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Needing Advice on How to Handle Daughter Having Sex

I found out last night that my daughter and her boyfriend of 1 yr has been having sex for a month now. My husband had come home in the afternoon while they was at our home and totally surprised them. When I came home from work I asked her what had happened and she came out and told me what they had been up to and how long it has been going on.
I felt totally betrayed and I feel I have failed as her mother because I have alway's talked about what can happen and how to prevent pregnancy if she would just come to me to get what she needed before anything went that far. I alway's wanted that because my mom never told me about anything and I ended up pregnant at 13. I know I cant stop it from happeneing, but we can take an extra step in preventing any unwanted pregnancy's. I just want my daughter to be smart about the entire process of having sex and what is involved in the entire thing. She said they used condoms every time they did. I expained to her they are not alway's safe. I explainded to her that it could have a hole in it or even break and that she need extra protection just in case. I'm going to taking her to see the Dr. and get some type of birthcontrol so that she doesn't ruin her life by having any unexpected surprises. I need some advise on how I should handle the entire thing. If I need to ground her and how long, if I should make her break up with her boyfriend. I feel if I make her break up with him she'll rebel and see him anyway behind our backs.
Please help I need your advise soon.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I want to start by thanking all you out there that responded to my question. Alot of you told me exactly what I already had in mind, but just needed altiite reasurance to how I should handle the situation. There is defently a circle of friends here.
My daughter & I have had several little talks and we have come to a understanding about what is in store for her now that she has crossed that line into womanhood. We will be visiting the Dr. tomarro to go thru the whole process of talking to a profesional and about all of the options out there to prevent anything in the future. I told her she can go in by herself or I would be right by herside. She understands that she can never go back but she can look forward from this point on. I spoke with the boys mother and we have a understanding about what is exspected from both of our children. She is a great lady and we have alot of the same values. They understand the rules have changed, and we have to instill that trust issue again.
I can say I'm truly happy that my daughter does have love in her life and is not just doing it with the boy nextdoor just because everyone else is doing it. She understands that it's not something you just give to someone or let them take from you, but a gift you want to give to someone you love.

Featured Answers

hi B.
i'm only a new mother but i really think you're handling this situation like a pro. as far as making her break up with her b/f that's probably not the best road to take cause she will rebel. is her attitude changed? school? if not then i wouldn't worry just take the proper precautions. just think it could be worse at least she's been with the same guy for a while.

Hi B., you are saying it all and that's all you can do. Take her to the Dr. and get some birthcontrol and like you said earlier tell her about how life would be if she has an unwanted pregnancy. Keeping her grounded and making her break up with her boyfriend will make matters worse. Everything you say to her is going in one ear and not coming out the other. She may fuss with hearing you tell her about it but when she's not with you, she'll hear and see what you are saying. Keep at her. Good luck!

I agree that you are lucky that she is comfortable talking to you about such a thing. The only advice I have is to opt for the nuva ring or depo because thats how I wound up a teen mom, not taking the pill at the exact time every day. Goodluck

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Dear B.- Ok, I've read most of the previous posts, and I'm dumbfounded by the fact that nearly every one is mainly concerned with this young woman's physical well being, but say so little about her emotional, social and spiritual well being. I offer no judgement or condemnation for anyone invloved, but I must say I'm puzzled that the physical aspect is the only one that gets any consideration. When we give our hearts away, and especially when the relationship is "sealed" with physical intimacy, there is an extremely strong bond that is formed. Very powerful chemicals are released in our brains (seratonin and dopamine, for example) that cause us to feel the euphoria that we all know as young love. It feels great! But if our children are seeking the "feeling" of love, without the necessary maturity and life experience, they are being set up to be hurt. It is a rare young couple who falls in love in their mid teens, and end up spending their entire lives together. The resulting break up and re-bonding and break up pattern sets them up for a future of sadness and and hampers our ability to form truly trusting, meaningful, life-long loving relationships. For these reasons, and many others, I'm urging my teenage daughters (and my son, too) not to "give their hearts away" too soon. My 17 year old has been asked out on dates, but as yet has declined, (with a gentle smile) saying that she'd rather wait till she's closer to marrying age. Most guys have been intrigued and impressed, and she has made a lot of great friendships this way. We haven't set any of those boundaries for her- it's okay with me if she dates now - but she has decided on her own to wait. I guess I'm not saying this stuff for your particular sake, B.- but for those moms who may read this whose daughters and sons are still little ones. I think you've handled this situation really well, and I applaud your obvious love and concern for your dear daughter, as well as the patience and wisdom that you have shown. I guess my advice to you now would be to spend tons of time with your daughter, reassuring her of your love and acceptance. Enter her world, and remind her that she is and always will be your treasured daughter, regardless of any choices that she makes. I agree with other moms that trying to make her break up would be fruitless and probably cause her to resent you a lot. If possible, perhaps you could try to get to know her boyfriend better, and ask both of them to spend time with you as a family- playing cards, games, whatever. The better he knows you, the more respect he will have for you, and ultimately your daughter. This is a tough situation, but not one that is unforgivable or irredeemable. So take a deep breath, put a smile on your face, and go tell your daughter that you love her. Blessings to you and your family.

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I think if you ground her it will only make matters worse. I think that now that she has made the decision that she is going to have to prove she is going to be able to handle the consequences. It sounds like you have talked a lot about what she plans to do if she did get pregnant. How do you feel about the options that are out there? How does she feel about them? I would tell her that God created sex to have fun with and enjoy because he meant it for married couples and if they were going to stay together they needed something fun and to procreate as well. Also that it isn't that it is bad to have sex, but that the consequences are a lifetime. Whether she keeps a baby, has an abortion or gives the baby up for adoption these are all very difficult situation to handle. It is hard enough for adults to deal with this stuff how is she going to deal with it. Also that to not have sex you really learn if you love the person. Sex confuses the issue. The feelings you get because of sex even if it's kissing make you think you are in love but that isn't it. When you have sex it is the most intimate thing you can do with another person so to protect yourself from being hurt you make sure you are going to be with that person so you can trust to give that gift to them. Also people who have sex before marriage bring a lot of baggage to their marriages that all play out and if the marriage isn't strong it will destroy it. Those are just a few things to discuss and get her thinking. Make sure she knows that you think sex is great and that you can't wait for her to be able to do it but when she can handle all the above stuff. I talked with my cousin about this stuff and she is still a virgin turning 18. It got her thinking and put the ball in her court to make the responsible decision. If she decides to continue then I would have her get on birth control and pay for it. That's part of the responsibility. Be Blessed.

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I started having sex at a young age (16 - I didn't think it was young at the time but now I do) and told my mom about a month into it. She took me to the doctor and got me put on birth control pills right away. That was all fine but what my mother didn't do was talk to me about sexually transmitted diseases. It was just all about "don't get pregnant". And while I never got pregnant I did end up with an STD that I will have for the rest of my life. I just want you to push both of these issues because they are both important. I don't know if this helps you - I just want to make sure that I don't make the same mistake with my children.

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Sorry but I disagree with what is being said on the board. While you can not change what has happened and I certainly do not think it is your fault. However, I would not condone the behavior by getting her birth control! If either you or a close relative or friend that she is comfortable with could share the negative aspects and experiences that come along with pre-marital sex with her it may be helpful. 16 is to young to be having sex!! I would not forbid her to see him however I would advise his parents of what is happening and work together to ensure that their visits are supervised by you or his family. She is a child still uncapable of fully understanding the impacts of an std or caring for a child and loosing the rest of her own young adulthood.

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I will start my post by saying I know I am the exception and not the rule BUT, why is it expected that teenagers will have sex? I am one of 4 girls in my family and my parents put out the expectation that we would wait until we were married to have sex - 3 out of 4 of us did. I was 33 (now almost 40) when I got married and a virgin until my wedding night. Again - the exception not the rule - I KNOW. I know another post said that parents pat themsleves on the back for their kids not having sex - well, it has to start there. If we as parents keep telling ourselves and our kids that "I know you're going to do it...", where's the insentive not to? B. - you are doing an AWESOME job as a mom and have obviously built a strong honest relationship with your daughter. I would just strongly suggest to IN ADDITION to getting her to the doctor and on some kind of birthcontrol and STD education - also getting her and her boyfriend to a center (mentioned in another post) that can give them abstinance education. There are a lot of success stories out there of kids who started having sex and actually making an informe decision to stop once that had ALL the information. The only 100% birth control and STD prevention is not having sex. Everything else is taking a chance. I will now get off my soap box! Good luck in all your endevors.

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Sounds like you're handling this very well. Thank goodness you have always been open with her about birth control and sex. I just wonder -- do the boyfriend's parents know? I think you should talk to them too if you haven't already. They may have something to say about it and need to talk to their son about safety. He needs a medical check-up too.

Beyond that, I would talk to your child's doctor and possibly a Planned Parenthood counselor about how YOU should be handling things from here on out. On that, I would be clueless -- I would feel really wrong about allowing them to continue having sex with my blessing, but on the other hand, they're just going to do it anyway. That's why the boyfriend's parents need a chance to weigh in.

I dread these days when my daughter gets older and we are dealing with these things. I would advise taking her to a Planned Parenthood Clinic. I know there is controversy surrounding them, but in reality they just want people to be proactive and informed about every decision they make. The counselors there are amazing and can answer any questions she may not feel comfortable asking you. They can also provide birth control pills and pelvic exams. Every family is different. So you will have to do what is right for you guys. I would certainly let her know that you are hurt, because she did not come to you. I would keep the line of communication open. Just make sure she has all of the facts and understands clearly the rules in your home. I would also like to mention condoms do not protect against everything. There are STDs (or STIs as the new terminology dictates) that are transmitted via skin to skin contact (i.e. herpes, some versions of genital warts also called HPV among others). Good Luck to you!

Wow, you are lucky that you can talk to your daughter about this subject. It' s got to be heartbreaking to discover this. Getting her to a dr. for check ups and birth control is a good thing. Grounding her and making her break up with her boyfriend may be useless but making him accountable and sitting down with him could prove to be a positive step (or not!) in hearing how he feels about your daughter and making him accountable for his actions too. I just don't like the fact that this is all on your daughter and it is happening in your home - where else would they have sex or where else have they had it? I would also just reiterate that what they are doing may feel good but comes with a lot of responsibility and potential complications - can she handle that responsibility? Every birth control method has some risk involved. And it certainly isn't too late to reiterate the moral issue of waiting until marriage - sure it's a little late to try and get that notion to stick, but she has to know that you don't approve of this. It's so sad to see that there is such a presence in tv shows and magazines to have sex, dress sexy, etc.... it's all over. It's no wonder so many teens are having sex earlier and earlier! Good luck with this!

You are doing just what you should be doing. I have a 21 yr. old, and it's a fact of life. Some parents take credit for their child's "no sex" until I am ready vow, but they are just patting themselves on the back for no reason. It is a personal choice that they will make, regardless of what your family values are, how you raised them, etc. Self-control can be practiced, but when they get into these young relationships, especially your daughter who has been with this boy for a year, I think as parents, we hope it isn't happening, but we know that eventually it will. I'm sure you are feeling hurt that she didn't come to you in the first place, but the important thing is that she needs you now and you may not agree with what you are doing by taking her for birth control, but you are right. It has to be done at this point to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. There are so many moral issues that can be argued, but the fact still remains that whether you ground her, forbid her to see him, or whatever crazy thing you think is going to prevent it from happening again, it will. That doesn't mean you can't tell her how you feel as her mother. She needs your guidance and your love, but it's obvious she didn't need your approval, so feel free to express it! At this point, she may not listen, but I think it will make you feel better, and it is important for her to hear how you feel, so she knows. Good luck!

I feel for you. My mother didn't speak to me much, but to say that she knew I would wait. Then she turned a blind eye to all the clues. Oh well, water under the bridge.

What has happened has happened. Sit down with her and explain that you are disappointed she didn't come to you and talk about it. But what is done is done and that can't be changed. Explain that you have made an appointment with a doctor and you will be going with her. You won't go in with her, but you will take her. Explain that she has a variety of options and maybe for someone her age you might consider a shot or implants.

I would also tell her that there are lines she has crossed by doing this behind your back and these are things that you will have to discuss and re-establish. Think about what you want to set in place and then tell her that these are the rules. Explain that she has crossed into very dangerous territory and unwanted pregnancies aren't the only thing she needs to worry about. AIDS is a serious disease and not just something you find in the homesexual community. There are many diseases that can really harm her for life as well. HPV for one can cause certain cancers.

At any rate, you will need to try to re-establish a line of communication. Maybe be frank with her and discuss what she thinks about the future. If she thinks it is okay to have sex with all the boys she will date in the next few years. Ask her if she wants to get married knowing that she has a whole score of men in her past that won't be her husband. Ask her what her thoughts on sex are. How does she feel about different sex acts and that she knows she can get diseases by oral sex as well. She needs to know the facts and what she's gotten herself into. She also needs to know that she can talk to you and that it is best to believe what you are telling her rather than what her friends will tell her.

Good luck.

Hi, B.. While it must be very hard to learn that your teenage daughter is having sex, it sounds like she is actually being responsible about it, using a condom every time. It's true that no birth control method is 100% effective, but that is the ONLY one that will also protect against STDs. Sounds like she is a pretty smart kid. If it's specifically birth control you're after, getting her a prescription for the Pill might not be a bad idea, but you should encourage her to continue using condoms for disease prevention and that "extra" help.

I can understand your concern, since you ended up pregnant at a very young age, but try to understand that your daughter is her own person. She is your daughter, of course, but it sounds like you both have your heads on straight and can have a calm, adult conversation about what happens next. At 16 to have had the same boyfriend for a year already is pretty darn stable - not a bad thing, as long as he is good to her.

Best of luck to both of you!


So far you are doing the right thing by talking to her about the perils of getting pregnant (and possibly a disease). I think you are right when you stated that she will rebel if you try to get them to break up - it seems to be ingrained in teenagers genes to do the exact opposite of what parents say. My suggestion is to not ground her as this will most likely accomplish nothing but only cause her to not come to you with important issues like this. I think it is more important to know what is going on with your daughters life (even if it horrifies you ) than to have her alienate you and hide things from you. Get her on birth control and make sure that she knows that she can talk to you about this, also your doctor might know of a program or class that your daughter can attend that can teach her more about teen pregnancy and how her age group is at such a high risk for STD's. All I have to say is good luck - my girls are only 5 & 3 and I am already dreading the day that I have to do exactly what you are doing, but we all have to do it and as long as our kids are educated about sex I think they have a better shot in the long run!

This is a tricky one. As difficult as it may seem, I think you need to switch tactics. Instead of pushing a stop-stop-stop attitude (you are right, she will resist you and do what she wants anyway), try getting onto her side and finding out what SHE thinks she needs to do to be safe. I know a couple where the girl's parents really enforced a "STOP THIS!" attitude, and the boy's parents just educated him helpfully so that he would make wise decisions. They were a couple for 8 months before initiating intimacy, and it was the girl's decision after a particularly harrowing session with her parents telling her NOT to. When she left home for college she ended up going crazy, being promiscuous (ended up having several abortions), and drinking up a storm. The boy didn't do this at all.

Something like "I realize you've made this decision on your own, and I just want to find out what you need - that I may need to help you get - to keep this safe." You may then be able to encourage her to do more research, so she makes even better decisions, without her feeling like she has to rally against your enforced decisions.

B., As mothers we tend to feel guilty when our children make different choices than we would have wanted them to. Actually I think you should pat yourself on the back for several good reasons. First your daughter used condoms which many teens do not do so she had protected herself from an STD (sexually transmitted disease) and pregnancy. You have also had a very candid conversation with her both before and after and that doesn't usually happen either. Hooray for you I say! Other than that if your daughter makes her own choice there is not much left to do. She has the independence now to do as she pleases.

Some other good news is that she is with a boy of one year in a relationship rather than random sex which many kids are doing. She has obviously absorbed the fact that you and your husband have been married 22 years and the importance of that.

I think you are correct to take her to a dr. and get more permanent birth control and make sure she knows she still needs condoms for STD's. Get your doctor to give her the HPV vaccine which guards again Human Papilomavirus the most common cause of cervical cancer. Arm her with information and even let the doctor tell her. Girls need to know that the more partners they have with unprotected sex the more they are affecting their future health and fertility.

Good luck and I think you sound like an awesome mother. I would not punish her but keep lines of communication open. She will continue to come to you with questions and you can still have some input if she comes to you. If she turns you off you have no line of communication.

I just think girls need to realize the importance of an education, not having a baby too young and limiting their life's dreams.


Actually, it sounds like your daughter is pretty comfortable with talking to you about it so you should feel great about that. And it sounds like she did listen a bit since they used something rather than nothing. I am not looking forward to my girls becoming teens just for this reason. It is a scary time. Honestly, I think grounding her or making her break up could cut into any communication and may make her sneak around. If you are able to talk to her about it without having a shouting match, take a time out and go somewhere mom & daughter only. Talk to her about it and make sure she understands it all. Also, make sure she understands that having her set up to take extra protection isn't saying to go out and have sex any time. This would really open any communication gaps and make your relationships stronger. Also, dad needs to keep channels open. You don't mention his raction but dads tend to be a lot more protective and many choose the shouting route. He should be part of this too but maybe separately. I hope this helps. Good Luck.

It's not the worst thing in the world that your daughter is sexually active. It's certainly not a reflection on your parenting skills - if anything, her using a condom reflects some good common sense. Plus, she's dated the guy for a year. I know the pregnancy issue scares the daylights out of you, but you are doing the responsible thing by taking her to the OB/GYN.

My mother (despite the revolving door on her bedroom, but I digress) used to scream at me and lecture me when I was your daughter's age and expressed even the least bit of interest in having sex. I ended up thinking that sexual desires were a punishable offense instead of a natural part of growing up. I'm not going to tell you how to raise your kid, but you might want to withhold any punitive measures:)

Good luck!

Hi B.,

What shocking and scary information to now have! But I must admit, waiting nearly a year before they "went all the way" is very impressive. And it's not like she's sleeping with everyone in the school or anything. She's in a committed relationship and this seems like, albeit early, a natural next step for them.

I think you should ABSOLUTELY take her in to the doctor for an exam and a good talk and probably a prescription for birth control with a stern talk that this does not mean they stop using condoms.

And then just let her continue to explore this new side of herself with her boyfriend. I wouldn't encourage it necessarily, or make time or room for them to get it on. But they've already pulled the trigger. The only thing you can do now is be there for her when/if she wants to ask questions or talk about stuff. Make sure she's comfortable being in a sexual relationship and explain to her that if she ever feels used or exploited or asked to do something she's not comfortable with she should absolutely say no.

Your next intervention should be if/when this relationship is over. It's THEN that you explain to her that just because she's had sex doesn't mean she keeps having it. That she chose, very responsibly, to have sex within a committed relationship with someone she loved. And that love is an essential ingredient to sex so she should wait for that opportunity again.

I'm actually very proud of you. You've obviously done a great job with your daughter. I know it hurts and that you feel awful and afraid. You are so entitled to that! But it could be so much worse as you well know. Treat her like the little woman she is, but also be there for her and understand when she still needs to be a kid.

Good luck!

Ouch. I totally can relate my daughter will be 20 next month and she was born a month after my 18th birthday. When she was almost 18 I found a pregnancy test in her bedroom. What was worse was her boyfriend wasnt even 16! Until my daughter was with this guy she was so loving and sweet. Having sex changes something. She hated the family- mostly me and was so rebelious. She left home- twice. Once before she graduated and lived at her boyfriends home for over a week before coming home- who allows there 16 year old son to have his 18 year girlfriend stay there?? As soon as I found my daughters test I did lecture her about the age thing but I also took her to the OB and got her the pill. How mature- she is having sex acting like an adult and I am paying for the pill. I only did that so long. Punishment doesnt help. But advise her you can not trust her- get someone to watch the house so she is not alone to have intercourse etc.. give her extra responsibilities and spend some mom and daughter time together- good luck.

Hi B.,

I agree with all the other moms! you are are doing great with your dagihter..i also agree that you should not pnish or make her break up with her boyfriend, it will justmake her want to sneak around. Also if you take her to get birthcontrol, like the pill, let her know not to stop using condoms, becuase the pill does not prevent STD's. Keep the lines of comunication open with your daughter so she can trust you with whatever is oing on in her life.

Best of luck!

Wow I dread the day i have to deal with that. YOU DID NOT FAIL HER - there's only so much a parent can do and you cannot STOP her from having sex. You are doing the right thing by getting her B/C and making sure she understands she needs to be safe from disease as well. The only other thing you can do is tell her you don't approve and that it is ABSOLUTELY forbidden in your home and there will be consequences if they ever do it ther again. You got to at least make it difficult for them but you cannot stop them and grounding will not help. Just keep educating her make sure she has the tools but at the same time don't condone it. Good luck.

I feel for you and will be praying!

Be honest and receptive. Allow her the opportunity to speak openly.

Hi B.,
I think it sounds like you are doing exactly what you should be doing! You and your daughter have an honest relationship (even if she didn't come to you before she and her boyfriend had sex). I feel if you ground her or yell etc. you will cancel out any opportunity for her to be honest with you in the future.
It sounds like you are doing a great job with being open and honest on your side and she is being honest (just not as open as you would want).
Keep talking with her, she is listening! Best wishes!


It's unfortunate that you're in that situation. My husband got mad at me when I told our son (who's now 20) that if he ever got a girl pregnant he was expect to be a father to the child and help the mother of his child in every way no ifs ands or buts about it, and that welfare was not an option. He thought I was playing, but when he say the look on my face, he knew better. I also told him that whenever a young lady told him she loved him in the heat of passion, to step back and take her home as soon as possible no matter how difficult it is to do so or to use a condom.

We can't control their emotions, just pray alot and let God watch over them.

I lost my virginity to my high school sweetheart at 16 and I've never regreted it. He was my first love and it was very special. My parents found out, were irate, felt betrayed, gave me a lecture and forbid me from seeing him. (I did anyway of course) In retrospect they now feel they handled the situation all wrong and would have done things differently. (My dad is an ObGyn so he is very familiar with what can happen!!) Anyway, my point is, it's going to happen sometime and I think 16 it a "normal" age...especially now-a-days. And it happened with someone she loves. The fact that they used a condom sounds incredibly responsible. Remember what it feels like to be young and in love. Educate her as to the possible consequences (you have) and taking her to the doc can't hurt. I remember those days so clearly and what I would have given for my parents to just understand that I was in love and it was a beautiful thing. Good luck. :)

I do not envy your situation, but it seems you are handling it much better than I could imagine. I'm surprised your husband didn't go ballistic, kudos to him too.

Definitely, take her to the doctor, perhaps you should include her boyfriend. She will need to be tested for exposure to HPV (the virus related to genital wart and cervical cancer) as this may be her first encounter, but not his. These two need to learn not only about birth control and STD prevention, but possible long term consequences. Their decision to sexually active does not have to be completely negative, but as with everything, a time to learn.

You and your husband should have a sit down with these 2, and consider including his parents. Now that the cat is out of the bag, there should still be ground rules, this young man needs to have respect for you, your home and your daughter.

good luck! Stay proactive & positive.

Well, grounding and forcing a break up is not going to help the situation in fact it will push her to do other things to spite you. Try to get her more involved in activities that are supervised, but fun. Pick some she is interested and find other parents who could arrange for rides and such. It is hard, but be completely open with your own experiences too. Have her visit a place where young mothers are and have them tell of their experiences with pregnancy and the hardships of being a young mother. Take her to a clinic that talk about sex and stds. Having her more educated will help and trying to be more involved in her life will help too when you can. It is hard when you have to work a lot, but know that she is your priority right now and needs you the most. Do things together so she has not time for the other!!!! Good luck!

Dear Brenfa, I hope you will read my message, though I am writing it kind of late. First, I would like to say I admire that you and your daughter can have such honest conversation. Second, I admite the kids for using condoms! Give your daughter a credir for that. I read some of the previous responces and I agree that if you put your daughter on BC she might stop using the condoms a get an STD. Here is the advice, make a suggestion to your daughter if you decide to put her on BC not to tell her boyfriend about it, so they keep using comdoms (he will think it is the only protection they have), so there is no temptation to stop using them. Please keep a supply of condoms available to her. If she is in love you can sertainly talk about abstinence, self esteem, love and all other stuff but make sure your baby is protected. Just take a deep breath the boy is the first, but probably not the last one, so do not make them brake up. Forbidden fruit is always the sweetest one. Plus, your daughter will not confide in you ever again.

I agree with the other moms, you did handle this quite well!
I also think you should talk to the boyfriend's parents, hopefully this will not be the first time meeting them. And definitely take her to a doctor or clinic.
One thing I would suggest is to try to find other ways to occupy her time. It worries me that they have the house alone for a few hours until the parents get home from work. If given that opportunity, they probably will "do it anyway" as you say. But what about doing other activities, together or apart?
Are there any sports or clubs she would join? Maybe a part-time job? Or some volunteer work, that they might be able to do together? High school was not so long ago for me, and I had so many activities that I simply didn't have time for boys. Just a suggestion...
Keep up the great work mom!

I think you handled it great! Taking her to the Dr. and getting her on birth control is fantastic. Keep talking to her about STD's and what they can do to her life. See if you can go on-line to show her what some of them look like...especially HIV patients. I would NOT recommend you tell her to break up with him. You'll just fuel the fire. Keep her curfews the same and check in on her to make sure she doesn't have a lot of time alone with him. I'd set some ground rules about being in the house with him alone. The last thing you want is for her to feel like she can't talk to you about things. You could alienate her from you and then she might not come to you with something in the future. Best of luck...I hope it all works out with you!

Hi B.,
First of all you are a great mom. Do not doubt that for a minute. Never, ever. Secondly, I do not think you need to break up your daughter and her boyfriend.Statistics show that will likely happen on its own. However, since the boyfriend is in on this and also feels he is mature enough to have sex then he can go with you and your daughter to to the doctor for a reality check explanation. I do not think he is going to like that a lot, but if he does he is showing a little maturity. Secondly, they have been together over a year and so she shows that she is not randomly hopping around from boy to boy. Thank goodness.Not that that makes you feel any better, but I have a feeling once the boy is also more involved in the reality of this then perhaps this relationship will go away by itself. You know the consequences as you said yourself, so you have let her be aware of what can happen. The young people are under such stress these days to move so quickly in life. I am now working in a highschool and they are alway smooching in the halls. Oh ick I think to myself, but that is what is happening.Right or wrong, it is there. Good luck to you. Good luck to me. One of my sons is starting to get involved with all this relationship stuff. Aagh! AND God bless you for your waitress work all those years. We enjoy seeing people like you!

You should not feel betrayed by this at all. Being 13 and pregnant, you're the first one to know that 16 is not the worst age for someone to lose their viriginity. The fact that she was with him so long too is great. Just keep in mind that this is perfectly normal. Most girls have lost their virginity by 16... it's just the way it is.

You are doing great with the birth control route. Don't punish her or make her feel like sex is dirty because it can scar her for the rest of her life. I would set them both down and make a few points: BC doesn't protect from STD's and isn't 100% effective (so they need to be exclusive to each other and STILL wear a condom everytime), set down rules as to when/where is acceptable/unacceptable, but mostly make sure the conversation is comfortable and doesn't feel like a lecture so that they will be comfortable coming to you in the future if there are any problems/questions.

Good luck! :)

Oh, B.! Your post sounds so scared, you poor thing.

First off, no way do I agree that you failed her. My gosh, as soon as you asked her, she told you the truth. Even though you wish it weren't the truth, it is, and she trusted you enough not to lie.

Second, parents aren't in charge of their teenager's sexuality. She didn't betray you; she just took the lessons you'd taught her and made her own decision.

Believe me, I'd be a bit panicked in your shoes, too, so I'm not on any high horse about this! But I do know that when a 16-year-old decides to have sex with her boyfriend of a year, it's not anything to do with her mom or dad. It's because she's in love. And a huge part of being in love is sexual attraction.

Third, as soon as you found out, you decided to make sure your daughter is safe medically and take her to a doctor. (Planned Parenthood is a good option if health insurance is a problem, by the way.) You also admitted straight off that you can't put a stop to it if she chooses to have sex, so you didn't bury your head in the sand. You then asked all of us on this website for advice. My gosh, how in the world could you possibly think that you've failed your daughter?????? You're doing the best you know how to do!!

She just happens to be nearing adulthood and fell in love. Again, I'm not saying I'd be happy if it were my daughter. I'm just saying that it sounds to me like you're a darn good mother, and you need to not worry that her decision is somehow your fault. It just is what it is, same as it has been for billions of girls throughout history.

I am rooting for you and your family, B., and I feel pretty good about the idea that you'll come through this scary time just fine. Your daughter isn't 13 and unaware of how to protect herself from pregnancy. I mean, she still could get pregnant, because no birth control is 100% effective. But there's a huge difference between 13 and 16, and between a teenager who doesn't know about protection and a teenager who does know.

By the way, I was a pregnant teenager, and so were a few people I'm now close to. We faced challenges for sure, but our lives were NOT ruined. I chose not to have an abortion and not to give the baby up for adoption, but some of the people I'm close with made different choices. The common theme for all of us is that whichever decisions we made, our families were there for us. And that made us OK. Sure sounds like your daughter would have that, too.

I must applaud you for being concerned about the fact that your daughter is sexually active at 16. I have NO idea what it is like to have a teen as my twin boys are only reaching 2. I do have to say that this sort of thing already scares me when I think of my boys at that age. I understand you don't want her to get preggo and that getting her on the pill if she is already active is smart but what happened to telling children it is wrong to have sex before marriage? I am honestly dumbfounded at many of your responses. It seems people are just accepting young people are having sex and letting them think it is just fine as long as they are safe. That is what is wrong with the world today. Kids are free to do as they please with few consequences...precisely why young girls get pregnant and young kids get diseases. This whole attitude of it being ok just sickens me to no end. No wonder the world is falling apart. I am proud of you for being concerned...it shows you are a good mother. I had sex b/4 marriage too but I know it was wrong and I believe that young girls and boys should be taught that it is wrong. As a parent you can only teach them what you know and hope they make the right decisions. Hang in there and God bless!!!

Take her to a local pregnancy center - CPC of DuPage, PIC in Aurora, or one of those. Do NOT go to Planned Parenthood. The pregnancy centers have abstinence counselors trained in these areas, and can help discuss the implications with teenagers. The go over the entire process of pregnancy, STDs and the emotional issues that can come with being sexually active at a young age and before marriage.

I recommend PIC in Aurora, ###-###-####. Ask to make an appt with an abstinence counselor and they will take care of the rest. But it's important that you go with her, and not just drop her off there. Better yet, take them BOTH there. This way, you are involved with your daughter's situation without coming down on them, you're not breaking them up, you're not grounding her, and hopefully they will make the proper INFORMED decisions. Good luck!

I agree with the other mom's response. I think you are handling this really well and trying to do the best possible for your daughter. It's great that you and she can talk about things so easily, and that in itself will help her. I don't think you should go the shouting/grounding route either. Teens tend to listen and then do the opposite of what you're punishing them for. I think you're doing a great job with this!

I agree that you are lucky that she is comfortable talking to you about such a thing. The only advice I have is to opt for the nuva ring or depo because thats how I wound up a teen mom, not taking the pill at the exact time every day. Goodluck

i think so far you are doing great. i would be so embarrassed and upset if my mom found out when i started having sex and now that im a mom i can't imagine being on the other side of the situation. you are handling it well.....maybe you guys can sit down and talk about how much protection she is using and how much more she should use. you can also go to a counselor to let her talk to someone else that she might be a little more open to discuss the situation with. someone who might also be able to show her what some std's look like and what can happen if she got pregnant at a young age. visually seeing graphs and diagrams of what an std does to your body can scare the stuff out of you and might make her think twice before lapsing on her contraceptives. good luck and good for you for being so open minded with your daughter.

hi B.
i'm only a new mother but i really think you're handling this situation like a pro. as far as making her break up with her b/f that's probably not the best road to take cause she will rebel. is her attitude changed? school? if not then i wouldn't worry just take the proper precautions. just think it could be worse at least she's been with the same guy for a while.

Hi Mom
I don't think you should ground her or make them break up because it will put a wedge between you alls relationship and make her want to be around him more. even though she didn't come right out and tell you before it happened at least she was honest about what has happen I think you should put her on something and make sure she takes it even if you have to give it to her yourself or watcher her take it at a time frame that would benfit the both of you,also I also don't let your past as far as being a teen mom reflect how you raise her just be a little more tentive to her because we are vulerable as females when it come to men young or old.Speaking form experience i was a teen mom and someone told me I'm letting my past mistake take over how I raise my daughter(that is a teenager).keep all your rules and also try and talk to her a little more and let her know it more to a relationship than just sex and for her and the guy to continue to use condoms
Good luck to you. L. S

Hi B., you are saying it all and that's all you can do. Take her to the Dr. and get some birthcontrol and like you said earlier tell her about how life would be if she has an unwanted pregnancy. Keeping her grounded and making her break up with her boyfriend will make matters worse. Everything you say to her is going in one ear and not coming out the other. She may fuss with hearing you tell her about it but when she's not with you, she'll hear and see what you are saying. Keep at her. Good luck!

I have a step daughter and she started that early as well.
I would advise against "grounding" and not allowing her to see him. I would set rules and boundries: ie no sex in YOUR house etc! setting the rules and THEN having consiquences if they are broken, or you are lied to is acceptable.. But you need to establish that with her so it is clear (maybe a contract of sorts??) You are doing the right thing getting her to a doctor, and getting her on birth control ASAP. Taking her and being a part of it may bring you closer. Let her know you do not approve. Tell her from now on you expect her to be open, and honest about this stuff ALWAYS. Let her know you are there to talk to, and you would prefer she gets her advice from you. (teenage peers are NOT who she should be talking to! they do not know the realities of this and are wrong about alot of things, like: they think oral sex is not sex etc!) Hope this helped some... it is a difficult situation, and if handled properly can teach her alot. Good luck!

Your description sounds like you are handling this perfectly!
Congratulations! I wish all Mom's in similar situations could be so understanding, practical, and aware of themselves!

The best advice I can give to you is to simply keep talking to your daughter in a practical, loving, and accepting way. (No one likes to be at the receiving end of "being talked down to).

And, you are right. She probably will not just stop because you tell her to or punish her. Would you?

Continue to talk to her about the complexities of sex within a relationship, noting that sex by itself can get to be pretty boring, even after you've tried "everything", and that it's the getting through difficult times that are the most rewarding and the most bonding and that build trust and love, etc.

If only all mom's could talk about such surprises with such acceptance and insight as you!

R. Katz, Psy.D.

Grounding doesn't work with children that are left alone all day while parents work. You didn't mention her age. Working parents need to have a older teen or 20 year old responsible person to stay at he house until you or dad get home. That way your daughter is doing homework instead of her boyfriend. By the way, if she's lied about this for a year, she's probably lying about using condoms also. Boys prefer the "no raincoat allowed" method and then wonder why the girl gets p.g. Good luck mom

With your daughter being 16, the best you can do is to provide her with love and guidance. You can remind her about unwanted pregnancy, the dangers of std's etc. You cannot control what she does to/with her body. You cannot look at it as YOUR failure. your daughter is choosing what she does. My son is almost 20 and when he had his first steady girlfriend as a senior in high school, I told him how his life could be damaged by unwanted pregnancy etc. He encouraged him, that if they were going to have sex, that they take precautions. I don't know if they had sex. He insisted that they didn't! I just have to trust that he was being honest with me. good luck with this situation.

We can only do so much - teaching them prevention is a start. Explaining to them to wait until they are older, married, etc... is another. However, they are going to be enticed by boys (most of us have been through that), and if she wants to do this, she will find a way. So, grounding, breaking up with the boyfriend, etc... may not help. You can have house rules set in place such as no friends (boys or otherwise) at the house when the parents are not home).

Has your husband pulverized the boyfriend?!?!? I know what would happen to the boy if me or my husband walked into our home on this. They atleast need to see that reaction from you. Not a passive reaction.

Have you both spoke to his parents and he as well? This is about all you can do short of putting her in a convent with a chastity belt on! Just make sure she is aware of things that she could catch, what will happen if she gets pregnant, etc..., and take her to the gynecologist for information and protection.

C. T.

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