D.L. asks from Arlington, TX on May 24, 2008
Advice on How to Handle a Sexually Active 16 Year Old Girl.
My 16 year old daughter was recently found to be sexually active. My husband and I of course are now worried that she will get pregnant. We have decided to take her to the doctor and have put on birth control but we worry that that will only encourage her. She is very smart and knows all the consequences but being a teenager keeps her from using her brain all the time. What advice can anyone give to help us with this without keeping a constant eye on her at all times? We are afraid now to let her go anywhere or to leave her alone.
So What Happened?™
Sorry I'm just now sitting down to write this...I've been incredibly busy since school let out.
Wow! I greatly appreciate everyone's responses. I didn't think I would get so many or that they would be sooo full of good ideas and advice. I had my daughter sit down and read all of your responses. She didn't like it, but she realized (I think) that her mom isn't the only one who thinks the so old fashionedly. We talked at great length and she told me that her boyfriends parents already knew. Of course that leaves me to wonder why they didn't tell us. I plan on having a sit down with them in the near future. I guess my next question would have to be how to handle that?
We have an appointment to see our doctor and I hope to keep the lines of communication between my daughter and my husband and me open. I also would like to thank all of you who understood my meaning of encourage. A better phrase would have been that we don't want her to think that we condone her behavior.
Thanks to all.
C.G. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2008
Now that you know please put her on birth control, it might get her to go ahead but she will not come up pregrent.
A.B. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2008
The only thing you can do is be honest with her. Talk about the reason people have sex, (to show love, have children, etc), tell her it is up to her to respect to her herself and her body and that she doesn't have to have sex to "prove" anything to anyone, and tell her how to keep herself safe. The bottom line is be honest, keep lines of communication open with her, and go from there. Ultimately, massive amounts of research show that teaching youth how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STDs only decreases pregnancy and STDs, it DOES NOT increase sexual activity, and in many cases, it decreases it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Good luck, A.
L.R. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2008
I don't have much advice. My sister who is my baby sister was sexually active at 15 and ended up pregnant. She had her son on her 16th birthday. Her then at the time boyfriend now husband made her drop out of chior. She would have had a chior scholarship had he not done that to her. He doesn't want her to better herself and be better than him. That's the way it's been since before they married. Good luck. I hope you or her don't have to go through that.
M.K. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2008
I can only tell you what I would do and hope that you take none of this offensively.
You only get one chance. They only get one life. It is a priveledge to get to have a car, hang out with your friends and do things we want to do when we are children.
Not wanting to watch her is not an option. REMEMBER you are raising a future mother, wife, adult, and it is your responsibility to do whatever it takes to get her there. WE MAKE THE MISTAKE OF RAISING CHILDREN NOT THINKING OF THEM AS FUTURE ADULTS.You sit her down and tell her that you love her and that you understand that it is not easy to be confronted with these decisions.You have your husband sit with you. I really think the most important part in this is your husband. He needs to take the lead and let her know how much he values her and that he wants her to understand that no boy is worth having her.You have him be honest with her about how he and his friends saw girls who did things like that.Tell her of some of your experiences.( children can appreciate honesty and start to realize that you have had the same experiences.You dont have to give details) The best thing to do to get your point across is ask her to write down what she wants in a future husband & father of her children?( give her some words to think about...honest, faithful, christian, caring, selfless, giving, loving, and explain to her that these are hard to find because to many families don't raise their sons with values and have a double standard about the sexes) They forget they are raising future husbands. Does she want a man who uses women, has had sex with alot of women, and doesn't treat women with respect. Then ask her what she thinks those kinds of men want in their future wives & mothers of their children. Explain to her that you can only attract quality people if you are a quality person yourself. Again have him stress what boys think about girls like this. They sleep with these girls and marry girls who are more reserved. Then you let her know that you are were not given the job of being her parent just to make her happy. You have a duty to make sure she grows up a responsible, safe, educated, moral, honest, productive adult and that you are not her friend. You can be her friend when she is older and is mature enough to handle an adult relationship. Turn to your church or an adult she looks up to that you trust. I would also try and find a place or person that can show her what the consequences actally look like. I have a 13yr old daughter who has a 19yr old sister. They share the same dad. If you can call him that. Unfortunatly the mom was just as uninvolved. She is now the mother of a little girl who is 1 and has one on the way. She is going through a divorce from the dad of the first child and is pregnant by the live in boyfriend. Our children try to and want to please us. SET THE STANDARD NOW AND KEEP ON TOP OF HER. She has proven herself to make irresponsible decisions and you now have to take back some of the freedom you have given until she can prove herself trustworthy. I know this is not easy but I can tell you that she will grow up and understand. WE DONT GET A DO-OVER! They are not equipped to make mature decisions yet. Thats why GOD has given them to us. They need a guide. AGAIN I STRESS... the most important part in this is your husband, little girls need to know that DAD VALUES ME. He needs to take the lead and let her know how much her values her and that he wants her to understand that no boy is worth having her. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS!
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F. answers from Dallas on May 24, 2008
You are not saying whether she has a regular boyfriend or not. We don't know all the information of course, what kind of girl she is, what kind of life she has. But let's say that she's in love with her first boyfriend for example and having sexual relations with him at 16 is a bit young but not shocking. A pregnancy at her age would be. I would definitely advise you to put her on birth control and have a conversation with her (if possible) about sex, love, birth control, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases while we are at it. Birth control is not enough, protection against diseases is also very important.
If you can't have this conversation with her, somebody you both trust may be able to.
I realize that my view may not be shared by other Mamas since I am not Christian and I am pro choice. But I seriously think that you'd better be safe than sorry. I doubt that birth control will encourage her (what are you suggesting about your daughter???), but I am sure that you can't prevent her from having sexual relationships and that a pregnancy at her age would be devastating both for her and for you.
I also realize that it's a very difficult stage for a mother to go through, so I wish you all the best.
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C.R. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2008
Wow. You've gotten quite alot of advice on this subject! Well this is coming from a woman that became sexually active at a very early age. I am now a 44 year old mom with two boys married for 12 years. I know that life is not the same as it once was when I was a young girl but in this area, nothing has changed except maybe for the fact that sex in it's self is more visible and open than years ago. But boys are still boys and girls are still girls and this is nothing new under the sun.
As for the effects of me making this choice, I had much more consquinces than a unwanted pregnancy. As a grown woman I can still feel the effects of my decision emotionally. I suffer from intimacy issues regarding sex that stem from being with boys/men that didn't love me. Now my husband and I both have to deal with those issues. In short I was robbed by my decision and so was my husband. If you daughter was just seeking sexual pleasure, a boy is not needed for that. It's ussaully the need for attention and acceptance is why most girls have sex.
I would try and talk to her openly and honestly on why she feels the need to have sex. I believe if a girl feels comfortable with who she is she doesn't need to give into the pressure of "performing" for a boys affections.
I know that your question is regarding putting her on birth control or not. Something that I can't seem to answer for you situation. My mom did put me on birth control pills after becoming pregnant and it did help me not to become pregnant again but it didn't help me with the cost of giving a saqarde part of myself to someone that would only become a memory in my life.
Something worth considering.
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H.S. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2008
You might want to consider some summer camps that help build self-image in teens. If she has respect for herself and her body maybe she will be less likely to engage in this dangerous way to live. When 1 in every 4 adults has Genital Herpes it's a dangerous world to be sexually active for anyone and teens have a tendency to think they are invincible and not think of the consequences.
I recommend Eagle U (www.eagleu.com) - it is a 6 day 5 night leadership camp for ages 14-25. It is wonderful for teens and young adults who truly want to be successful in life. They teach self image building, confidence, how to interview for jobs, how to get your dream job, how to pick a college, they have a section on dating - it's a great program and would benefit anyone in her age group. It is not an at-risk program but a Leadership Camp for teens & young adults who care about their future. (most teens that go their first time don't want to go and by the time Saturday comes they don't want to leave - it's remarkable) - they have two programs this summer - one in Denton TX in July and one in Los Angeles in August
Another suggestion is JH Ranch (www.jhranch.com) This is a Christian based camp in Northern California which is amazing. My husband and I went to the husband/wife week and it really changed our lives and our marriage. If you are a Christian and would like your daughter to be surrounded by other dedicated Christians this is an amazing opportunity. One reason I was not sexually active as a teenager is because of my faith in God and my relationship with him. The kids that attend this camp leave with an amazing new outlook on life that is immeasureable. We met so many amazing teens there who are a delight to get to know and make really great choices - helped me to have faith in the future of our nation.
I recommend getting her around other teens who are making wise choices and maybe she will pick up on this and find a better path.
2 moms found this helpful
T.K. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2008
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to PRAY!! I do not mean that as a "saying". I mean, get help praying from your church family. If you do not have one, I can recommend First Euless - www.firsteuless.com . Kent Wells is the youth minister there. He is incredible. I have a 16 year old boy and a 12 year old boy - with a 5, 2, and 1 year old as well. There is nothing you can do about what happens when your teen leaves your presence except PRAY and teach them right from wrong. I agree not to condone it with birth control, but you could definitely invite friends over for a long evening that have little ones - more toddler age than newborn. Have her there and let her experience children. That is the best birth control.
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L.N. answers from Dallas on May 26, 2008
I'm a teacher and have dealt with many middle school and high school pregnancies. Without fail everyone of them who comes back to visit regrets the choices they made and they often ask to speak to my class about not getting pregnant. I would advise the 2 of you doing some volunteer work together for a crisis pregancy center in the area. Also, if she isn't working, maybe she could get a job in a daycare or volunteer in a similar setting. Churches, school counselors and teen shelters can also offer lots of support! I pray that you will find just the right help for your daughter!
1 mom found this helpful
A.W. answers from Dallas on May 27, 2008
I didn't have time to read everything so I hope I'm not repeating. I started young and all my Dad did was throw AIDS pamphlets at me and my Mom didn't care what I did. I did get AIDS test ever 6 months but it didn't stop me from being careless. It would have been better if he had tried contacting the Fort Worth AIDS outreach to see if I could spend some time with someone living with AIDS then I would have used condoms. I was lucky and couldn't get pregnant when I was a kid but believe me I tried. I know for me I was looking for Love and Affection so I know I could have used counseling. I'm not saying I would have stopped but I would have made better choses and learn to love me. Do what you can to make sure she is safe and stays baby free.
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T.L. answers from Dallas on May 24, 2008
This must be a very tough time for your family, I am so sorry. I don't think there is a formula to follow that can make this all better but perhaps another view. BC is critical and the reality of it is she did not ask permission to have sex. You can still let her know it is not okay. You can't watch her 24/7, though we want to protect them, this is not real. You can talk statistics but to a teen - "this will never happen to me" is the thought. Perhaps a trip to Edna Gladney like the other mom suggested may make an impression. Anger may not have an impact but perhaps disappointment will? Let her know you worry that she does not value herself and concerned about low self-esteem. She will probably think you are crazy but ask how many boys will she fall for and give into her physical/emotional desires. Is there a place where she draws the line? Teens can go through boyfriends quickly, when does she say no? Then of course you have STD and even if she doesn't get HIV or AIDS, there are so many other things.
I wish you the best and hope your darling daughter will see this can only cause her pain later.
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