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Jen_D
10-08-2008, 12:55 AM
Mainly for parents of girls aged 15 to 19. How did you deal with their growing and changing from children (your baby) into sexual, adult, beings?

I only know from my own experience with my own parents. Given my background people were very reluctant to let me grow up. The whole issue of sex and dating was put off until my late teens.

So how do normal parents, with a normal child, handle it?

Judg
10-08-2008, 01:04 AM
So how do normal parents, with a normal child, handle it?
You just disqualified us...

Barb D
10-08-2008, 01:11 AM
Talk until you're blue in the face, and make sure they know how to get and use birth control. Then keep talking until your face is bluer. Not that it will do any good.

(Mom of a 17yo son and a 15yo daughter. And an 8yo daughter, who thankfully doesn't need to know about this stuff yet.)

Jen_D
10-08-2008, 01:17 AM
You just disqualified us...

lol, yeah I kind of figured that.

Maryn
10-08-2008, 01:22 AM
Mr. Maryn got religion and I got sex. I think I got the hard part. (Insert your own off-color pun here.)

What I did with both our son and our daughter was keep the lines of communication open. I would answer anything. Our son never got up the courage to venture very far into what I would tell him, but his sister did. Because the two were very close, I suspect some of the questions I answered were really his.

We talked about personal responsibility. We talked about giving away something so precious as your first time to people who weren't worthy. We talked about condoms and the pill. We talked about reputation. We talked about emotional intimacy coming before physical. Nevertheless, some of the decisions each kid made were not what I'd have chosen for them.

At least they both approached sex responsibly. I sent each kid to college with a box of condoms and the understanding that I was the go-to person for sexual emergencies, from rape to unplanned pregnancies to STDs, and that I would not judge. When they were home on breaks, I asked, privately, if they needed more, or had any questions or problems.

Gee, maybe I should have taken religion, huh?

Maryn, uber-Mom

Bubastes
10-08-2008, 01:30 AM
My parents never talked to me about it. Ever.

Thank goodness for the library. I learned everything I need to know there.

Disa
10-08-2008, 02:01 AM
I've done pretty much what Maryn said. I agree totally with keeping the line of communication open. I just have one daughter, but I want her to know she can come to me with anything and I won't be judging her. I'm her ally, here to get her through whatever comes up safely and responsibly. We've also talked about not feeling pressured into doing anything she doesn't want to do, whether it be sex, drugs, or alcohol- all of those are judgment calls she will have to make when I'm not around. She has to have the internal guidance to know right from wrong and how those things will affect her later. Mainly, I've tried to instill a sense of self-respect, so she knows where her own personal boundaries are. None of this is about pleasing mom and dad, it's about her doing what's right for her,and being able to live with her choices.

FennelGiraffe
10-08-2008, 04:12 AM
My daughter turned 19 two weeks ago today. It looks like we both survived unscathed.

I got lucky; she didn't have a boyfriend until she was 17 ;). When they got serious, I revisited the topic with her. By then she was sensible enough to say she and her boyfriend both had big plans for their futures, and they weren't willing to take any chances of messing those up.

What everyone else said. I tried to keep the lines of communication open. I tried to listen. I tried to show her that I was respectful of her feelings. From her early childhood, I tried to be open and honest about all kinds of 'body' questions. I tried to give her the self-confidence and self-respect to make her own decisions. I tried to explain why I thought things were right or wrong, not just make arbitrary rules for her to follow.

When she turned 13, I told her that even though she she didn't have my permission to have sex, I knew I couldn't stop her, so if she did to damned well use protection. I told her that even though I didn't want her to have sex until she was much older, taking care of her health was more important to me, so if she ever asked, I promised I would buy condoms for her.

One of her cousins, from an abstinence-only household, bragged about taking a pledge to stay a virgin until marriage. That was a good opening for me to remind her of my values. I talked about emotional intimacy, and whether it made sense to trust someone with her body if she wasn't 100% certain about trusting him with her innermost thoughts and feelings. When her friends rode the relationship rollercoaster from infatuation to breakup in a couple of months, I pointed out that kind of volatility was common at her age.

TerzaRima
10-08-2008, 06:18 AM
I had MeowGirl's parents. The subtext was that it was unimaginable that there would be any boinking until after marriage.

She_wulf
10-08-2008, 07:08 AM
Mainly for parents of girls aged 15 to 19. How did you deal with their growing and changing from children (your baby) into sexual, adult, beings?
I'll get to that in a minute, but first...


I only know from my own experience with my own parents. Given my background people were very reluctant to let me grow up. The whole issue of sex and dating was put off until my late teens.Too late, IMO



So how do normal parents, with a normal child, handle it?

You just disqualified us...
LOL


Talk until you're blue in the face, and make sure they know how to get and use birth control. Then keep talking until your face is bluer. ...Step one, answer questions, any questions they ask as soon as they start asking them. Really. "Why is the sky blue?" or "Where do babies come from?" are all legitimate questions no matter what the age. If you prove to them early on that no topic, adult or not, is "off limits" you stand a greater chance of them actually listening by the time teen hormones take over.

Although, I did "edit" my responses with the thought in mind that it would get repeated. So when asked where babies come from when my daughter was 3, I answered "from a mommy's tummy." Around age 6-8 my oldest knew they came from having sex and asked questions about that. If the question was _too_ squicky, I was honest and said I didn't want to answer it because I felt it was a topic that was a "big people" topic. But always, I did remind them (from very early on) that by taking precautions they reduced their chances of pregnancy and disease.

We never had a "birds and bees" talk because it was on-going from pre-school. I remember sitting down with my oldest (around age 12-13) and talking to her about her period, sex, etc. That started in the usual awkward manner, but progressed to a two hour round-table with her, myself, and my then nine year old daughter giving input. I was enlightened by their insights, pleasantly surprised by their maturity, and very proud of my girls.


... What everyone else said. I tried to keep the lines of communication open. I tried to listen. I tried to show her that I was respectful of her feelings. From her early childhood, I tried to be open and honest about all kinds of 'body' questions. I tried to give her the self-confidence and self-respect to make her own decisions. I tried to explain why I thought things were right or wrong, not just make arbitrary rules for her to follow.

When she turned 13, I told her that even though she she didn't have my permission to have sex, I knew I couldn't stop her, so if she did to damned well use protection....Good job!
Around the time my daughter was 16/17 (the oldest one...) one of her friends was contemplating birth control methods. My daughter's friend actually asked me if I would accompany her to the doctor's office. I explained that she should go with one of her parents as a first choice, but that I would go if she wanted me to. I think she talked with her mother. (She hinted that her father would "go through the roof" if she brought it up with him) I also told her that she was doing the right thing for herself, taking precautions _IF_ she was going to have sex.

Honestly, I know there are parents out there that would be mad at me for helping this girl in this way, but when you consider that by age 13-18 children step outside of parental boundaries in all sorts of ways having a voice advocating responsibility and caution is not a bad thing. (at least in my opinion.)

From my memories, and from discussions with both of my daughters it usually is the girl who doesn't talk to her parents, or a parent/adult, who gets in "trouble" with an unplanned pregnancy.

A true story: Homecoming... I was at cheer leading practice the day before and one of the seniors on the squad asked me if I had made a cover story so I could "stay the night" with my boyfriend. I looked her square in the eye and said, "Why? There's nothing you can't do before curfew that you need all night for."

She just about fainted. She was that naive. This was going to be their "big night" because they were in love, etc.

I reminded her to use protection.

She said, "Oh, I'm sure J____ has that taken care of..." Followed by, "...and we're in love." (!?!) She'd never talked to anyone besides her (ahem...using the term loosely because honestly, they gave bad advice.) friends about sex. Parents? out of the question! Her dad was HS principal.

The conversation ended too quickly because she was adamant she was going to do this to "prove her love" to her boyfriend. And... nine months later (almost to the day) she and her boyfriend had their first child...

Letting someone else take responsibility for your future is a sure way to screw it up.

I told my girls both that story and that bit of advice.

Amy

Appalachian Writer
10-08-2008, 07:09 AM
I'm not quite sure that I'm a "normal" parent. I don't even know if I understand what "normal" means. I am a parent, and I have a daughter. She's 31 now but once she was nineteen. My rules...take precautions, don't do it in my house!!...(I don't want to hear the bump and grind coming from her bedroom)...and make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. She did okay until her late twenties. Now I have one grandchild living with me and she's expecting again. Maybe my rules lost their strength over time.

She_wulf
10-08-2008, 07:18 AM
I had MeowGirl's parents. The subtext was that it was unimaginable that there would be any boinking until after marriage.
I know there are rare cases that this happens, but...

!?!

Let's just not talk about that elephant in the corner, huh? It's not important...

:Jaw: I mean really, wouldn't you rather have a couple hours of being supremely embarrassed, or eighteen more years of parenthood? 'Cause you know who is going to be the one taking care of a child's children...

OT: I'm only two and a half years out from the end of my "sentence" and LOOKING FORWARD TO FREEDOM!!!! I love (LOVE!) my girls, but darn it! I want to be ME again, not so and so's mom.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel and hear the whispers...
...free at last...free at last...thank God almighty...free at last!

:D
Amy

Bubastes
10-08-2008, 04:38 PM
I had MeowGirl's parents. The subtext was that it was unimaginable that there would be any boinking until after marriage.

Both my Mom and my Dad are the kind of people who can't even say the word "sex." Mom has to spell it out.

Like I said, I'm thankful for the library. Plus, being a nerd was its own contraception (and boy repellant). :D My parents have NO idea how easy they had it with me.

DeleyanLee
10-08-2008, 05:07 PM
The way I handled it (my daughter is now 22, my son is 20) was to start showing them what responsibility was when they were still young children. Teaching them that every choice came with a consequence (good and/or ill) and that it had to be dealt with and that it wasn't shameful to ask for help if you got in over your head.

By the time my kids were teens, they knew my preference for how to handle the drinking/smoking/drug peer pressures (take a drink before a smoke, take the smoke before the drugs, take the drugs and go live with your dad) and they knew that if they decided to have sex, that there were condoms kept in the linen closet and I was to be notified by whoever to restock when needed and that it would be nice if I met their lovers, but not mandatory (I met them all, FWIW).

What I stressed with them is to make sure they really chose to have sex and didn't just do it because they felt pressured. To make sure they were somewhere safe (while I didn't want to hear the bed squeaking either, I'd rather hear the bed squeak then have them doing it in a car parked somewhere). The most important thing I discussed, particularly with my daughter, was that while sex could be a mistake, it wasn't something that had to ruin their lives just because they did it.

The result is that my daughter has opted not to have sex yet because she hasn't found someone she's felt close enough to. My son is now engaged his high school sweetheart and both have assured me that there won't be any need for a shot-gun marriage and they won't make me a grandmother before I'm fifty.

I was raised in a household where sex wasn't explained to me (outside of--do this and you'll get pregnant and we'll shame you forever) and where adults made decisions and kids never learned. I greatly resented it and still struggle to "catch up" with adulthood responsibilites after all these years. My one goal with my kids was not to throw them into the depths without at least a clue of what they were getting into. For the most part, especially in the sexual arena, my strategy seems to have worked well.

MelancholyMan
10-08-2008, 07:56 PM
Mainly for parents of girls aged 15 to 19. How did you deal with their growing and changing from children (your baby) into sexual, adult, beings?

I only know from my own experience with my own parents. Given my background people were very reluctant to let me grow up. The whole issue of sex and dating was put off until my late teens.

So how do normal parents, with a normal child, handle it?

The problem is that 1) children are not children, and 2) they don't belong to the parents.

Humans like to compartmentalize. Boxes make life easy. But they are massively skew perception and reality. Childhood is only a stage of life. There is no such thing as a "child" as a separate entity. Children are simply immature humans and normal ones don't stay that way nor should we expect them to.

Secondly, children don't belong to parents any more than a tiger cub belongs to the tigress. If you have kids to complete yourself and then think of them as 'your' kids, you are going to have trouble later, because they ain't yours. Nurturing them is necessary to make them healthy and productive, but they are NEVER yours. And if babies complete you, then get a job where you deal with babies.

Most importantly, there is no such thing as a 'normal' parent or a 'normal' child. They and we are all different. Everyone does things their own way, every kid responds differently, and every family is screwed up in one way or another. The key is to love your children while recognizing they are neither 'yours' and are only at an immature growth state which (hopefully) will not persist, see their success as tantamount to your own, and act accordingly.