allowing your teen to have sex means allowing their girlfriends or boyfriends to spend the night and allowing them to sleep in the same room and sitting downstairs watching Desperate Housewives (love that show! : ) while they are upstairs GIO. That I will not do. I fully understand that my sons may have occassion to have girlfriends in my home and have sex with them when I'm not around. I will not freak out if this happens and I find out but I am not going to encourage it either by allowing them to sleep over or whatever. I think that's where the middle ground between watching them like a hawk and giving them privacy comes in.
post #84 of 152
I think there may be a difference in wording that was hanging me up. I would not allow my daughters' boyfriends to stay overnight at our house - so maybe I'm not as liberal as I think I am! I fully expect that they will have sex in their teens - and if they do, I would rather have it be in my house (but hopefully I will not have specific knowledge of it) than somewhere else. To me (and this is just probably leftover feelings from my parents' or grandparents' generation) it seems a bit disrespectful or at least just not "what you do".

Is it hypocritical to say it is ok if you do it but don't be obvious about it?

I would be ok with the occasional camping trip or overnight trip for a concert at the Gorge (long drive to go there and back in one day) or other such thing for the older (16+) teen. Just not a sleepover at my house on an average weekend for example. And all of this is based on my assumption that this is a boy who treats her well. I would have a very hard time being "ok with it" if it was someone who I felt was disrespectful or mean to her.
post #85 of 152
I'm 22....

i will deff teach my daughter FAM and tell her to use condoms

when i started dateing dh i was 17. my mom didnt let us sleep in the same room til we had been together for 1 yr then she finally did.

I will let dd's boyfriend stay in her room but the door has to stay wide open all night, but then again i may change my mind about that.

thank god shes only 17 months old right now i have a while
post #86 of 152
I answered, I already dealt with this as a mom with my first. Not sure I would be as open again, but it was certainly a pick your battle kind of thing.

But another thought. I think the best thing we can do for our kids is teach them to feel powerful some way other than sexually. Kids who get their emotional needs and their need to feel connected and empowered don't go into their teen years so hungry. If nothing matters to them, romantic relationships are really appealing. If they are very dedicated to sports or school or church or music or anything, then they are more careful about their dreams. I don't think that necessarily means they will refrain from sex, but the most destructive sexual behavior seems to come when kids are using it to fill all their needs. Just like experimenting with alcohol or drugs.

When I talk to teens and their parents about drugs and alcohol I tell them that the teen brain is highly suggestive, easily hooked. I truely believe that if we could keep kids away from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs until they were 18-20, we could legalize drugs and have very little problem. Adult brains don't get hooked nearly as easily.

Maybe sex is the same for some kids, highly addictive, being used to meet more needs than it truely can. For those of you who entered into a healthy relationship at 16, sex isn't the destructive force that it is for kids who are showing what I see as compulsive, addictive, and highly destructive sexual acting out.
post #87 of 152
I have a question for those who are saying "they may not have sex in my home" - how do you plan to enforce that?
I think this means to me that I will not endorse nor invite them to share a bed in our home. If they manage to do it when I am not around and no one knows I suppose that is their business. At this time that would be almost impossible as we live in he boonies and all of our friends are at least a 45 min drive away and my kids do not yet drive. Not to mention the homeschooling SAHM lifestyle is not one condusive to me being gone much. They do their thing and I do mine but we are usually on the same property or in the same building etc
As I said before, maybe it is because we live a different lifestyle, but I don't expect my kids focus to be on having sex right now. I expect them to be thinking about it as theirr bodies change and they are having more sexual feelings. I expect them to be exploring their bodies more and more and enjoying their bodies as well. I do not expect them to go out and have sex with someone. I don't think my 14 yr old has even kissed a girl. Might have. I know he has held hands. Different style of parenting completely and different lifestyle we lead.
I see sex as a wonderful par of life. I do not hope that it become the center of my teens lives. There is so much more in life I hope they will be focusing on right now. I don't expect them to wait until marriage and they know this. I do expect them to wait until they are consenting adults with other consenting adults.
The way I explain it to my kids is that they go through puberty before they are really ready to be with a partner sexually. The teenage years are a time where they learn their own bodies. Masturbation is a wonderful thing and it makes sense to me that they spend some time getting to know their own bodies in this new way before they go out and start exploring others bodies. With all the diseases these days plus the risk of pregnancy I have also taught them condoms will not 100% protect them and anyone they choose to have sex with should be someone they care for and respect deeply because they could end up connected for life with that person. It is not a responsibility to take lightly. It is an adult responsibility IMO.

post #88 of 152
Originally Posted by Kirsten
Is it hypocritical to say it is ok if you do it but don't be obvious about it?

I don't think so. Most adults are discete about it why not expect the same?

You would be surprised at how many teens know when their parents are "doing it" but they just play innocent. I do think this descression might be something as adults we need to learn to give to our children.
post #89 of 152
I don't have teens yet, but I was sexually active as a teen and experiences both good and bad parenting during it, so I have a few opinions:

1. I wouldn't buy them condoms and birth control, but I would give them an allowance and encourage them (once or twice only) to purchase these for themselves. I'd tell them I can't force them to actually use the birth control I buy, so I'm not going to baby them by going to the pharmacy.

2. I would, however, make an appointment for my dd to see a gynecologist for a pap, and to start her health mainteneance as a sexually active person. I would remind her to discuss birth control and STDs. I'm also all for leaving condoms somewhere they can find them.

3. I think my parents had it right to allow partners to sleep over once we were in college. I think sleepovers before that age are too much freedom and kids might not be able to handle it. Plus, young girls can face a lot of pressure. I think home should be a safe haven during a time when sex can seem all over the place.

4. I would surely discuss, in depth, the risks and responsibilities of sexual activity. Not in a scare tactics way, but in an honest way. I've known people who've caught every STD there is (except, thankfully, HIV). I'd let her know that although AIDS is very, very scary- she doesn't want to catch herpes either, or HPV. And these things are easy catch.

I would discuss unplanned pregnancy in depth as well. Not in a "It would ruin your whole life" way that it was presented to me in HS, but by telling her about the people I've known who've had to make heart wrenching choices, and had to live with those choices for the rest of their lives.

Not sure if this is helpful, but just my 2 cents.
post #90 of 152
[QUOTE=Coffee Mom]Hi everyone, a friend and I had a discussion at work last night about how you deal with your teens that are sexually active. Other than keeping them safe and giving them guidance, do you or would you when your kids were older:
1. Pay for their condoms or bc?I have done this for my adult children
2. Allow them to sleep together at your house? This as well, but I have limitations, our home is not a flop house and one-night-stands are definitely never welcome
3. Give them privacy or do you watch over them like a hawk? Some privacy some I don't care.since this is our home I am not for vacating the living room to give the teens a place to have sex or make-out, drink, drug what ever...
4. Do you communicate with them about sex or do you avoid the subject? have been communicating since they were fairly young
5. Do you accept (not necessarily like it) their decisions to be active or do you try to convince them to stop their sexual activity?
I guess in ways I encourage waiting because on some level sex=pregnancy or the possibility at least. Because I have been a midwife this is a reality I have seen accidents do happen even with the best birth control. I have values clarification discussions with the kids, so far all my kids have waited till they were a little older 17 at least. What is going on that a 14yo is having sex? Is dad around or out of the picture? how long has she be sexually active? was she ever an unwilling partner? has sex ever been forced on her, she probably needs some counseling instead of sexual freedom) what does she want from a relationship? does she know other ways to get her emotional needs met? how mature is this person able to be responsible for themselves- like shop, cook, clean, wash dishes, earn money legally...
we have had a teen mom who lived with us for a while and she had 2 big things that needed work #1 self-esteem and #2 restructure priorities-- once you have a kid you are not a teen first you are an adult with responsibilities and what you do effects your child- the guy who shows up at midnight to sleep with you is not ok in so many ways. building self esteem is about investing in your own value and honoring the self-- we encouraged this girl to get her GED, her family told her she was too stupid but her family was ok with the midnight cowboys augh... get him to buy diapers.... so you can see sex is not just an isolated detail in someone's life it is connected to everything else. Of course there are all those other things like HIV, HPV, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, BV... If they can't even handle the safe sex conversation then probably they are not really ready to have sex.
post #91 of 152
each individual teen is different. mine are not active right now, but the day will come when they are mature sexual beings & that doesn't scare me.

my teens will be protected, as will their partners, and there are already lots of frank discussions about chosing a partner/girlfriend/boyfriend & mutual respect.

some may not be ready, but some are, yk?
post #92 of 152
I would absolutely provide access to condoms- like a drawer full in the bathroom- because they guard against stds as well as pregnancy. Also, most drugstores and markets have them right in front of the cashier or pharmacy personnel, so people won't steal them, but this can make them mighty hard to buy for a shy teenager. Regardless of my feelings about whether the sex is appropriate, if it's going to happen, it's more important that it be as safe as possible. Things are less likely to go too far if it's in the house too- by "too far" I mean beyond what one partner or the other wishes. I don't know whether I'd let my daughter have a boyfriend sleep in her room. Perhaps if it was a boyfriend and not a casual date, kwim? They'll only creep about the house at night if you don't let them, or find somewhere less safe to be alone, and I don't care for that idea. By this I am referring to older children, and mature, 16-17 at the earliest depending on the child. And then I might have the guest sleep in a separate room, just for respect's sake, even though we'll all know full well there might be three am visits. I have no problem with mature teens exploring sex in a safe and happy way but there are things, like spending the night, that belong to the young adults and grown-ups so that's what I mean by respect. Once a child is in college I would expect they could have their friends spend the night, but a "one-night-stand" type thing- well I don't really want to be introduced to someone at the coffeemaker as s/he emerges from my daughter's bedroom, either.

My mother had spectacularly bad judgement when it came to my friends and boyfriends- the one she thought was so sweet and "wouldn't pressure you sexually" was the biggest pushy perv (he is still a good friend today ). One time a friend was going to spend the night and I just assumed he could sleep in the other bed in my room, and she was shocked. Meanwhile, there was no chance in hell of anything going on- mutual repulsion- so it was silly. We would have stayed up late chatting as though we were the same gender. When I lived with a guy for a year our mothers were all scandalized and crushed- neither realizing he's gay and even though we shared a bedroom their concern was, shall we say, misplaced. The point is parents, however savvy they think they are and however riotous the youth they enjoyed themselves, often don't have a clue as to what's what with their kids. I hope to take each situation as it comes with an open mind without being too laissez-faire.
post #93 of 152
I really like this thread.

My dd is still a baby but here is how i hope to be able to answer these questions when she's a teen:

Hi everyone, a friend and I had a discussion at work last night about how you deal with your teens that are sexually active. Other than keeping them safe and giving them guidance, do you or would you when your kids were older:
1. Pay for their condoms or bc?
Absolutely. I would do so because I can give her all the information about how abstinence is best etc etc but I know from experience that teenage curiosity is going to be greater than that. If she/he is abstinent, great! If not, I would want them to be protected. I would pay for condoms, the pill, the patch or whatever method my child wanted to use.

2. Allow them to sleep together at your house?
dont know... this one is tougher... I would have to say yes though because from experience, I know that it's easier to be safe when you're comfortable. I would haate to think of my kid struggling in the backseat or under some bleachers and forgetting condoms or something because my house was off limits.

3. Give them privacy or do you watch over them like a hawk?
Privacy! This is one thing I missed out alot on when I was growing up and it is very important to me still.

4. Do you communicate with them about sex or do you avoid the subject?
Communicate. It's the only way to be sure they are armed with information about protection, diseases, etc and how to make sure that they are ok with sex emotionally.

5. Do you accept (not necessarily like it) their decisions to be active or do you try to convince them to stop their sexual activity?
I would accept it, though I would probably not like it. LIke I said before, I know from experience that being hostile or not acknowledging it would not be helpful at all.
post #94 of 152
I have a problem with a 14 y.o. having sex for several reasons.

#1--no birth control is 100% effective. Unless I was ok with the idea of a 14 y.o. getting pregnant (which I am not) then I wouldn't want her having sex.

#2--while depo and norplant may help prevent pregnancy, they do nothing to prevent STDs. Unless I was ok with the idea of a 14 y.o. gettting an STD (which again, I am not) then I wouldn't want her having sex.

#3--Doesn't this 14 y.o. have anything else to occupy her time? Perhaps she needs a job or extra-curricular activities. When I was 14 having sex was the last thing on my mind. I was busy with school, friends, and babysitting. I don't think a 14 y.o. has the maturity to make decisions about with whom, when and how she should be having sex responsibly. It's simply "too much, too soon".

What will this 14 y.o. have to look forward to as an adult if she is "doing at all" by the time she is 14? What are the odds that she will have a relationship with this person that will last forever? How many sexual partners will she have before she gets married, and what husband will want a wife who has been having sex with different men since she was 14? What is this child learning about love and the value of sex in a relationship?

I had friends in high school who had parents who wanted to play "cool" with their kids and let them have sex as teens, let their boyfriends/girlfriends spend the night, move in, etc, and every single one of these teens got pregnant and ended up being teen moms. You play with fire long enough, eventually you are going to get burned.....

I started having sex at 16. It was in a long term relationship. My mom (single parent) knew about it and was ok with it. I *thought* my boyfriend was being monogamous as well, but as often happens with teenagers it turns out he was not. I ended up with HPV (an STD) that was detected when I had an abnormal (pre-cancerous) pap smear when I was 18. I had cryosurgery and the cancer has not recurred, but I will carry this virus with me for the rest of my life and at any time the cancer could come back. That is a HUGE price to pay. Looking back I wish I had waited. While I may have been physically and emotionally mature at 16, I was having sex in a relationship that did not result in marriage, and I am so glad I never got pregnant since this young man died in a car accident when he was 21. I could have ended up a single teen mother with a fatherless child. My DH was a virgin when we started dating and I think it's wonderful that the only memories he has of sex is with me. I wish the only memories I had were with him since he is the person I will be with forever.....It's kind of sad to have had such a negative early experience with sex.

I don't necessarily think a person should wait until marriage to have sex, but I do think it should be reserved for long term relationships between 2 adults over 18. I have 4 children and I will raise them to be informed about sex and birth control, and I will encourage them to wait until they are 18. I will not provide them with birth control, but will educate them about how to get it if they need it. I will not give them consent to have sex in my house, but I understand sometimes it happens, so as long as they were of age and were discreet I probably wouldn't fuss.

I will teach my children about sex in the context of a loving, monogamous relationship. I will also emphasize the "risks" associated with having sex (pregnancies and STDs). I want them to be fully informed and educated. I will always be honest and encourage them to wait until they are all grown up and can handle the decision about the when/how/with whom, etc, of sex.

I figure if I am buying their birth control that means they can't afford to buy diapers, and if they can't afford to buy diapers they probably shouldn't be having sex!
post #95 of 152
This thread has really gotten me thinking...of course, my own dd is still yet to be born for a few months, so I have some time! :LOL

However, thinking back to my own experience...I grew up in a small town in the Bible Belt where abstinence was the only thing taught in school and such. In my house, I don't remember my parents ever talking to me about sex directly, but instead left books like "Our Bodies, Ourselves" out for me to read. (Later on, I found out from my mom that she did this b/c she had been molested and raped at a young age and felt that her own views of sex were so unhealthy that she didn't know HOW to talk to me about it.) All the emphasis on DON'T DON'T DON'T that I grew up with made developing a positive sexual identity really hard for me, and I don't want that for my kids. I did end up waiting until I was older to have sex, but for my friends who didn't, I think sex was traumatic on them b/c of the lack of knowledge and the judgemental attitudes.

I want my kids to know sex is a big responsibility and decision, but there are more important things in life and in relationships. I think pushing the idea of no premarital sex puts an undue emphasis on it's importance. Once I started seeing sex as only one part of a relationship, and not some mystical thing that "changes" you, I felt I gained a better perspective on how to have a healthy relationship. I know that in my marriage, it's not sex that is the most important bond I share with my dh. It's much more about trust and a deep emotional bond. And it's teaching my kids who to choose to trust with their emotions and love (with or without sex being involved) that I think is more important to their well-being.
post #96 of 152
This may be a silly question but, can underage kids even buy condoms? My almost 14yo ds thinks that it's illegal for him to buy them.
post #97 of 152
This may be a silly question but, can underage kids even buy condoms? My almost 14yo ds thinks that it's illegal for him to buy them.
It is legal, although I remember some drugstores in my town choose not to sell them to underage kids. There was always the 7/11 bathroom, though.
post #98 of 152
Originally Posted by odenata
There was always the 7/11 bathroom, though.
There's a bathroom in the 7/11?!
post #99 of 152
what is so shocking about buying comdoms from a 7-11 bathroom? they also sell tampons if I remember correctly.
post #100 of 152
Originally Posted by Arduinna
what is so shocking about buying comdoms from a 7-11 bathroom? they also sell tampons if I remember correctly.
Nothing shocking about buying anything from any bathroom. I just never knew that 7/11 stores had bathrooms. None of the 7/11 stores where I come from had bathrooms.
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