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#61 of 86 Old 01-11-2011, 10:07 PM
 
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I've met plenty of people who didn't have kids until their 30s and still weren't mature enough, and I've seen a shocking amount of sexual misbehavior in people over 40. It's like half the population freaks out about middle age and acts out in really stupid sexual ways.

 

The older I get, the less convinced I am that *adults* make better choices than *teens.*

 

So much of this dialogue assumes that once kids get old enough, they'll be able to make good choices, if only we can get them to wait. I just don't see anything in reality that shows that to be true. I think we need to focus on how to make choices, how to have sex without making babies, how to decide when to be sexual with someone and when not to, etc. instead of focusing on the age at which someone does it for the first time. There's a whole life time that follows that first time, and it's really the more important part.



I have made similar observations.


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#62 of 86 Old 01-11-2011, 11:04 PM
 
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It is so interesting seeing everyone's thoughts on sex!

 

My mom was always pretty open about sex with me.  She had me at 23 (I'm her oldest) and was unmarried.  My father was never in the picture so even if she hadn't wanted to, she kind of had to be honest with me about the situation.  She had sex unmarried and at a time in her life where it wasn't ideal to have a kid.  She was on birth control however so I am a statistic hehe.  Although, she was taking a newer med that they didn't realize messed with BC... I guess I helped figure that out?  She is honest enough with me to actually tell me that her doctors recommended she have an abortion as they didn't know how the drug was going to affect me and she considered it as well.  She decided not to (I'm also pro choice... I'm perfectly comfortable with having almost been aborted and knowing my mom's situation, would have supported her fully)  She was also open enough about sex to refuse to buy me a purity ring when I asked for one in fifth grade.  She said she didn't want to be part of enforcing a specific time for me to lose my virginity... it wasn't up to her and waiting til marriage isn't necessarily the best option for all people so she didn't want me to have that impression either... although she wasn't AGAINST me waiting of course :D

 

I lost my virginity at 16.  It wasn't like how most people talk about their 'first time.'  We had been in a relationship for awhile at that point and had discussed having sex quite a bit.  It was an ongoing conversation for us.  He was 18 and in college.  He had an apartment actually that he shared with only one roommate.  I got on birth control about a month before we had sex knowing I needed to be on it ahead of time but also not knowing if I wanted to have sex.  I had an appointment for something else so I just asked my doctor about it.  Since she couldn't tell my mom legally, it worked out for me as I wasn't ready to talk to her about it.  My doctor gave me BC samples for free and talked to me a bit and sent me on my way.  I obviously did end up deciding to have sex haha.  We bought the condoms (because you better believe I insisted on double protection EVERY time... he wasn't fighting it either... he was a great guy) and went right ahead.  We knew how to properly put on a condom so it was only a matter of being sure we were ready in other aspects.

 

It was honestly great.  I had no expectations that we would be together forever however I also felt that with where we were in our relationship, it was plausible that it could happen.  Mostly though, I just REALLY REALLY wanted to have sex and I knew he was a good guy who would respect me.  And he did... he asked me a couple times if I was sure before we had sex and even asked once we were fully naked and he was just about to put his penis in my vagina.  He wanted to make sure before we crossed that final line.  Its funny though, he was a virgin too but way more concerned about me... probably because girls are supposed to be all emotional and unsure and junk.  I wasn't though, I was READY.  Honestly, I had probably been ready for a good year physically and was just waiting for the right person to lose it to.

 

That first time really was not like stories I hear.  It didn't hurt at ALL.  It just felt great.  I didn't feel really emotional after... I just felt great!  In fact, so great that we proceeded to do it six more times in different locations in his apartment in different positions.  We took food and shower breaks but yeah... it was a pretty awesome day as far as losing ones virginity can go.

 

I have zero regrets.  I ended up breaking up with him a few months later because I realized he just wasn't for me and I'm the type of person who dates with a purpose.  I always have.  I also only have sex within relationships because it doesn't feel right to me do have sex otherwise (thats just for me, we all have our own boundaries) so breaking up with him meant no more sex.. which sucked... I REALLY liked having it hehe.  My mom found out we were having sex a month after I lost my virginity though.  I wasn't ready to tell her til then.  As open and accepting as she was, I didn't really feel comfortable sharing something so personal right away.  I needed to try it out for myself.  I knew how to be completely safe, I felt I understood the risks and we both had discussed everything from stds (despite being virgins) to how we'd manage having a baby before having sex so I didn't feel I needed her approval or advice.  We'd talked enough for me to know she wouldn't try to stop me and there wasn't much more she could tell me beyond maybe to wait longer which I definitely didn't want to do.  I was right, when she did find out, she wasn't thrilled but it was just a fact.. nothing changed.  I still got to visit him at his place (in another city) and we still had lots of time alone in my town.  There was no loss of trust... just an acceptance and a bit of sadness that I was so grown up hehe.

 

I hope for my own kiddo that she waits until she is certain.  That it is with a person who will respect her even right up til the last moment (and I know he would have stopped at any point after if I had wanted too) and who will discuss the risks prior to having sex.  I hope she listens when I tell her about how contraception isn't fool proof and how it isn't just for babies (so yes, she will learn that protection for oral and anal is important as well... whether she is with a boy OR a girl.  We used condoms for oral as well) and that she doesn't need to have sex with someone she expects to be with forever but it should at least be someone she trusts because sex can affect her little emotionally like me or it can end up being a huge deal that can be used against her as it is with some other folks.  It should be something considered thoughtfully and not rushed into, whether she is 15 or 25.

 

as it stands, I was married at 18 and had my first child at 19.  with regards to the PP who said people aren't ready before a family before 18 and even 20, I would disagree.  I think it all comes down to the person's expectations of family and how it meshes with their partner and the personalities of the two people.  I've always been a family person.  I was always the 'mom' of my friends, the wet blanket of my peers.  The person who considered risks and would rather just hang out quietly than run the town.  I have zero doubts about my ability to handle having a child with that first boy at 16.  I'm sure we would have made it work as nicely as a high schooler and young college kid could.  We may not have stayed together, but I do think we both had enough communication skills and mutual respect to be able to co parent with our child's best interest as our main focus.  Based on what I know of him today, I'm even more sure of that.  It wouldn't have been ideal of course (which is exactly why we worked so hard to avoid it!) but honestly, how many people have ideal circumstances?  I think that is less an age thing and more time in life thing.  We were too busy to have a family and ultimately not right for each other.  This is true for some married 30 year olds as well.  We were never the irresponsible wild partying type.  Neither of us are still.

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#63 of 86 Old 01-12-2011, 02:09 AM
 
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DH and I both realize that it's completely NOT up to us when our kids have sex and that no matter what we say about waiting, none of it is going to have any effect on whether they actually wait. 



I strongly disagree with the above statement; as parents, we have a great amount of influence on our children's decisions.

 

My teens are 16 and my preteen is 12.  DH and I have made it clear to them what our expectations are.  That doesn't mean that the kids can't decide to behave otherwise, but so far they haven't, and if they do it's not for lack of understanding what we believe & find important.

 

Our expectations are that they be in a committed, mutually rewarding monogamous relationship before engaging in sex, and we prefer that they wait until they are of legal adult age (18). 

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#64 of 86 Old 01-30-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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I started having sex at 13 and in stupid and often unprotected ways. I would never wish my past sex life on my worst enemy, but I also find it hard to regret it because in my case (having been sexually abused) I was making sex something "okay" in my mind. I was not ready to deal with sex and all of the possibly ramifications, but I am not able to have a healthy sexual relationship with my husband and that makes me feel like it was all worth it in the end.

 

Of course, I certainly hope that my daughter does not have sex as early as I did and I will do everything in my power to make her understand the ramifications of sex before she does have it. I don't think there's a "perfect age' to have sex, but there will be a point in time where she will be emotionally and physically ready and the opportunity will present itself. I don't doubt that this will be before she's out of her teen years, so I plan on having discussions about sex early on. So long as things are put in ways that a young child can understand and the amount of detail that's appropriate, you can begin teaching about sex as early as anything else you'd teach about. It doesn't need to be a formal lesson or anything like that. It's a way of living and being open with your child.

 

I've spent a lot of time volunteering with Planned Parenthood Action Counsel and I live in a state where sex is considered a deadly sin, so I know the problems that secrecy can cause. I had a friend growing up that had awful, painful periods every month and refused to ask her grandma (who raised her) to take her to the doctor because she was sure her grandma would assume she was having sex because she wanted to go to a gynecologist! Secrecy is what causes the problem. I honestly wonder if without all of the sinfulness and indecency attached to such a wonderful and natural act if some of the things that have happened to me would have and I am ABSOLUTELY SURE that if sex weren't taboo, I as a young child, wouldn't have let those things go on so long.


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#65 of 86 Old 01-30-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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my mom tried to be pretty honest with me, and growing up with young parents and lots of kids i was TERRIFIED about getting pregnant, or getting an STD.  i had sex the first time when i was 16.  my then bf ( who i was madly in love with and it took me YEARS to get over him) was really pressuring me and i gave in.  i then quickly broke up with him, though it really did take me about 5 years to get over him.  i didn't like that he had pressured me, i didn't like emotionally how i felt, i wasn't ready for it, though we did use condoms.  i didn't have sex again till i was 20.  i always used two forms of birth control.  

i don't think that anyone has a magic number for having sex, but i would be expect that dds would probably be closer to 20 than to 16.  adn yes, they will know to use 2 forms of birth control.  and, though, i don't think you need to save yourself for THE ONE!!!! i hope that they understand emotionally the ramifications and use good judgement.  

and if they got pregnant, i would support whatever decision they made.  if they decided to keep the baby, then i would for sure get the boy signed up for child support and anything else that my daughter would need.  

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#66 of 86 Old 01-31-2011, 10:36 PM
 
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I agree with so much of what has been posted here although I have to disagree with the part about people under 18 and even 20 being too young for a family. DH and I started dating when I was 17 and he was 20 and moved in together shortly after. I got pregnant with dd at 18 and had her at 19. We have now been together for over 7 years and our 5th wedding anniversary is next month. I'm 25 and pregnant with our 3rd baby now so I really have to disagree with that especially since although we may have had some hard times (who doesn't?) we have also taken care of our own and have a great family.

 

My mom's idea of the sex talk was don't do it. Not very effective. I actually was the one that gave the sex talk to my sister (because I'm sure mom never did, I'm still waiting on mine). I talked to her long before she started having sex and made sure she knew what she needed to and that I would get her any and all bc she needed. I also made sure she knew she could talk to me about or ask me about anything. It worked. She came to me just before she turned 16 and asked to be put on the pill. I took her to the doc and got her the pill and condoms. She started having sex sometime not long after that and she is now 20, in college, and no issues yet. She is also very good about getting yearly checkups and FULL STD testing at the checkups for safety.

 

I did tell mom (when sis wanted me to) that I had put her on the pill. Mom wasn't happy but I told her she knew good and well she couldn't stop them if they really wanted to do it and it was better for them to be safe and healthy than not. She grumbled and now is okay with it lol. She did ask me to talk to my brother too though. That was fun. I thought the kid was gonna die when I talked to him. I still left him the bag of condoms even though he said he didn't need them and why do we have to talk about this? LOL

 

I plan to talk to the kids and be very open with them about sex and everything that it entails including emotional and physical consequences, birth control and all their options for the various scenarios. I will make birth control available to them and let them have it in their possession to use when they are ready. I don't have any real thoughts on the age that it is okay as I think that really depends on the individual. I will say though that although I plan to talk openly with my kids I have also made it clear to my younger sister and brother and a couple of my close friends my position on sex for the kids (they agree) and that I am definitely okay with them talking to my kids or getting them bc if the kids happen to go to them about it. I hope that my kids will trust me and feel comfortable being open with my in talking about sex but I am realistic that they may not be comfortable with that. They will still hear my talk and I'll be tossing the bc at them any ways but I just hope that they will talk to someone and make the right choices and be careful.


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#67 of 86 Old 02-02-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Interesting. Just wanted to share that when I was 14, my mom accused me of being sexually active and punished me accordingly despite my denial.  I wasn't.  Considering it, but I wasn't.  At 15 I said what the heck, they already think I'm trouble so who cares. Got into bad emotional situations. Then realized (on my own) that I wasn't ready, took a 2 year break until I was 17 and able to manage the emotions.  FWIW, I learned that the communication and trust has to start waaay before you think they're interested in sex.  My mom and I have a great relationship today, but that experience was so traumatic that I don't think I'll ever really trust her.


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#68 of 86 Old 02-02-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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JustKate, I'm so sorry. How incredibly painful. That wasn't fair. 


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#69 of 86 Old 02-02-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Thanks. It only took 3 years of therapy to get to a zen place about my relationship with my mom.

 

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#70 of 86 Old 02-02-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Thanks. It only took 3 years of therapy to get to a zen place about my relationship with my mom.

 

That's the thing about having your own kids.  We get to screw them up in our own way.  winky.gif


I'm making mine free-thinkers with liberal ideologies and an aversion to blind obedience!


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I'm making mine free-thinkers with liberal ideologies and an aversion to blind obedience!



That's what Alex P. Keaton's parents thought too.  ROTFLMAO.gif


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I'm making mine free-thinkers with liberal ideologies and an aversion to blind obedience!



That's what Alex P. Keaton's parents thought too.  ROTFLMAO.gif


Everything I know about that show I learned from Family Guy...


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Quote:
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I'm making mine free-thinkers with liberal ideologies and an aversion to blind obedience!



That's what Alex P. Keaton's parents thought too.  ROTFLMAO.gif


Well, yes.  Just how would MusicianDad's kids rebel against him?? orngbiggrin.gif


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#74 of 86 Old 02-03-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
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DH and I both realize that it's completely NOT up to us when our kids have sex and that no matter what we say about waiting, none of it is going to have any effect on whether they actually wait. 



I strongly disagree with the above statement; as parents, we have a great amount of influence on our children's decisions.

 

My teens are 16 and my preteen is 12.  DH and I have made it clear to them what our expectations are.  That doesn't mean that the kids can't decide to behave otherwise, but so far they haven't, and if they do it's not for lack of understanding what we believe & find important.

 

Our expectations are that they be in a committed, mutually rewarding monogamous relationship before engaging in sex, and we prefer that they wait until they are of legal adult age (18). 


So far as you are aware, they haven't.

 

They may prefer not to let you know when their choices do not meet your expectations.
 

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#75 of 86 Old 02-03-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post


I'm making mine free-thinkers with liberal ideologies and an aversion to blind obedience!



That's what Alex P. Keaton's parents thought too.  ROTFLMAO.gif


Well, yes.  Just how would MusicianDad's kids rebel against him?? orngbiggrin.gif


The only way they can truly rebel is to follow authority (namely DH and I) blindly.


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#76 of 86 Old 02-04-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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The only way they can truly rebel is to follow authority (namely DH and I) blindly.


When our kids were younger and unschooling, we joked that they only way they could rebel was to decide to go to school, go to church, and become something annoying like cheerleaders.

 

One of our DDs eventually became a cheerleader.

 

It kinda freaked us out, but she did look really cute in the uniform!


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#77 of 86 Old 02-04-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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When our kids were younger and unschooling, we joked that they only way they could rebel was to decide to go to school, go to church, and become something annoying like cheerleaders.

 

One of our DDs eventually became a cheerleader.

 

It kinda freaked us out, but she did look really cute in the uniform!

ROTFLMAO.gifThat's funny re: the cheerleader.

 

We used to make the same jokes about rebelling. What the hell would that look like in my family? The visuals are great.


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#78 of 86 Old 02-04-2011, 02:41 PM
 
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Quote:
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The only way they can truly rebel is to follow authority (namely DH and I) blindly.


When our kids were younger and unschooling, we joked that they only way they could rebel was to decide to go to school, go to church, and become something annoying like cheerleaders.

 

One of our DDs eventually became a cheerleader.

 

It kinda freaked us out, but she did look really cute in the uniform!


Well the only way our kids can obey us is to be free-thinking, liberals with an aversion to obedience. So you see where they will have difficulties with rebelling, or  not as the case may be...


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#79 of 86 Old 02-04-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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I don't think there is a magical age. I think people mature and are ready at different times. Having said that I haven't met a person under 18, and really under 20, that has been mature enough for a family (if sex would have resulted in a family). I'm a Teen Educator and so I see the pregnant teens. While some are mature for their age, they aren't ready to take on parenthood yet.


Careful, there are posters on this bored who are/were married/living with their spouse and very much handling family life. Myself included. DH, DD and I became a family when I was 17, including living separate from our parents and working and attending school (well I was, DH was just working).



 I didn't say anything bad about young mothers, or think there is anything wrong with it. All I said was that none of the teenagers that I have met have been truly ready for a family yet. But the teengers I work with are not married teens, they are having unplanned pregnancies, and that is probably a key difference. My mother was a young mother as well, still married to my dad, and I had my first with my DH at 22 years old (pregnant at 21).


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This issue is somthing that I'm really concerned about!  I know I have a long time until then to really worry about but what can ya do! shrug.gif  Anyways my parents didn't let I nor my sister date until we were 16.  In both situations we were very shy and didn't really have anyone we wanted to date at the time.  I'm so glad my parents did this.  It kept me from being put into the situation of having to decide or not.  I remember reading in teen magazines about deciding if you are ready for sex or not.  I remember reading this and thinking that I was ready (I absolutely was not!!).  I don't think that at 16 I was necessarily ready either, but I was old enough to stop and think about my actions.  I don't think abstinence only education works, ever!  I also don't believe that having multiple partners is wrong.  But teaching your child to wait until they really care about the person they are sleepingwith,or doing other things with, is important.  I was 18 when I first had sex with my now husband.  We thought were in love then.  We weren't, but are now.  We were always safe, and we always knew that even though we used protection, sex still leads to babies.  We didn't talk about the consequences then, which we should have.  But in the end sex leads to babies and if you can't handle that reality then you shouldn't be having sex.  I plan I having the same rule with my children, but I also hope that we can have an open dialog about sex as they grow older.  I plan on educating them and trusting them to make the right decisions.  And hope that they do!


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#81 of 86 Old 02-05-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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I don't think there is a magical age. I think people mature and are ready at different times. Having said that I haven't met a person under 18, and really under 20, that has been mature enough for a family (if sex would have resulted in a family). I'm a Teen Educator and so I see the pregnant teens. While some are mature for their age, they aren't ready to take on parenthood yet.


Careful, there are posters on this bored who are/were married/living with their spouse and very much handling family life. Myself included. DH, DD and I became a family when I was 17, including living separate from our parents and working and attending school (well I was, DH was just working).



 I didn't say anything bad about young mothers, or think there is anything wrong with it. All I said was that none of the teenagers that I have met have been truly ready for a family yet. But the teengers I work with are not married teens, they are having unplanned pregnancies, and that is probably a key difference. My mother was a young mother as well, still married to my dad, and I had my first with my DH at 22 years old (pregnant at 21).

 

Unplanned doesn't make the difference though. The difference is how such things a dealt with. Chances are the teens you deal with are also ones who are living in a culture of "lets hate the unmarried, unemployed teenage moms!" and even if they have some support from immediate family members, it's limited to a select group of people. Then of course there is the lack of expectation, no one expects a teen to be "old enough" for most things and don't give them a chance to show that they are in fact on the cusp of being adults and are fully capable of behaving as adult. I don't think I'd feel ready to take on parenthood if those around me even implied I wasn't ready to take on parenthood. In fact, I seem to remember telling my self more than once "You already have a kid, you are a parent. What the heck do they know?" when strangers or acquaintances wanted to know if I was sure I was ready to be a parent (they assumed that DS would be our first, or that I had little to no role in DD's life).

 

Even an unmarried, unexpectedly pregnant 14/15/16 year old can rise to the occasion when given the chance and told she can be a damn good parent whether the dad is involved or not, whether she gets married or not... Unless you are talking about the general "oh crap a baby... I have no clue what I'm going to do with this thing when it gets here..." then you can't limit it to unplanned teen pregnancies. I'd say most adults who planned for, and worked for, a baby have those feelings at some point, whether they are 16 or 26 or 36 or 46. The first baby can be a terrifying experience, I mean come on... You are suddenly responsible for the life of another human being who is 100% reliant on you to provide for it's every need.
 


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#82 of 86 Old 02-05-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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I think it's just so dependent on the individual. I don't think you can really make any sort of blanket statement as to what would be an ok age. I can say though that I trust my teens to do what feels right for themselves and their partners. I do buy condoms for the house and I wold be extremely upset if I found out they were having unprotected sex though.

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#83 of 86 Old 02-06-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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I don't think there is a magical age. I think people mature and are ready at different times. Having said that I haven't met a person under 18, and really under 20, that has been mature enough for a family (if sex would have resulted in a family). I'm a Teen Educator and so I see the pregnant teens. While some are mature for their age, they aren't ready to take on parenthood yet.


Careful, there are posters on this bored who are/were married/living with their spouse and very much handling family life. Myself included. DH, DD and I became a family when I was 17, including living separate from our parents and working and attending school (well I was, DH was just working).



 I didn't say anything bad about young mothers, or think there is anything wrong with it. All I said was that none of the teenagers that I have met have been truly ready for a family yet. But the teengers I work with are not married teens, they are having unplanned pregnancies, and that is probably a key difference. My mother was a young mother as well, still married to my dad, and I had my first with my DH at 22 years old (pregnant at 21).

 

Unplanned doesn't make the difference though. The difference is how such things a dealt with. Chances are the teens you deal with are also ones who are living in a culture of "lets hate the unmarried, unemployed teenage moms!" and even if they have some support from immediate family members, it's limited to a select group of people. Then of course there is the lack of expectation, no one expects a teen to be "old enough" for most things and don't give them a chance to show that they are in fact on the cusp of being adults and are fully capable of behaving as adult. I don't think I'd feel ready to take on parenthood if those around me even implied I wasn't ready to take on parenthood. In fact, I seem to remember telling my self more than once "You already have a kid, you are a parent. What the heck do they know?" when strangers or acquaintances wanted to know if I was sure I was ready to be a parent (they assumed that DS would be our first, or that I had little to no role in DD's life).

 

Even an unmarried, unexpectedly pregnant 14/15/16 year old can rise to the occasion when given the chance and told she can be a damn good parent whether the dad is involved or not, whether she gets married or not... Unless you are talking about the general "oh crap a baby... I have no clue what I'm going to do with this thing when it gets here..." then you can't limit it to unplanned teen pregnancies. I'd say most adults who planned for, and worked for, a baby have those feelings at some point, whether they are 16 or 26 or 36 or 46. The first baby can be a terrifying experience, I mean come on... You are suddenly responsible for the life of another human being who is 100% reliant on you to provide for it's every need.
 


Yes I get that, and again, I'm not saying anything bad about those who are young or have unplanned pregnancies. The teenagers I work with just aren't ready, they aren't. There are MANY teens who do take that responsability and do great. But the ones I work with are more into parties than being a mom. A lot of the responses I get from them are "I'm keeping my baby because baby clothes are so cute".
 


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#84 of 86 Old 02-06-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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I don't think there is a magical age. I think people mature and are ready at different times. Having said that I haven't met a person under 18, and really under 20, that has been mature enough for a family (if sex would have resulted in a family). I'm a Teen Educator and so I see the pregnant teens. While some are mature for their age, they aren't ready to take on parenthood yet.


Careful, there are posters on this bored who are/were married/living with their spouse and very much handling family life. Myself included. DH, DD and I became a family when I was 17, including living separate from our parents and working and attending school (well I was, DH was just working).



 I didn't say anything bad about young mothers, or think there is anything wrong with it. All I said was that none of the teenagers that I have met have been truly ready for a family yet. But the teengers I work with are not married teens, they are having unplanned pregnancies, and that is probably a key difference. My mother was a young mother as well, still married to my dad, and I had my first with my DH at 22 years old (pregnant at 21).

 

Unplanned doesn't make the difference though. The difference is how such things a dealt with. Chances are the teens you deal with are also ones who are living in a culture of "lets hate the unmarried, unemployed teenage moms!" and even if they have some support from immediate family members, it's limited to a select group of people. Then of course there is the lack of expectation, no one expects a teen to be "old enough" for most things and don't give them a chance to show that they are in fact on the cusp of being adults and are fully capable of behaving as adult. I don't think I'd feel ready to take on parenthood if those around me even implied I wasn't ready to take on parenthood. In fact, I seem to remember telling my self more than once "You already have a kid, you are a parent. What the heck do they know?" when strangers or acquaintances wanted to know if I was sure I was ready to be a parent (they assumed that DS would be our first, or that I had little to no role in DD's life).

 

Even an unmarried, unexpectedly pregnant 14/15/16 year old can rise to the occasion when given the chance and told she can be a damn good parent whether the dad is involved or not, whether she gets married or not... Unless you are talking about the general "oh crap a baby... I have no clue what I'm going to do with this thing when it gets here..." then you can't limit it to unplanned teen pregnancies. I'd say most adults who planned for, and worked for, a baby have those feelings at some point, whether they are 16 or 26 or 36 or 46. The first baby can be a terrifying experience, I mean come on... You are suddenly responsible for the life of another human being who is 100% reliant on you to provide for it's every need.
 


Yes I get that, and again, I'm not saying anything bad about those who are young or have unplanned pregnancies. The teenagers I work with just aren't ready, they aren't. There are MANY teens who do take that responsability and do great. But the ones I work with are more into parties than being a mom. A lot of the responses I get from them are "I'm keeping my baby because baby clothes are so cute".
 



I also wanted to add that in my original response I said there wasn't a magical age because there can be immature and not ready people at any age, and I've met my fair share of 40 year old parents who aren't ready. But I do stand by my original response saying that I've never met a teenager who was ready. That doesn't mean there isn't any, I've just never met them, and it's probably because the only teenage parents (or soon to be) that I know are the ones who come to my classes and they aren't ready.


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#85 of 86 Old 02-06-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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I also wanted to add that in my original response I said there wasn't a magical age because there can be immature and not ready people at any age, and I've met my fair share of 40 year old parents who aren't ready. But I do stand by my original response saying that I've never met a teenager who was ready. That doesn't mean there isn't any, I've just never met them, and it's probably because the only teenage parents (or soon to be) that I know are the ones who come to my classes and they aren't ready.


 

I think that having a child birth or parenting educator who starts off believing that the mom shouldn't be having the baby now because she isn't ready is far from ideal. I think it would be better for the expectant moms/ new parents to have some body a little more zen about the whole thing. Granted, I'm not in your shoes and haven't seen the things you've seen.

 

My mom was a teen when she had me, and she was a really horrible mother in many many ways. None the less, I'm glad I was born and I'm glad I am who I am, which in a round about way means that I must be thankful for all the experiences that I've had because they made me who I am.  Even if the parent isn't ready, and even if they screw up a lot, it can still be OK. May be things happen for a reason. May be part of the reason I'm such a wonderful person now is because I had such a crappy childhood! 

 

Sometimes, even when things like look they aren't working out, they really are working out. From our limited perspective, we really cannot say how things will play out in another person's life over decades.

 

And I have met some teen parents who were doing a good job. I think it is easier for the parents if they wait until their education is complete and they are more financially stable, but I'm not convinced that the quality of parenting is tied to the age or financial status of the parents.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#86 of 86 Old 02-07-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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I also wanted to add that in my original response I said there wasn't a magical age because there can be immature and not ready people at any age, and I've met my fair share of 40 year old parents who aren't ready. But I do stand by my original response saying that I've never met a teenager who was ready. That doesn't mean there isn't any, I've just never met them, and it's probably because the only teenage parents (or soon to be) that I know are the ones who come to my classes and they aren't ready.


 

I think that having a child birth or parenting educator who starts off believing that the mom shouldn't be having the baby now because she isn't ready is far from ideal. I think it would be better for the expectant moms/ new parents to have some body a little more zen about the whole thing. Granted, I'm not in your shoes and haven't seen the things you've seen.

 

My mom was a teen when she had me, and she was a really horrible mother in many many ways. None the less, I'm glad I was born and I'm glad I am who I am, which in a round about way means that I must be thankful for all the experiences that I've had because they made me who I am.  Even if the parent isn't ready, and even if they screw up a lot, it can still be OK. May be things happen for a reason. May be part of the reason I'm such a wonderful person now is because I had such a crappy childhood! 

 

Sometimes, even when things like look they aren't working out, they really are working out. From our limited perspective, we really cannot say how things will play out in another person's life over decades.

 

And I have met some teen parents who were doing a good job. I think it is easier for the parents if they wait until their education is complete and they are more financially stable, but I'm not convinced that the quality of parenting is tied to the age or financial status of the parents.

 



I'm very open minded, and I want what is best for these teens. I am not just a teen educator, but a childbirth educator as a whole. I love the teens that come to my classes and they seem to like me a great deal, I also offer Doula services free of charge and breastfeeding counseling free of charge for these teens because I want them to succeed. That still doesn't take the fact away that they just simply aren't ready to be a mother yet. Again, I never said that teens can't be great mothers, I just don't think they are ready yet at 15 years old, they are still kids themselves. I'm not sure why it's so hard to believe that some teens aren't ready to be a parent. There are many 20, 30 and 40 year olds who aren't ready either, so I don't know how this is different than saying the teens I work with aren't ready. If they would rather engage in underage drinking with friends than raise their child, or think that their parents should be raising their children, then I'd say they clearly aren't ready to be kids. You must think I'm just judging them by age or something, but I'm not. There is more to them not being ready than just their age, and I know these teens a great deal to be able to professionally say that they aren't ready.


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