Discussing sex and sexual problems with teenagers can be a daunting task, especially for parents. The way media venues depict sex and sexuality has shaped societal perceptions and created an openness that was a lot more muted when I was a woman. When my daughter was on the point of enter middle school I felt we needed to have a discussion on the ramifications and risks associated with sex. My daughter had already explained in regards to a fourteen year old girl she knew was pregnant and that a thirteen year old peer who had already had an STD twice. This last bit of information have been garnered in the sex education curriculum the institution district used within ‘health’ in the sixth grade for children whose parents gave permission for their child to attend the class.
Opening and sustaining a shared dialog between teens and a parent is paramount as, developmentally and emotionally, most teens are somewhere between adolescence and adulthood whatever their chronological age. Serious discussions, especially concerning peers or social-emotional issues should be approached carefully. The key is to not alienate teenagers by minimizing the value of these knowledge or experience, to be casual instead of demanding, not to lecture, also to include them in the discussion. Parents have to listen together with talk no matter what the topic of a discussion is they are having with their sons and daughters.
To make sure I was well informed and able to take on this task I did so research on the Internet and at the neighborhood public library. I garnered information from the neighborhood chapter of Planned Parenthood and the County Health Department. I got statistics on teen pregnancy, http://brooklynescortsnow.com single parents, along with other data from the Kansas Kids Count book. All states collect statistical data by city, county, township, and provide that data through some type of written source. At that point I felt ready to sit down and attempt to talk to my daughter, hoping she wouldn’t be too embarrassed to talk to her ‘mother’.
I waited until my son, who was simply ten at the time, was on a camping trip with his Boy Scout troop. My husband worked second shift and was at the job. I was watching a movie with my daughter on television and I casually introduced the subject of boys, asking if she had a boyfriend. I was well aware that parents tend to be the last to know whenever a child has her first boyfriend. Although my daughter didn’t have a boyfriend yet, she added that she didn’t want a boyfriend because guys expected the girl to give up all her friends, didn’t want them to have other regular friends who have been boys, and just wanted sex, whether that was oral sex or physical copulation. She had learned this from a close girlfriend who was dealing with her first boyfriend and who had confided in my own daughter, needing someone to talk to.
This is the opening I have been looking forward to. First I told my daughter that I wasn’t trying to insinuate she had engaged in heavy petting or sex, and I wasn’t trying to lecture, that I simply wanted to make sure she had the tools and knowledge needed if she were ever attracted to a man physically or emotionally. I told her to jump in and correct me if she felt I were wrong or misguided about anything, to let me know easily was making her feel uncomfortable, also to share any information that she might have since my intent had not been to lecture or coerce.
I talked about the lengths many boys would head to get physical which included telling the lady he loved her and could not cheat on her and when she loved him she would take part in a sexual act with him, or threatening to break up with the girl if she’d not surrender to his sexual advances. My daughter added that a peer had also suffered through the experience of having a guy tell his friends and male peers at school that they had “oral sex”, an act which had not even taken place.
This in turn resulted in a discussion on how a girl might respond to a similar situation. I gave my sympathy for what another girl was going right through by stating that lie needed to be very painful for the girl. I also explained that many guys, during their teen years often liked to brag about their conquests whether real or implied, to be able to convince peers of these sexual prowess. We discussed some options my daughter’s friend might take, which included ignoring the guy and some of his friends who might make advances or snide remarks, to inform the guy that she feels sorry that he has to lie as a way to feel important, or simply tell him she is not even going to dignify his lie with a reply.
My daughter responded that when it just happened to her she’d tell the guy loudly and in front of his friends, “maybe in your dreams” with heavy sarcasm. This is among teenage bravado, something that could hold my daughter along with other teens in good stead. I agreed that creating embarrassment for a young man might work. By having a mutual and open dialog from the very beginning, I could interject a plethora of information. My daughter added little tidbits and asked some very intelligent questions.
At one point I stressed to my daughter that I hoped she would wait until marriage and that I was not condoning sexual activity beyond marriage. I added that I was aware that I would haven’t any control over any decision she’d eventually make regarding any sex or when she thought we would become sexually active and that my main goal was to get ready her for that eventuality. We discussed different sexually transmitted diseases and their symptoms, even though kids locally had received a few of that information during sex education.
My daughter brought up the main topic of peers who took alternate precautions to avoid an unwanted pregnancy because the male did not desire to wear a prophylactic. I was then in a position to let her understand that the sexual ‘myths’ that lots of uninformed teens believe certainly are a complete fallacy. Those myths included utilizing the rhythm method would dramatically reduce the odds of an unwanted pregnancy, as would getting the young man grab of the girl’s body before ejaculating, and learning when the fertile part of the girl’s cycle using body temperature, etc. to ensure they did not take part in sex during that time period.
I was asked about oral sex and if the act was sex, by itself? My response was that yes, this was a sexual act that served to safeguard the guy from having a girl get pregnant, but that it’s degrading to the lady and disrespectful. The girl could still get STDs like herpes and Chlamydia and AIDS, as could the guy, based on how promiscuous both parties had been in the past. It was through the discussion on oral sex that I learned that a significant large numbers of my daughter’s peers were participating in that sexual act as a way to “pleasure their boyfriends rather than get pregnant.”
I talked to my daughter, and later, my son, concerning the different kinds of love including infatuation, hormonal, lust, love for someone of the contrary sex that has been non-sexual, and the deep emotional love that is included with the maturity of adulthood. I explained that a relationship, at any age, can rarely be sustained for any length of time if it is built primarily on sex, which was also one major reason many relationships result in divorce court or separation and abandonment if the couple isn’t married.
Last, I asked my daughter to take into account weighing any future decisions she might consider regarding sex very carefully, considering all the advantages and disadvantages. To use protection as a means of avoiding STDs also to combine the usage of a prophylactic with a foam or other contraceptive as a prophylactic can be, or become damaged. I also informed her I knew she’d never arrived at me with the information that she was going to engage in sex but that I would let her then twenty-six year old half sister understand that she had my permission to help her get contraceptive pills at that time. I did so include the information that abstinence may be the only guarantee she wouldn’t get an STD or have a baby.