January 15, 2008,
M.C. asks from Ithaca, NY on December 30, 2007
15 Yr Old Son and Sexual Activity
My son is 15 and is becoming sexually active. However, I know this only because I have read his IM and text messages to his girlfriend. The stuff he says shocks me. I have tried to talk to him about this in the past but he lies (which I did not know at the time) and says he has only kissed (or with the new GF) not kissed at all. I know this is the average age for teen boys to start engaging in sexual activity but my question is really about how to talk to him about it. 1st because i know only because I was "snooping" and second how to get a teen to understand about the nuances of relationships and sexuality. My first thought was to ground him for 3 years, but clearly that is not going to work!
So What Happened?™
Thank you for all your comments. I had a frank discussion with my son about his activities and his readiness, both physically and psychologically for the responsibilities of sexual activity. I also talked with him about going to the Dr. to get tested.
D.C. answers from New York on December 31, 2007
Have his Dad talk to him. It should not have to be about specifics--just general information, health issues, safety and being a good "guy".
N.C. answers from New York on January 01, 2008
I first want to say that I use to teach sex ed to teens when I was a teen myself. So I know a bit about how kids will laugh and act silly when you talk to them about sex. See if there is a program in your area that he could go and get info on sex. Let him know that you just want to educate him on the topic and your not trying to run or ruin(which most teens think) his life. I think you should supply him with protection and let him know that he WILL go and see a doctor regulary and get tested for STD's so as to be a responsible person. Responsible for himself and the girl he likes. A lot of teens don't go to doctors until they are in trouble. Try to relate sexual responsiblities to something that he likes(ie sports, music, playing video games, etc.)
Finally you should talk to him about love. That is the part of sex education that parents can only teach their kids. I would end my discussions to kids by telling them to go home and talk to their parents about love. Makes it easy to segway into sex ed and responsibility as a sexualy active person.
Hope this helps!!!
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K.H. answers from Buffalo on December 31, 2007
The best advice I ever saw was from my brother....he simply said to his sons....look, If and when the time comes, help yourself to the condoms in the drawer. He physically opened it a showed them it was FULL of assorted types, brands....even colors, all loose in the drawer. They could take a couple and nobody would ever notice any missing. There was an assortment. He told them to ALWAYS have two with them...He reached in grabbed a few and handed them to each and walked away, not giving them time to react.
He'd refill it by a few handfuls here and there....making sure to keep it so full that they were not embarrassed to be "sneaking a few". And eventually there was even a pattern of which ones they preferred.
Obviously it would be better coming from a guy....like a shared secret hiding place of loose condoms.
So, it costed him a dozen boxes of condoms to start. It spared them the need to lie about their sex lives and gave them a safety net too.
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A.M. answers from Albany on January 02, 2008
Once My Mom looked through my diary and I was heart-broken when I found out. It took a long time for me to forgive her..I understand now as a mother it was, because she was concerned for me.......try telling that to a 13 year old. So I'm sure this is just as hard with a 15 year old. When he's alone in his room go in state your feelings about sex and then let him know that although you're not agreeing with sexual activity you still want him to know that it's always OK to come to you for support(emotional), and that you strongly advise in safe forms of sex.
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J.G. answers from New York on December 31, 2007
He will respect you more if you approach him and speak to him like an adult. Unfortunately you can't be with him all the time to make sure he is not having so the best thing would be to teach him about safe sex. Let him know about diseases and pregnancy and actually give him condoms. He may be grossed out by it but it will stick. Good luck!
R.C. answers from New York on December 31, 2007
I tend to think it's time to sit your boy down and talk openly about love, relationships, sex, HIV, AIDS, safe sex, masturbation and the responsibilites that comes with
making girls pregant and all the changes all the above will make in his life and how it would effect everyone else around him.
Then give him books and other written info to back up what you have told him and ask him to read it all and answer all his questions. Ask him what he thinks and feels about it all...and listen.
Take your time and cover it all...If at first he doesn't seem interested in talking about it, it may be because he isn't comfortable talking about it with his MOM...but keep talking to him....help him to feel comfortable talking with you.
A.R. answers from New York on January 15, 2008
I have a 15 year old son also. He has a "girlfriend" for about 1 year. Im sure they have kissed. But I have no proof of anything else. But I explained the risks involved,
when and if they have sex. Teenage parents and more importantly, the life altering or even fatal diseases he is at risk for. He is very closed mouthed about his relationship. But I feel that constant communication on my part will stick in his head, and hopefully help him make the right choices.
J.Z. answers from New York on December 31, 2007
First, that was brave to ask this question. It must be hard. However, if you talk to him, perhaps it can be approached from your experiences in dating and what it feels like as a girl/woman. What it means to be respected and treated kindly. And, perhaps you can have his father or another male adult figure speak to him about what they have learned. This way there is no accusation making him feel defensive. He doesn't have to lie, and he is able to hear other's experiences. All the best of luck.
R.B. answers from New York on December 31, 2007
Grounding him for three years isn't going to help. Just tell him you know you can't watch him 24/7, so you would like him to use protection even though you don't approve of his sexual activity right now. Is there anyway your husband can have a talk with him? Also, tell him he doesn't want to become a parent at an early age, so you would like him to be careful and to focus on finishing high school at least. Hope this advice helps you.