Teen Daughters Having Sex

Updated on April 18, 2012
A.G. asks from Corinth, NY
62 answers

Hi, I need to ask a question coming from the viewpoint of a father trying to raise my girls the best way I can. I have a big problem nowadays with this whole theory of allowing teenagers to do things just because other teens are doing it. My daughters are at that age where having sex is encouraged by their peers, but me and their mother don't want them too. The problem lies in how we're handling making sure it doesn't happen. My wife wants to put them on birth control or other things to protect them, she believes that if their gonna do it, they should be protected. I say that if their still living under our roof, they should go by our rules and we have the right to make sure they follow them rules. Also, there are teens who do go without having sex until their older, and what are their parents doing any different to make sure they don't have sex.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Just because you tell them it's the rules does not mean they will follow them. I think you need to talk to them be open and honest and make them comfortable enough so they will talk to you. Tell them why you want them to wait. Also inform them on how to protect themselves if they do decide to have sex. You can't watch them 24/7. My parents never really talked to me or made me comfortable enough to talk to them about sex. I went on birth control pills when I was 16 (medical problems mostly) and got information by talking to my doctor. I had a boyfriend at the time and we had sex even though my parents made it perfectly clear they did not want me to. Luckily I ended up marrying him. So the best thing you can do is talk to them and give them information so they can make the right decision.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Keep the lines of communication open. Let them know that you would hope that they decide to wait, but if they don't, they must come to you for advice and guidance on birth control. No judgements. Just guidance.

Good job, pop.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My kids are still young, but believe it or not, I think about this ALL the time. Also my nieces are nearing that age...it's a very difficult thing. I feel uncomfortable with the idea of putting a teenager on birth control--call me old fashioned, but but I feel two things about this...one, I think it sends a message that you are giving the green light, even if you say you're not. And two, that you EXPECT them to NOT listen to you, and to make poor decisions. That you don't trust them to do what they should (and shouldn't) be doing.

Now, will I change my point of view when my kids are teens? Maybe, but probably not.

I am religious, and grew up religious, and did not have sex in high school or college. I am definitely in a small minority. I don't think my parents handled it in the best way, but I guess something worked, lol.

The best non-religious advice I've ever heard on the subject was an Oprah show a few years ago, with two 14 year old teens who were thinking of sleeping together, their moms, and Dr. Berman. The dr. asked the teens questions to get them thinking, and they came to their OWN conclusion NOT to have sex, based on the convo. You can probably Google it and find more info. Maybe something like this would stick more, because it's not really the parents telling the kids not to do something, but it's getting them to work through the ideas and consequences themselves.

Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

well, call me crazy but I would start with a conversation with them, rather than making these decisions about THEIR sexuality FOR them. They aren't 3.

I don't know how old your "teens" are - 13 is very different than 16, and so warrants a different conversational strategy. But if you think you can just tell them not to have sex and they will listen to you..... How has that worked out so far? when you told them to pick up their coat, did they listen? How about when you told them to eat their veggies?

The average age of 1st sexual experience for a girl in America is 16. It has been 16 for 4 generations. How do you get your kids to be on the older side before they have sex? In my opinion you get THEM to understand WHY it is to THEIR benefit to wait.

You ask them why they want to have sex. You ask them what is good about sex. You ask them what they want out of the relationships they have with men. You ask them what are the benefits and consequences of having sex too soon, or with the wrong partner, or in the wrong way, or for the wrong reasons. And then what are the consequences and benefits of having sex when it's right and with the "right" partner and for the right reasons.

Dad - I think you can be key here. You can tell them what a "teen" boy wants from the girls he has sex with, vs what an older more mature boy wants. (I know, not all teens.... I'm not boy-bashing). You tell them what sex meant to you when you were 16, 17, 18 and 19. vs 26, 27 and then 40 and then 50. (don't know how old you are..... point is it's different at different ages)

Talk to your girls about what THEY should be getting out of sex... as women, as individuals, as partners. If they aren't at the point to have these conversations with a partner..... then let them know it means their wants and needs may not be met.... and talk with them about what the consequences of that are.

If you treat them like children and take away THEIR accountability (ie - putting them on birth control instead of letting THEM make that decision and OWN the consequences or just "telling" them what to do) then you aren't allowing them to grow up and show you that they are young adults.

Good luck

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Talk, talk, talk about it. Seriously, my parents tried to sweep it all into the "Don't have sex before marriage." end of subject. End result, my sister was sexually active at 14, me at 16. Yes, peer pressure had LOTS to do with it.

Looking back I wished my parents, ANYONE, would have said this to me.

"Look, what you see on TV and what your friends think of sex couldn't be further from the truth. Sex isn't just about a cute guy and a cute girl getting together for a little fun. Sex is a very intimate thing, you will never forget a person you have sex with." I will be telling my daughter this, when she is old enough, and let her know that even all these years later, there are sex encounters that I had that still make me cringe. Stupid, stupid things. Uggh. Just be honest.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My parents forbid me to date a certain young man. Do you know what I did? I dated him behind their backs for 3 years! There are rules that can be under the "my house, my rules" that can be enforced and there are rules under "my house, my rules" that have loop holes and can be avoided.

Yes I got caught a "hundred" times...but the more they said "no" the more I saw him.

Watch yourself. Honestly I agree with your wife, birth control does not give them the permission to go have sex, it gives them the responsibility to make the decision, as I'm a firm believer that if they are going to have sex, they will with or without. At least with BC they probability of me becoming a grandma and her a mom early is less likely. Doesn't mean I'm going to cheer her on and said "YES, GO HAVE SEX! I AM OK WITH IT", just means I know the choices she is going to have to make and I've equipped her with tools to make those choices.

I am also a firm believer is talking about sex, and not making it a "sin"...but then again I'm a "radical" and am open and honest about such things.
Good Luck!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Grew up with sisters, I am glad my father started open discussion during dinner times. We were allowed to ask any question, any subject. With out reprimand. I don't remember asking too much my other sisters did though and . . well, lmao. But I did learn a lot and it gave me the opportunity to understand my parents' view. We were not taken to the dr for birth control. But my mom did have a stash of condoms that she didn't ask what we used them for, pranks, sex etc. She just made sure they were available. Plus having to put a condom on a banana in front of your dad was enough to put me off of it. I applaud you for being proactive, keep the communications open and be honest, your daughters will return the favor.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Does your wife have a reason to believe they are having sex or are going to have sex? Birth control pills have an effect on the body, so your wife shouldn't just randomly put them on the pill without having any concrete reason to do so.

However, if they are having sex, safe is better than sorry, although STD's are a concern too, so your wife might want to discuss the additional protection of condoms with your daughters.

The best prevention against teens having sex is being loving and communicative parents who listen to their kids. However, if your daughters get boyfriends, there is a good chance sex will happen, so don't have your head in the sand.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

A....you know this to be true: You cannot stop your daughters from having sex if they want to do it (makes you mad/sad, doesn't it?). All you can do is encourage them to wait until they are in a committed, loving relationship and ready to handle whatever consequences may arise from having a sexual relationship. Talk to them. Educate them about how and when a baby is conceived and about STDs and how both of those things can be prevented. Forbidding something causes an automatic challenge. Teens are stupid when it comes to this so when you are adamant that they not do something, they become adamant that they will do it.

Ultimately, I'm with your wife on this one. She doesn't want to be a grandmother.

I have a friend who waited until she was 19 to have sex for the first time. It had nothing to do with her parents. She made that personal decision because it was the right one for her. I also have a friend who's dad strictly forbid her from having sex until she was married...she had sex with A LOT of people (starting at age 16), had a few abortions, and currently has two children and lives with a man 20 years her elder. She isn't married and doesn't intend to be any time soon.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lake Charles on

Regardless of if it's your rule to not have sex, either they will want to and they will or they won't want to and they won't. It's going to come down to how you've raised them up to this point.. and just because they have sex doesn't mean you did a bad job or that you could have done anything to prevent it. Your wife is smart to put them on birth control, I was on it way before I ever had sex and I didn't think "well I'm on BC now so I can just do it", birth control helps with lots of things (lighter or no periods, acne, mood swings, you name it). Bottom line, if they want to do it they WILL regardless of your rules.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

I think knowledge is power.... part of the reason I had sex earlier than I should have is because I was curious. I knew nothing about it. My sex talk consisted of Sex, don't do it. End of story.

I think by them knowing the risks such as STIs and pregnancy and other information the only thing you can do is hope they will make the choice to wait. It really comes down to helping guide them to make their own choice. Because if you forbid it and they want to they will find a way. It's their choice in the end and so I think educating them is the key.

I hope some other mamas give you some great tips about this and good luck. I love that you care so much about your daughters to want to guide them to a good life! Good luck!!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You can't stop them from doing it. Period. Rules or not. If they want to, they will.
Your wife if right to make sure they're protected. I know there's the issue of "condoning it" by doing that, but...be smart. Your kids aren't going to not do something just because you told them not to. In fact, at that age, it's almost a stimulus to do it.
Raise them to respect their bodies and themselves, and then hope that they make the right decisions when the time comes.
I lost my virginity at 15, despite my parents attempts to veer me away from it. I was hopelessly in love the the boy at the time, lied to my parents all the time because of the 'rules" they put in place, and managed to get where I wanted to be.

I can't believe I'm about to quote Donna from 90210, but I am: If you're going to have a pool in your back yard, don't you think you ought to teach your kids how to swim?

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

A., I know this may not be what you want to hear, but whether you want them to or not, even if it is forbidden in your house and you try to monitor them ALL the time, if they decide they want to have sex, they will find a way...and the more you tell them not to, not only are they going to try, they will not have open communication w/ you about it.

It's ok to let them know how strongly you feel...and you should let them know! (I pray to God my daughter waits til she's older and that when that time comes, she will talk to me about it!) Make sure your daughters know that they can and should talk to you and your wife. And make sure they KNOW all the consequences of having sex...they may act like they aren't listening or already know everything, but they ARE listening and the more open you are w/ them and the better relationship you have, the more likely they are to listen to you! (and having a good relationship w/ dad always helps!)

I have 2 sisters and I know many young girls who's parents tried to be a little too enforcing and had no open communication...and with those younger girls, their relationship w/ their parents deteriorated, one moved into a "pay by the week" hotel, had an abortion, and now has a 3 yr old and is living back at home, unmarried and barely making ends meet. Another is getting married in 2 weeks and her family is not speaking to her, or attending her wedding! How sad!

So...my advice to you: Open communication w/ your daughters, let them know how you feel, but also, that you love them and want them to come to you if they need to. My question is, IF they disobey your rule, what is their consequence? Will you kick them out? Disown them? How strongly do you feel and how much are you willing to back up what you are saying? Good luck w/ this...definitely not an easy topic.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

You have to make them accountable for all of their time - who are they with and what are the doing? And don't be afraid to check up on them and make sure they are at "the basketball game" etc. I had sex as a teen because I could. My parents didn't even know where I was half the time. I'd say I was staying at a girlfriends house and my parents would never call to talk to her parents to validate it - so I was really out with my boyfriend partying all night!!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

They will have sex if they want to, with or without bc. I say protect them with birth control, rather than have a pregnancy.

I was far from a party girl. I didn't go out on weekends, didn't drink or smoke, was an athlete and had good grades. I also had a boyfriend all through high school, and we had sex. Its not just the crazy, or bad kids having sex in school.

My mom put me on the shot. I never had to worry about taking it every day, or forgetting a few pills and having a "surprise." I am truly thankful to my mom for being open minded and realistic about sex. She never made me feel like a bad kid, because I wasn't.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Honestly, you can go with the old, "My house/my rules" thing, but when it comes to teens and sex, you're REALLY playing with fire! I'm 42, and my teen years still seem like moments ago. I started having sex at 16 even though my parents REALLY did not want me to. Luckily for me, I had a mother who had always been open and educated me about sex, the repercussions, birth control and all of it. She was NOT excited for me to be having sex, but she was even less excited at the thought of being a grandmother or me getting something like VD or syphilis. My dad largely stayed out of all of it, and I think that's often a mistake, but different generations -different takes on things. Anyway, I think it's VERY important that you keep an open dialog with your daughters and let them know not only HOW you feel but WHY! The WHY is what really matters -you don't want them to get pregnant before they've really had a chance to live and go to college and experience single life, etc.; you don't want them to possibly get an STD -some of which mess you up forever; and you don't want them to have to deal with all that truly intimate, sexual relationships bring with them while still trying to deal with high school. You may be very surprised at how much a conversation (and have it OFTEN) like that changes things.

I do think your wife is also correct. Have the above conversation and talk about their sexuality openly. Go ahead and make sure they have access to reliable birth control -and that they understand why condoms are SO important. You may be uncomfortable or not with this, but please discuss with them the fact that oral and anal sex are still sex, and even if you can't get pregnant, you can get some nasty diseases and problems from them.

You want to "make" them follow your rules, but as our children age, it should become more about really giving them good reasons to live as we would like to see them live instead of forcing them to behave in a certain manner. We all know deep inside that you can only force teens so much until there's a breaking point -and that usually never turns out very well. THe teens who wait longer usually do so because they've had very open parents who aren't "forcing" their rules and ideas on them -but keeping an open conversation going and a very adult attitude about what sexual relationships really mean and the responsibilities entailed.

Believe me, I have two young boys, and I'm already horrified over their coming teen years! I'm so worried they'll get some girl pregnant in high school. All my husband and I can do is educate, discuss, and teach them why waiting a bit is a great idea -but you can bet they will have a Costco sized box of condoms under their bathroom sink when they start having wet dreams and sprouting facial hair!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

As a father the best way to let your girls know how to be treated is to treat their mother with the utmost respect and to treat the girls with that same respect and to let them know daily how much you love them. Give them attention, go to their ballet recitals and soccer games. Be the chaperone for school funtions. Be the driver dad to the movies. Meet their friends.
Be there, in everything they do.
You will not stop them from having sex if that is what they want to do but with your undivided attention to their lives, they will think twice about doing something just because some boy wants them too, or some girl thinks it;s the cool thing to do. .
The first man in their lives is you. You are the one they crave attention from.
I bought my husband a book a while back. I cant' remember the name but it is about raising daughters in this day and age. It says repeatedly love the mother, love the daughter, give them boundaries, give them attention.
I too have two teen daughters. THey and my husband have a very tight bond. I would have it no other way. They are both Daddy's girls.
Also, talk to them about your expectations. Be open, honest, frank. Let them now what 16 yo boys want. Let them know what the 16 yo boy sees when they dress skanky.

Personally, I do not believe birth control is the answer, education, boundaries, self respect, self control. Not all children go out and "do it". Keep your lines of communication open.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I think it depends on the person (teen), not all teens are having sex. I think you and your wife need to be honest and explain EVERYTHING about sex to your teens. They need to understand the emotional feelings that go with it and the after effects (pregnancy, STD's etc.).
I think the more you push for them to live by your rules you could be pushing them away. What if they did have sex and needed you after? They might be afraid to talk with you and your wife. I also don’t think your wife should put them on birth control unless they are having sex, they should be able to talk openly with you and your wife before they do anything.
I think the most important thing with teens is keeping the communication open at all times, even if you don’t agree with their choices.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Hi A.,

Regardless of what your house 'rules' are about teen sex, when they have to make the decision to have or not have sex, you will not be there. It's not really up to you whether they do or not.

So you can teach them self respect, you can SHOW them what a loving relationship ought to be like, you can teach them to respect their own bodies and the feelings and bodies of everyone around them, you can educate them endlessly, and ALL of these things WILL effect them positively and make them think. However telling them they AREN'T ALLOWED to will have no effect whatsoever. Maybe they won't do it because they're 'not allowed' to, or maybe they will anyway...

What is your magic number? What is the age they'll be 'allowed' to have sex? Frankly I know some 30 yo women with so little self respect who have sex all the time.

Teach them to be smart, teach them to be good to themselves, to be empowered, equip them with the tools they need to make good choices.

Then keep talking, talking ALL the time. Keep them close, make them WANT to be close to you because they can trust you, they can TALK to you. If you make that absolute rule NO SEX WHILE YOU'RE A DEPENDENT IN MY HOUSEHOLD, you can kiss that closeness goodbye.

So yeah, I'm with the Mrs.


**I should say, I DO have empathy for Dads. It must be VERY difficult to have to see your daughters as sexual people, I'm sorry. Don't you wish there was something we could put in their juice to postpone puberty til they're 30?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I understand what you are saying. Unfortunately, you cannot "stop" them
from doing what they are going to do.
They will just do it behind your back.
When I was 1 month shy away from turning 18, my parents forbade me from seeing my new, first boyfriend.
I quickly figured out how to go about it: my friend & I went to Planned Parenthood & I got put on the pill.
I think that was one smart thing I did: to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
The other thing I wasn't aware of? STD's.
I got lucky but what if I hadn't been so lucky?
I think it would have been better if my parents had educated me & talked to me about it instead of my "learning it from friends" or "finding it out from friends".
What if I hadn't been so lucky.
No one "taught" me about these important lessons in life.
They did teach me how to keep myself safe from harmful strangers while
out in the world w/friends at the mall etc (don't talk to strangers, don't
ever trust someone you don't know, no one will ever be sent to come get
me so if a person says "your mom & dad told me to pick you up" don't
go b/c I will never ever send someone you don't know to pick you up,
if someone grabs you run & scream (this came in handy once when I
was a teen).
See my point?
Life saving lessons (not just the how to balance a checkbook kind).
Teach them well!
Impart your knowledge, lessons & safety.
They will then go out into the world armed w/information that will assist
them in making good decisions regarding their own life.
Closing your eyes & pretending it will never happen (sex) is like teaching
them nothing.
This comes from a place of experience & great concern being a parent
I wish you the best of luck. Our kids are our whole world!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

There is only so much you can do to try to stop your children from having sex early.

Having a totally open dialogue at all times will help to reinforce, you are just concerned for their health and their futures.

My mom was always very open. She spoke about one of my beloved Aunt's who "had to get married" because she had sex as a teen and got pregnant. I was so shocked because she was so sweet. But it was not a happy marriage.

Whenever we would see a pregnant teen, We would talk about the things she was missing out on. What it means to care for a newborn.. and infant a toddler. No Prom, would not get to go out with her friends at the drop of the hat. May not get to go away for college. Would have to put her baby before herself from now on.

Then the cost.. Have them figure out how much it costs for the doctor visits, the delivery, the hospital stay, diapers.. She would have to get a job to care for her child. Pay for childcare.. Remind them they will need pay for all of this, since it is their child..

They would be stuck with the father of the child for the rest of their childs life because he and his family will want to be a part of the child's life.

Then talk about their self esteem and how being in love and having sex can be different for different people.

They are sensitive and when you give your body to someone and then that person decides they are not in love with you anymore, it can really make a person feel all sorts of negative feelings. Abandoned, used, regrets.

This is a time in their lives that can be so much fun with out the weight, stress of drama that sex can bring into their lives.

Also the lifetime health issues. Genital warts, Herpes, Aids, Crabs (yikes).
Some of these things have to be reported to the health department.. How would they like their names on that list?

And so I think the truth about how you and mom feel and why you worry is important.

And then giving them the tools so that if their choice is to have sex, they do it safely. Mom can tell them she will be happy to take them to the gynecologist and they can go together and purchase the condoms.

Our daughter is in college and still has not had sex. She says "there is too much drama involved and she has plans".. I know it is because she has babysat so much she knows exactly what it means to care for babies and young children. Hee, hee.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Where there's a will, there's a way. If they want to have sex, they will. I'm with your wife; put them on birth control and educate them. Giving them birth control is NOT NOT NOT giving them permission to have sex! It's just letting them know that when they're emotionally ready, they'll physically be ready. That's like training for football season; you might be the bench warmer, but you still go to practice in case you hit the field.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I think its wonderful, as a father, you are asking this question. I'm sure you want to protect your girls and that is huge. Huge!

I can only tell you my experience. I wish my father would have had less judgement about natural inclinations (hormones). I wish my interest in boys was seen as healthy rather than so frightening to him. I wish he would have told me what kind of man he wanted for me, who he felt I deserved, rather than just telling me not to do x, y, or z. I wish he would have LISTENED to me rather than laid down the law. I wish I could have been both little girl AND growing, young woman with my dad. Only the little girl was acceptable and in that way, he stopped knowing me, because I had to grow up.

I'm not implying anything here. Looking back on my teen years those are just some of my wishes. I hope you can protect, listen, allow mistakes and nurture the young women in your life.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Being a girl who was raised by her dad I'll tell you my perspective. My dad was not a conversationalist until much later in my life so we had NO discussion regarding sex. He was very much of the my house my rules generation. Looking back it was a TERRIBLE approach on his part but what he did do was value me. He taught me that I was precious, a treasure, perfect, to value myself. He gave me self confidence, told me I was smart, had a great head on my shoulders and I made good decisions. He thought the world of me and I thought the world of him. I never wanted to disappoint him and I valued myself so much I didn't want to put myself in a position in which I might drastically change my life by making a poor choice. I did have sex at 16 with a boy I had been dating for 2 years. We continued dating for another 5 years after that. So while I did have sex I chose very, very wisely and don't regret my decision 20 years later.

My boyfriend was a guy my dad didn't like(not because the guy didn't treat me well it was just dad's gut feeling) but dad allowed me to make my own decisions and learn my lessons. He never preached or flipped out but trusted my judgement. If he had done the opposite I would've stopped listening to my dad and just been with the boy. Instead my dad said little about the situation and I continued to make good decisions. I didn't put my life on hold for this guy, I went away to college, I studied abroad, I didn't make this guy my life and for that my dad commended me. After 7 years with the guy I decided he wasn't right for me but I had to learn that lesson myself.

My point is this, you're not going to stop your girls from having sex. The best you can do is make them feel good about themselves so they don't feel like they need affection and attention elsewhere. If you make them feel like they're a million bucks it's more likely that they'll wait to have sex until they find a guy that also values them. Don't be a this is my house my rules dad. LISTEN to your girls. You may not realize it but YOU are the biggest influence in their life regarding dating and sex and boys. YOU are. Girls have a tendency not want to disappoint dad. Use that to your advantage. Spend time with them, make them feel important, make them feel loved, and model for them with your wife the way love should look and how a man should treat woman. They're watching you. What message are you sending?

P.S. If my parents were having these conversations without me I'd be ticked. If I was forced to go on the pill I would've been insulted! I would've felt like my parents didn't trust me to act in an adult manner. Because I valued myself I was always EXTREMELY careful when having sex. TALK to your kids!!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Regardless of what your rules of the house are, nothing less of putting a chastity belt on your daughters will stop them from having sex if they decide to do so. I know, not the answer you want to hear.
My kids aren't old enough for sex yet as they are 10,8 & 2 1/2 but we already talk about it and have laid out our expectations. We are teaching them that sex is a responsibility. You may not end up marrying that person and living out the rest of your life with them and that's OK. But you need to treat that person with respect, even if the relationship ends and you go your separate ways, you treat them with respect. We also make it clear that the other party may not be so kind.They could go around bad mouthing you, ruining your reputation, spreading lies about you just to be spiteful. Sex is something to share with someone you care deeply for, not some one night stand with a stranger you meet at a party.
We make it clear that sex can lead to a baby, even using birth control, because birth control can fail (condoms break etc) so think to yourself are you ready to handle the decisions that come with pregnancy. We are not anti-abortion and would support that decision just as much as we would keeping the pregnancy and either keeping the child or adoption. We would gladly take in our boys' girlfriend were her parents not be supportive.
We do not sugar coat anything. We do not leave anything out, good or bad. We do not ban it. I will go buy the condoms myself if I have to in order to protect my children. Yes, one could argue that if they are not mature enough to buy them for themselves then they shouldn't be having sex but..I don't care. If they do I know there is nothing I can do to stop them short of locking them up and throwing away the key.
I'd be a hypocrite if I did the whole wait until marriage stick or even only have one partner. I learned the hard way how crappy some guys can be. I openly share that pain if need be so they can learn from my mistakes.
When we address any peer pressure we always start the conversation: If all your friends were jumping off a cliff to their deaths would you do it too just because they are? If someone is pressuring you into having sex and you don't want to then they are not respecting you and will not care about you after the fact.
The best thing is an open line of communication. To not just dictate to them. To listen and have a 2 sided conversation

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answers from Boca Raton on

First of all, may I recommend the movie "Courageous"? I think it's coming out on DVD this month. It's very Christian, but a great movie. If I watched it with my family I would not announce why. I would just let them draw their own conclusions.

Secondly, I would probe my wife for why she feels the way she does about it. Are your daughters confiding in her about things that they might not share with you? Could that be why she wants to go the birth control route?

I believe in being very open with children about sex. They need to know about it from their parents. They need your POV as a male. They need to know that you value and cherish them beyond your own life. They need to know you can tell more about a guy by what he DOES than by what he says. They need to know that it's your job to protect them, and that it only comes from a place of love.

I have sons, no daughters, and sometimes I'm thankful my husband does not have daughters because he would take that issue very hard. But I also know he would be very close with his daughter(s). And that's what girls need.

With my sons I tend to let Dad handle the mechanics of sex. But I give them what I believe to be the female's romantic perspective, and how the female brain can work very differently from a male's. I'm so proud of my sons. They are careful, and thoughtful, on this issue.

Good luck, and hang in there Dad!

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answers from Dallas on

My 15 year old daughter is choosing to abstain from sex during high school. I have always been very open about it with her. Since she was in the 5th grade we have discussed it openly, and I make an effort to answer all her questions frankly. She understands that I was 16 when she was born, and while I would never trade her for anything, it would have been smarter for me to wait. She now has a 2 year old little sister, and realizes why being a teenage parent meant giving up school, college, parties, and even my "friends". At least once a week we talk about what boys she likes and how they treat her and why they are not the boy she wants to have that very special first time with. I'm so proud of her choices; she is determined to wait until she is ABSOLUTELY sure that she is ready and that the boy is worth it. Also we discuss her career path and what things might be distracting her from achieving her goals (usually boys and friends partying) and how she can tell them no without being shunned. I really believe that as long as everyone is open and honest about it even teenagers can make smart choices. And I agree with the other posts, telling them "NO" will only make it more tempting, and they will be more likely to have unsafe sex.

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answers from Charlotte on

A., you can say this until you are blue in the face, but the truth is, you cannot control if your daughter has sex or not. You can try to teach her all about the consequences of sex, including protected sex that doesn't work. You can talk about respect. You can talk about getting to know a boy for who he is instead of what his body is like. But you cannot prevent it.

What you can do is educate her. Talk about this in appropriate ways. My sons and my husband and I have always had very open dialogue about the facts of life. I never told my kids that they should save sex for marriage. I told them that sex is for people who are mature in mind and body and are ready to accept the fact that sex is what brings children and adult responsibility. I've told them that it is harder to know if they "fit" with someone as a life partner if they have chosen sex as a way to get to know each other. That dating is akin to trying on a "glove" to see if it fits, with two peoples' personalities. Throw sex in there while you are trying to figure out if you "fit" makes it harder to see clearly, and easier to make big mistakes.

My older son in his senior high school year did a research paper on some aspect of Roe v Wade. We talked about his paper, and in the middle of one conversation, he asked me if I thought that teens should have access to birth control. I told him yes. And I meant it. I truly believe that if he knows that I trust him to make the right decision, after all that I have tried to teach him, that he will either NOT have sex, or he will have protected sex. He's in college now and is not embarrassed to say that he is not one of those college students who sleeps around.

If I had a daughter, I would have her on depo provera shots in a heartbeat. I told my sister that about my niece, and hoped that she would listen to me, especially since she was a teen mom herself.

Teens make mistakes, but I don't see making these mistakes cost a lifetime of consequences, like a teen pregnancy. These mistakes cost you, the parent, dear as well. I would SO much rather prevent a pregnancy with birth control than shake my finger in my kid's face saying that they can't have sex when all I'm doing is fooling myself as to whether or not I can keep them from doing it.


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answers from Williamsport on

I did not have sex in high school. And I had a very INTENSE first love while I was in high school, temptation, etc. I was always grounded so I snuck out frequently, and there was no way my parents could have stopped me at that point. The reasons I believe I didn't are as follows:

1) It wasn't so socially accepted in the 80's, in my particular school anyway. It was a smallish American military school in Germany. Only a few of the "really bad kids" were "suspected" of possibly "going all the way". The rest of the school population "looked down on them". Most kids and their families knew each other-or at least they knew their parents probably knew each other, all working on same air Force Base. Or, long story short...no peer pressure.

2) My boyfriend wasn't pushy. He went to church, and knew it wasn't "nice" to do that, so he would have if I let him, but again, no pressure.

3) I was raised with Christian morals, and at the time thought it was better to wait until "marriage" or at least adulthood. That belief was instilled in me from childhood-though since I didn't meet my husband until age 31, I certainly only made it to the "adulthood" mark with virginity in tact. :)

4) I was kept busy in high school. No loitering around with boyfriend allowed. We saw each other at work bagging groceries or at church outside of school. Otherwise I was doing homework, bagging groaceries, babysitting, or washing dishes in my other job. Rare outings were group outings with strong parent surveillance. In other words-no extra opportunity for boredom and mischief.

5) My parents showed me there was a big world out there and it takes work to do well in it. Hanging around with boys was considered a waste of time, and they weren't big on hosting friends or letting me go to parties.etc. But again, I snuck out often and went to German clubs with no drinking age. In the end, my own morals guided me.

6) I was scared of my parents. Disappointing them with bad rumors or pregnancy etc was not an option for me.

So. If you have instilled good morals in your daughters AND, they have been taught to respect you, AND you don't let them loiter around with boys instead of seeking worth while activities, you have a shot. But the peer pressure thing is insane. Many kids today are really promiscuous at young ages, no doubt. Good luck, I'll be facing the same challenges when my kids are older!

ps, I think another deterrent for me would have been frank information about diseases. Sex ed was still pretty vague back then, and my parents weren't very open, and later in my 20's when I did hear about diseases, I was a little shocked. That would have been another deterrent. I plan to be very clear about diseases of all types when I give my kids the very thorough sex talks.

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answers from Chicago on

One thing I've learned about teenagers is they're going to do what they want regardless of the parents' rules. I agree with your wife. Put her on birth control just to be safe. Yes, there are teens that wait until they're older (I was 20), but do you really want to take that chance? If your daughter wants to have sex, she's going to. You would be a responsible parent by educating her and ensuring she doesn't get pregnant. Putting her on birth control does not mean you are condoning sex at a young age. Unfortunately, telling a teenager she can't have sex doesn't mean she will follow that rule. Keep instilling your values in her and hope she listened

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answers from Dallas on

Not sure how old your kids are. But if they are old enough to be on birth control, I'd do a full on-loaded with details-appointment with the ob/gyn. Full exam, etc. cause they need to REALLY understand what's at stake.

Forbidding will not stop it, house rules are house rules. BUT you really want them to make the best CHOICES - because it is a choice that they will make and you can't stop. You CAN prepare them with the best information and resources to make the healthiest choice - which is to wait until they are married (heck or at least graduated from high school!).

Good luck!

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answers from San Francisco on

Are you talking about your ten and twelve year olds?!
That's pretty young to be using birth control.
Or do you have older girls too?
The thing is, teenagers will do MANY things they are not "allowed" to do.
So unless you are willing to risk having an unexpected grandchild I'm with your wife.

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answers from Provo on

Some teenagers have sex. But not even MOST do. The percentages are up from when I was a teenager, but even then the perception was that everybody was doing it -- when the reality is that not very many actually were. Other teens talk a good story and the media acts like this is normal teenage behavior, so you need to talk to your teens A LOT. And the conversation should have started a long, long, long time ago.
I disagree with the other posters -- unless there is another health reason for putting your daughters on BC, they will see it as tacit permission to engage in sexual activity. Yes, they will be "protected" from pregnancy, but they won't be protected from STDs which could cause permanent damage. If your wife really wants to protect her girls, then she should be advocating BC and condoms.
It will be a difficult conversation to start, and maybe one they won't be super comfortable talking to "Dad" about, but you need to get your girls thinking about the WHY for chastity, and not just laying down the law. They will make their own decisions regarding this issue and you will want to know about it so you can take the appropriate steps.
Good luck!! I think this was all a lot easier when society had our backs on the issue of chastity.

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answers from Phoenix on

We encourage our children to wait until marriage because there could be emotional, mental and physical consequences to not waiting. We've taught them this since they were young because the trend is to encourage sex with anyone. Promiscuity is even glorified on TV. Sex is wonderful in the context of marriage. Outside of marriage and your inviting all kinds of trouble and drama that could last a life time. I say that if it's not your spouse, then they shouldn't give themselves away like that. There is plenty of opportunities when they're married and it's even that much better when they've waited!!

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answers from Des Moines on

I was on birth control as a teen in high school and didn't have sex until college!

Ignorance protects NO ONE. So be sure your girls have knowledge. Be sure they KNOW what your values, rules and expectations are. Be sure they KNOW that they are valuable and worthy young women and DESERVE to be treated as such. And be sure that they KNOW how their body works and how to protect it if they DO decide to have sex

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answers from Chicago on

Ok, many teens are having sex, many teens are talking about having sex, many teens say they are having sex. Here is the thing - your teen girls are not going to understand the big deal if they do not KNOW what the big deal is, do they fully understand the female and male bodies? Have the gone thru a formal sexual education class that teaches them what happens to both gender's bodies during puberty and during arousel and how a human life is actually formed? Have your daughters gone to a class where they learn what pregancy does to a woman's body? Do they understand what birth control actually does and WHY and HOW it is effective or in effective? Do they know how to use a condom and do they know how to protect themselves against a drunken teenage boy who is out to get his "rocks off"? If you answered any of these questions No, you may want to find out how to change that answer to yes ... that is what will protect them in the long run.

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answers from Dover on

I haven't read all of your responses, but here's my take on it: they're going to do what they want to do & there's really nothing you can do to stop it. Kids who aren't having sex have chosen not to. Kids who are have chosen differently. It's not a matter of how they're being raised, or any magic words that their parents have said to them. Of course you can always choose whether or not to encourage your children one way or the other, but in the end, it's up to them.

Personally, I'm not deluding myself to believe that either of my kids will wait until they're married to have sex. Would I prefer it that way? Of course, but the likelihood of that is very slim. With that knowledge in my back pocket, I believe that I've raised my children to understand their bodies & responsibilities to them. Should my daughter come to me when she's 17 years old with a long-term boyfriend we know & ask me to take her to the gynecologist, I would do just that. JMO.

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answers from Albany on

I am the mom and my point of view is not wanting them on birth control but if they came to me and told me they were having the urge they I would take them to be out on birth control and get them condoms so they could be protected but under no circumstances is it ok because no form of protection is a 100% except abstaining from sex. If they chose to have sex be understanding but also let them know that there will be consequences.

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answers from New York on

My parents were always very open about sex. I was on birth control in high school but I didn't have sex. My parents just wanted to make sure that if I decided I was ready then I would be protected. We also had many talks about condoms and STD's. The thing is, you can tell them that you don't want them to have sex, you can warn them how horrible it can be if they get pregnant or an STD, you can even "forbid" them to have sex, and you can hope that they will be responsible and choose not to have sex, but once they walk out the door you really have no control over what happens. You have to let them go and hope that you have taught them how to make good decisions and then trust that they will make the decision that is right for them. Keep talking to them and make sure that they know that they can always talk to you if they need to. Good luck. It's such a tough situation, and one that I will have to deal with one day (I have 2 daughters, 2 and 3, and another due in Feb.)

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answers from Huntington on

Gosh what a tough situation, one that my poor father was put into with three daughters. My older sister was a gem and didn't have sex until she was married. Me and my younger sister, however , were not as well behaved.
I want to encourage you to find what your daughters are REALLY looking for. No girl has sex with a guy in hopes that he will leave her alone and ignore her once the deed is done. Whether she wants to admit it or not, she is looking for something more. Teenage girls (including myself at that age) know all the dangers, but what they are looking for outweighs all of that.
Talk to them, don't threaten them. Listen to them.

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answers from Washington DC on


When my daughter was a teenager and she was telling me how the other kids were "doing it" - I asked her - "okay - so they are jumping off a diving board into an empty pool - you gonna do it too?" The answer was NO. Okay- well, just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right.

As a parent it is our responsibility to raise our children with morals, value and direction. If your wife puts them on birth control - she is giving them permission to have sex....

I wouldn't say "no sex" is a rule. I think it's more about morals and values. Kids are careless these days...diseases are running rampant because of their carelessness...parents are too busy trying to be cool or their friend instead of their parent.

I would hope that you have been teaching your daughters morals and self-esteem and to respect themselves and their bodies.

My daughter was a virgin until she was 21. My nephews were virgins until their 20s. I was VERY proud of them for holding out. Yeah - they were tempted. But they also realized how one night of fun could ruin the rest of their lives. I have told my daughter and now my boys - they should respect themselves enough to say no. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right.

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answers from Washington DC on

I think the perception is different from the reality when it comes to "everybody is" ideas - be it allowed out late, drinking, etc. You are probably more in line with more of their friends' parents than they like to think.

We feel that we can't totally prevent it HOWEVER we will instill in them our values. We explain why (for many reasons) we feel they should wait and as far as we are aware SS waited til college and SD is still waiting. It may help that I had DD when SD was 14 and they have seen what a damper it was for their cousin (just a little older than SS) to have an Oops baby with an unstable partner. While we have not put SD on birth control, they both know where to find the condoms in the house. SD knows that SHE is ultimately responsible for her own health and frankly pills don't prevent diseases (not that anything is 100% but...). The Talk is not one discussion. It is many, sometimes as simple as a short comment on a situation on the news. It's a dialogue. If the girls mention pressure or that everyone is....then discuss that with them. Really discuss vs just putting a foot down. This is what you feel and why. Why do they think differently? What didn't they know? Are they aware that they can still get a disease? That AIDS is not the only incurable one? Etc. There's a lot more than pregnancy at stake. I'd rather my daughter tell me she was pregnant than dying.

I think the best thing you and your wife can do is have a strong family. Be open with them. Listen to them. Have dinner nightly as a family. Be involved. Know their friends, their activities,etc. And even if they balk about things like no boys in the bedroom or no boys over when no one is home, you can at least say you gave them perimeters.

My mom told us that if we were not mature enough to take charge of our own health and buy condoms or see the GYN for birth control (or both), that we weren't mature enough for sex. That stuck with me. I never regretted losing a guy who didn't like to be told no.

I also told SS and SD that my friend K's baby was conceived even though she was on the pill and used a condom. If you have sex, you need to be prepared for the possibility that you are that 1%. (K and her then boyfriend are in their 30s - doesn't just happen to teenagers.)

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answers from Dallas on

I think many father's feel the way you do. I have a 16 year old daughter and 14 year old son within a couple of months they both will be a year older. I hold them to the same standards. I've talked to both of them about sex and what comes along with it. I think you are getting lots of good advice that your wife already told you. As parents I think one of our jobs is to guide them to make the right decisions, in the end they will be responsible for their actions. If we give them the tools to make the right ones, I think we've done our job. We send our children to school or home school them to educate them, so with the information they learned they can make the right decision. Sex is no different, it's not just the physical act, there is a lot of emotional attachments, moral attachments, diseases, feelings that they need to be aware of. Self respect is major issue in the end. If they find the wrong boy, oh my goodness, that could do so much damage for the rest of their life. By forbidding it, when you have no control over it, unless you are planning on being with them 24 hours of the day. Then you are going to cause them to resent you and not be so self sufficient because they will later feel like a man won't trust them or they may not trust themselves to make the right decision.
Your a man, you know that man's point of view, how as a teenager hormones are out of control, that is really all a guy wants at that age, which later he'll dump you for the pure girl and marry her. You know many guys like that. Not saying all guys are, but we both know most of them are. A girl thinks that man is going to be with her forever, especially when she gives him something that special. So encourage her to save that for her husband, the best gift he could ever have, all of her that no other man has ever had, it's all his. Let her know how special that will always make him feel. She can have sex with him for the rest of her life, it's worth the wait. Maybe so she can really see what you mean is, tell her you'd take her shopping for a new outfit, and then take her to the thrift store, and tell her I know you wouldn't want to have a new outfit from Neiman Marcus (or any famous place) that no one would have worn, but you are okay with someone else's used and thrown away clothes. (Don't get me wrong, I like thrift stores, I'm just having you make a point to her.) Explain how sex is similar.
Have a good relationship with your daughters so they can take that to their marriage someday. Let them know if they did have sex as a teenager how that would just hurt you, and you love them so very much and have always wanted the best for them. Don't just say, you can't do it, it does make them want to do it even more. But put your time and love into them, explain to them, and they will listen to their daddy. Not all teenagers are having sex, even the ones that say they are. Show them STD's how some are with them forever.
Hang in their daddy, and listen to your wife, even putting them on birth control doesn't mean they are having sex.

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answers from Boston on

I bought my teens a great book on Amazon.com just called S.E.X. In it is a page with 100 reasons NOT to have sex. This may be a good place to start. things like, just because your friends are having sex, because he says he loves you, because he says it hurts if he does not, etc. It also has a list of things you should be ready for when you start having sex. For instance if you are too embarrassed to discuss birth control AND the possible consequences if birth control fails with your partner then you are not ready for sex .
Finally from an interview tv show (60 minutes perhaps) about sex education, I remember this great line a dad told his daughter, after telling her that talking about sex was difficult but that he wanted her to get facts from him and not rumors or falsehoods from friends (like you cannot get pregnant standing up, or during your period, or the first time). This father told his daughter:" do not believe anything a boy is telling you when he has an erection". Good for you for taking the effort to give them the guidance of your experience and values.

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answers from Houston on

I met my husband when I was 12. By the age of 15 there was no stopping me from having sex. I lost my mom young and might have. Even more mature than most girls my age, but that didn't stop the other girls I knew from doing it either. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I agree with your wife.

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answers from New York on

Hi A.. I think I remember from a prior post that your girls are 12 and 11 or 10? Most kids that age are NOT having sex. Mine are 12 and 16. A., you can't make a rule saying that your kids can't have sex. I mean, you can, while they are minors, but that's not going to make them not have sex. I don't believe in putting young girls on hormonal birth control. Discussions about drugs, sex, etc are ongoing dialogues with teens. You and your wife must present a united front.
I was always clear with my 16 year old daughter, that I don't believe in waiting til marriage but that I feel sex is for those 18 and older. Legal adults, with at least college aged maturity level. I educated her on protecting herself and made it clear that if she needed it, not to be afraid to ask me to take her to the midwife or whatever, even if I felt that she was too young. I would never punish her for being sexually active, I don't beileve that is a discipline issue. I am not making sure that she doesn't have sex, but she does know and understand why I feel that she should wait until college age. You can't make sure it doesn't happen, unless you follow them around, never let them out unsupervised, and that's not the life I want for either of us. You need to educate them, let them know your values, have some trust and use good judgement - and trust that they will do the same . Good luck

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answers from Los Angeles on

Girls are going to do what they want to do, and forbidding it in any way will just make them want to do it more.

Do they have boyfriends? It's important to be open with them. Talk to them about the risks, as well as the emotional aspect of it. Make them realize why it is worth waiting until they are older.

But, most importantly, make sure they are being safe if they are having sex. It's bad enough to have a teenage daughter having sex, but it's a whole lot worse if she comes home pregnant.

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answers from Binghamton on

What their parents might be doing is talking openly and freely about sex, the pros and cons that go well beyond pregnancy and STDs. Check out The Guide to Getting it on, a great resource that covers all aspects of sex. Give your girls the confidence to know what they want, that they have the right to wait until the moment is right for them and that they are strong, wonderful people with a father who trusts them. That's all you can do.

Out of curiosity though, how old were you the first time?

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answers from Los Angeles on

Albeit my children are not teenagers yet, but I plan to be honest with them...and make them VERY uncomfortable in doing so. Because if they are considering having sex, or boyfriends/girlfriends, then they better be mature enough to talk about it.

Talk about the consequences of it sex. Talk about the purpose of sex (as a christian, I have clear convictions on the role of sex in our lives). Talk about why teenage boys want to have sex with girls, talk about masterbation, all of it...and be honest. I also plan to use examples from real life - I have a few friends that had sex before marriage and it changed their lives forever. After that, I must wait and see. In the end it's their decision and they'll know that whatever consequences come about will be theirs to deal with.

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answers from Houston on

Everyone talks about waiting until you are older or waiting until marriage before having sex. However, when you ask most people when they started having sex, it is usually in the teen years, often 16 or 17. It is obviously very natural. If your teenager wants to have sex, they will find a way to do that. You can definitely encourage them to wait, but just because you make a rule doesn't mean it will be followed. And if your rule is not followed, better your daughters be protected. Make sure your daughters know that you think it is important physically, emotionally, and psychologically to wait until they find someone that they truly love and want to have sex with. Show them examples of people who did not wait for this or people who became pregnant at a young age and how hard it is to deal with. But just making a rule that they can't have sex is going to create more of a distance between you and your daughters because they'll feel obligated to hide from you instead of openly discuss their feelings - and maybe if they feel that they can discuss things openly, you can persuade them to wait. I personally met my first boyfriend at 15 years old, started having sex at 17, and we've now been together for 14 years, married for 3. I don't feel it was a mistake to have sex at 17 or not to have waited until we were married. It was a very committed, loving relationship - and we were protected.

I think that the teens who are not having sex have decided that for themselves. Their parents are not "making sure they don't have sex". You really can't do that. But like I said, I think you can create an open dialogue that will allow you to more clearly explain to your daughters why they should wait - even if they are already on birth control.

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answers from Cleveland on

This is the way I look at things... you, as a parent, instill your values in your children. You teach them what you expect and what you want for them. But they are going to ultimately do what they choose to do. It doesn't matter WHAT you want them to do, in the end, they make their own choices. My parents were both ministers and taught us from as early as I can remember that sex was ONLY for marriage. Of myself and my three brothers, one of us remained a virgin until marriage, one of us waited until we were in a committed relationship, and the other two had sex at a very young age. We knew about safe sex, but only because of what we were taught in school, because our parents didn't help us in that area at all. I have a teenage foster daughter, and I know very well that she is sexually active, and has been since before she lived with us. My goal for her is that she is SAFE, because I know that I could talk until my face turns blue, it's not going to change the fact that she is having sex. When my little ones get older, the girls WILL be on birth control, and the boys will be given condoms and explained how to use them, ALONG WITH our values that they not have sex yet. I don't want them having sex, but I'm not naive.

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answers from New York on

I have three kids my boys are almost 19 and almost 18 and my daughter is 8.

I once posted a question here about my son pulling the 18 card and the replies that I got basically said that he was 18 and I cant do anything about. I was annoyed because he lives in my house and he should go by our rules no matter how old he is. I truly believe that because your old enough to be considered an adult it does not mean your going to be going out and doing what you want and live in my house. Including sex... Ive actually heard my ex (boys father) say that my younger son would make him a grandfather before my oldest. How does one say things like that?

In any event, I always said to them if your going to do something make sure your protected cause there will be some hell to pay if a girl comes to my door saying shes expecting. I know my boys are virgins and they will be for a while longer. My sons talk openly to me and tell me a lot. They have told me how their friends actually go around sleeping with who ever and not care about it. In fact my son went out this past saturday with his friends, he calls me to tell me when he was leaving, texts me to say they waited a long time to be seated to eat, calls me later to say hes going to his friends to play dominos and calls me to say hes on his way home. How many kids can you say do that? Especially 19 year olds? Now my younger son does not do that, hes done stupid things so I simply tell them about my life.

My son was born before I turned 18. My parents were divorced when I was 9, my mom left, we lived with my grandmother and my father was not around. We had no guidance growing up and did what we wanted. I tell them all the time how I didnt get to hang out with my friends, go out and party or be a 'norma' 19 years old and experiencing all kinds of things. Why? Because I was caring for my kids. I was married, divorced with 2 kids before I turned 20! But I also tell them they didnt hold me back, I have a high school diploma, I finished to college and I had a great job! Now I run my own business, so no excuses in my house.

I believe if you keep open communication with your kids about sex and your expectations they do listen. I find its when you say 'you cant' do this and 'you cant' do that is when they do the 'wrong' thing.

Good luck with your girls and stand your ground!



answers from Honolulu on

Teach them about STD's.
And the ramifications of it.

A teen will have sex if even if you don't want them to. Some won't.
Some will.
Even the best of kids, do.
Their parents don't know.
But if the parents don't know and they contract a sexually transmitted disease, they will not tell their parents. And a Teen may hide it if they get sores in their privates or pain or other symptoms of STD's. THEN their health... will be at risk. And STD's are either permanent damage on the body or it can be treated. BUT... the thing is, a parent needs to know... and that their child knows they can tell their parent. Even if the parent does not want to hear it. And the Teen child, NEEDS to start going to an OB/GYN....

STD's are very dangerous. It can screw up your life, forever. ie: Herpes, genital warts, AIDS etc.
Teens need to know that.

THAT is what I would want to protect my kids from, by talking with them and educating them on it. Not just about "sex" and how disapproving I may be about it if they were teens. I would.. WORRY about their health and contracting diseases.

THAT is ALSO what you NEED... to talk to your daughter's about.
AND that, they can say NO. And that their body is not an object to get used.
You also need to teach them, about boys. And intentions what is wrong or right... if a boy is forcing himself on them.

Maintain OPEN communication. Otherwise, your teen daughter's will not tell you anything. And you don't want that.
Thus, don't "judge" or talk down to a Teen Daughter... they need to know that they CAN COME TO YOU... for anything personal.
And that you will guide them. And that you love them always.

BUT.... they NEED to know, about STD's.
This is very serious.
You can show them, via the internet, what STD's look like when a person is infected and sick with it.
This may then, make it more literal for them... about what can affect their body. Their health. Their life.
You don't want them to learn about STD's after the fact through their own experimentation and non-safety... and then not even tell you. Because otherwise, they cannot be treated for it.

Thus, this is not just about sex... but about the entire possibility of their health, being impacted and STD's.
Not to mention, what if they get pregnant?

A person can still get pregnant or STD's while on birth control.
And then there is oral sex. They can get herpes, for example, in their mouth too.
All things, which a Teen does not typically think... about.

And most Teens, will not think about STD's... but it is very dangerous.
THAT is what you should be addressing, as well.
Not just about sex.

You can have your rules and they are living under your roof.
But you can't chaperone them 24/7. Kids have sex, regardless, many times. Thus the statistics.
So.... keep OPEN communication and trust and acceptance of your daughters. So that they know... they can come to you... openly. No matter what. If a Teen can't come to their parents, they will hide things and activities.



answers from Houston on

In my opinion, telling your daughters that they can't have sex will not stop them. It will just make them not only want to do it more, but behind your back and with not very good protection from STDs and teen pregnancy. If I were you, I would have a talk with them saying how many girls who were so eager to have sex at one time wish they had in fact waited for that special guy, because once they lose their virginity, it is something they can never get back. You should not only tell them about the dangerous factors of having sex, but the emotional feelings that come with it. Explain to them that the guy they want to have sex with isn't going to be there forever and more than likely is only trying to get that one thing.

^ Just a couple of thoughts up there from a teenager who wish she had waited.



answers from Salinas on

We need more information. How old are the girls? (certainly you're not talking about the 10 & 12 years olds!!!) Do they have long term boyfriends? Are they responsible, mature and "good kids" in general? Can you trust them?
You cannot stop any teen from doing what they want but depending on the age, circumstances and your relationship with them you can do a lot to help them make good decisions. Follow up with more info please!



answers from Oklahoma City on

If they have sex and get pregnant you are going to have a different opinion of birth control.

I would sit down with them and have an honest talk about how cheap and UN love like sex with a temporary partner is. Tell them how much it really hurts on the inside, how much humiliation they will feel when the boy tells all his friends about how easy she was, etc....I think that will make an impression on them more than laying down the law and ordering them to not have sex.



answers from New York on

I never encourage kids to do things because other are . Maybe talk to other parents or discourage hanging out with kids who are active. keep taps on them all the time dont give them to much freedom how about a talk with there boy friends (maybe bring a shot gun along) lol


answers from Houston on

Haven't read your many responses so I may be a total repeat, so sorry! But I have a big issue with teens on birth control bc then that means the will feel even less that they should use a condom. I mean sure they'd be protected against pregnancy but there are things so much worse! At least when a young girl contemplates sex she has the big scare that she could get pregnant and MAYBE she would hold off or use a condom. I realize that she could use nothing, get pregnant and get a disease worst case scenario. But if you take away the risk of pregnancy there is not much to deter her and then the scarier things are a big possibility. I don't agree with giving teens b/c either, but if someone feels it's a must, giving them condoms is a better, safer way to go. Not to mention flooding a young developing body with hormones never seemed like a good idea to me. It is hard enough to grow up and develop without synthetic hormones surging through your system. I have to take them right now and I am grown woman and hate them! So that is my two cents. I think teaching kids that sex is for marriage and can ALWAYS result in children no matter what you do is important. If having a kid would destroy your world then sex is not for you, just my two cents. Good luck!!



answers from New York on

I totally agree with u. I don't believe a parent should just accept the fact that teens are having sex and give them protection. That is the defeatast point of view. I find it insulting as a woman and a human being that someone can say i have no control over my own sexuality like I'm a caged animal ready to be let lose by my parents. If this were really so than the past 2,000 years don't count for anything because the majority of girls were able to say no to men more times than not. It is only recently that society has acted as if it is "normal" for a young girl to be sexually active at 15. She has the rest of her life to worry about men at 15 she's not allowed to vote barely work or smoke or drink so why do we let them with a Childs mind decide to be sexually active the most serious decision of a girls life that could lead to all sorts of consequences not to mention the biggest one the loss of childhood and innocence never to be found again. We cannot put chastity belts on our children nor would I want to. But we can teach them values consequences and then trust them a thing most parents don't practice these days. Our children are capable of trust.



answers from Los Angeles on

The best way to handle teen daughter is to have an open dialogue with them, to make sure they understand the emotional and physical committment that goes along with having sex, that they know the risks associated, and why it's best to wait until they are adults, regardless of what their friends say or boyfriends pressure. However, you should understand that if they want to have sex, there is not a thing you will be able to do to stop that, rules or no. All you can do is arm them with knowledge and how to protect themselves if the circumstances change. Those that teach an abstinence-only form of birth control have been shown by studies to be grandparents earlier rather than later. Giving them understanding and the power to control their own destiny, including NOT having sex when pressured, will go a lot further towards your goal.



answers from New York on

My daughter is 15 so I completely understand where you are coming from. My daughter's former best friend has been sexually active since she was 13 - and by age16 she's had 4 sexual partners!!!! YIKES! Since the relationship with this girl has ended my daughter has been so much more emotionally balanced! She's not being put into these situations that are conflicting for her. There were a few times when my daughter would call us and ask us to pick her up and she'd tell us how awkward and difficult a situation had been becuase this girl was getting frisky with her boyfriend and my daughter was either the third wheel or the boyfriend had a friend who wanted to get busy with my daughter. Often when teen girls become sexually active it's beucase they feel pressure to do so. We can reduce the pressure in how we take action in their lives.

This other girl's family and ours do not appear to be all that different from the outside but there are significant meaningful differences deep down.
1) We hardly ever drink alcohol. We'll have an occiasion glass of wine or cocktail but never get drunk. Our kids see that we stay in control. This girl's family regularly drinks and she knows that her mom will have had a few too many almost every weekend. By example she's come to believe that drinking is no big deal - most sexual experiences for teens involve alcohol use. But bigger than that, her parent's lose their own sense of judgement and allow her to have boyfriends over in the finished basement for hours at a time without parental supervision. Seems like a recipe for disaster.
2) This girl's parents have allowed the older brother to have his girlfriend sleep over numerous time. YIKES! Another recipe for disaster. It sets the stage for the kid to realize it's really just a matter of time before she'll be allowed to do so, so if she's sexually involved now she's just pushing the timing up a little bit. Not a big deal.
3) When this girl was younger her parents would go out with many other couples and leave all the young teens at home with eachother without adult supervision. The parents assumed the kids were like cousins or siblings since they'd been friends forever and wouldn't be getting busy with eachother. Instead they'd all raid the parent's liquor cabinet and begin doing things they wouldn't have done if they hadn't been drinking. This girls first two partners were sons of her parent's friends & they had known eachother for years.
4) My husband has begun to realize that his relationship with his duaghter and with me will set an example or pattern for my daughter so she knows what to expect. He takes my daughter out for dinner, they'll go ice skating or to the movies. He'll drape his arm over her shoulders in church or give her a kiss on the cheek. He does the same with me. He'll also tell her to go put some clothes on, or change her shirt becuase he cleavage is showing. But he does it with respect and love.
5) We are not concerned about our child's popularity or what all the other kids are doing. Don't care. We've told our kids since they could understand words that we are the ones who will have to stand before God one day and answer for how we raised our kids so we don't really care about what all the other kids are doing. Popularity in HS is very fleeting and has no bearing on how a person will do in life. So we try to instill in our kids the ideas that they are their own person. They need to think for themselves and not buy into what everyone else thinks.
6) We make sure our kids know our opinions on sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. They know that our opinion is that sex is awesome in marriage, that it draws two people into such a close intimate experience that once physically connected it becomes difficult to make rational decisions. That it's ideal to develop the friendship so you can make a rational decision about the guy or girl. We also tell them that we've never made one good deicions while drunk. That alcohol has never helped up appear smarter, sexier, funnier. And at big parties when others are drinking we ask them what they think of the people who are drunk - and ask if the drunk person would agree. Very funny to hear the kids' opinion.

7) if my daughter is invited to someone's house and I don't know them I call the parents and ask who's going to be home. I tell the mom or dad that I'm really strict and paranoid and I want to be certain that they will be supervising to be sure there won't be alcohol or drugs, and that kids won't be going up to anyone's bedroom or down to basements without adult supervision. We do not consider an older, college age sibling to be adult supervision. The few times we relied on another parent's say-so it did not turn out well and drinking, drugs and upstairs bedroom stuff was taking place. We've instructed our daughter how to make an excuse, go to the bathroom and make a phone call if she feels uncomfortable. It's so nice, however, when the party is at the home of other parents we know closely and know to be conservative like us. We know alcohol isn't allowed, we know both parents are there and skimming through the party from tiem to time, etc. We can breathe easily and know she's fine where she is.

We alos encourage our ids to consider a chastity promise. I know that kids who take a vow of chastity until marriage often do not get to marriage as a virgin. Statistically only about 10-15% are able to hold on to that promise. BUT - the kids who do make the vow have way less less partners, they are far less likely to have STDs, unplanned pregnancies, etc. And while I understand the concept of getting your child on birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies it does nothing to prevent STDs. Think herpes, chalmidia, cervical cancer, etc. The vaccinations to help prevent the virus that causes cervical cancer only protects against one virus it does not protect against the many others that also cause cervical cancer.

One big problem with teen sex that seems to hit home with the teens is that many of the kids are sharing partners without knowing about it. They are in a petri dish of shared germs. GROSS. See the link I've attached here that shows a map of one HS in the midwest. My kid's HS has 2500 kids so I imagine the map would be much larger and more gross. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/chains

I think the best tool is communication with your kids - tell them your opinion of teen sex, keep the lines of communciation open, long drives are excellent times for deep conversations. Don't preach, ask questions. Read a lot so you have a good idea of how to talk to your kids.

There's a great little quick book called "You have what it takes" by John Eldredge. Someone gave it to my husabnd and it was an eye opener for him as to what he, as dad, meant to his kids.

Good luck Dad - parenting teens is so tough!!!



answers from Anchorage on

I am afraid your wife is right on this on IMO. You can teach them and let them know what you hope for them, but you can not be with them 24/7, and if teens want to have sex they will, and they are not always smart enough to plan ahead to protect themselves. By putting them on birth control at least you know they are partly protected, although they must understand that the pill does nothing for STD prevention, so they need to know how to properly use a condom as well. It is just better to be safe than sorry. I know a lot of girls who started becoming sexually active as young as 12 and 13, and some that got pregnant that young as well. I know for me, I don't want my daughter to be one of those.

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