New here and have a question...

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2014
New here and have a question...
Sun, 07-06-2014 - 11:12pm

My name is Kay and I have a 19 year old daughter and a  17 year old daughter.  I found out my 17 year old daughter is having sex with her  boyfriend.  She has not known him long at all (2 months) and I am very concerned that she is having sex this quickly.  Not to mention the lies she has told, etc.  Honestly, I almost don't think I know her anymore with the way she is acting.  My 19 year old found a pregnancy test in her purse (it was negative thankfully).  She is *Very* grounded.  I have also talked to her extensively about what she is doing and how harmful it is.  I had my husband talk to her one on one.  My 19 year old has talked to her.  I don't think we are getting it through her thick head that she is making a huge mistake.  I told her that she is grounded not only for lying, but also because I am her mom and I have to protect her since she is not protecting herself (sexually, her heart, her reputation, etc) . 

So, the practical side of me went online tonight and bought condoms and Plan B.   I have an appointment with the gynechologist, but I could not get her in for a couple of weeks.  The other side of me feels like I am condoning her behavior by buying all of this!  The practical side tells me I don't want to be a grandma--the other side tells me to send her to a private Christiam all girls school.  I just don't know what I am doing here and I am pretty much a nervous wreck. 

I need perspective!!


Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 11:39am

I don't think yelling or preaching helps at that age - I think just sitting down and discussing (open minded on both sides) is the best.  The condoms (and spermicides and other things) are all good ideas.  This isn't condoning but protecting.  (The girls in the all girls schools when I was growing up were more forward than us in public school so I don't see that as an answer.)

Is she working? What does she do with her free time in the summer? Just hoping she's busy and working toward goals (does she want college? what are her future plans, assuming she's going to be a senior?) You don't want to promote any sneaking around or anything by just being angry; I would think you'd rather have it out in the open so you can discuss as needed and also keep your relationship good/open.  I definitely wasn't pleased when I found out my ds was 'active' at 17 and just made sure he knew about proper protection and never forgetting to use it, etc.  HARD age as they're gone soon and yet are very young and likely not aware of what it'd take to support a family at that age if something were to happen.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 11:40am

You are not "condoning" sexual activity, you are protecting your dd.  All of you need to stop talking AT her, and start involving her in the conversation.  Get her on the internet, and have her look up teens and STD's.  Have her look up the stats on the economic status of single teen mothers.  Ask her WHY she values herself so little that she fell into bed with this (almost) stranger.  Ask her WHAT her life plans are.   Ask her what she thinks Herpes, AIDS, HPV/cervical cancer, not to mention a child, will do to those plans.  Get the boy involved.  Sit him down and ask HIM why he valued your dd so little that he had to pressure her for sex.  Get his PARENTS involved, and tell them you want their son tested for STD's IMMEDIATLY, and you want to know what they will do if he gets your dd pregnant.  Tell them, AND YOUR DAUGHTER, that if he gets her pregnant, he WILL pay child support, and he will NOT be shacking up in her bedroom, or in your house. 

Untill you can get her to a gyne, take her to Planned Parenthood.  She needs protection, and unbiased information.

Is she working?  What does she do with her time?  Why does she have so much access to this boy?  You AND your husband need to sit down with her and say, " If you want to play at being an adult, then you must be ready to ACT like an adult.  You will now pay for ALL your devices, their support (cell phone service, data plans, etc), car payments, gas, maintainence, etc, or you lose them.  You will do your own laundry, help clean and maintain the house, and help make meals, or you will pay rent.  And you better get a job with healthcare, because you need to pay for birthcontrol, condoms, or treatment for your STD's and your pregnancy."

She needs a WAKE UP.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 11:46am

I think that making sure she has birth control is the best way to go--you already said you don't condone her actions but you also don't want a pregnant 17 yr old either or one with an STD.  I also think that grounding isn't the way to go--I mean how long are you going to ground her--until she's 18 or graduates from high school?  Once kids are already s.a. I think that that it's hard to stop that activity.  You realize that when she's 18, she could move out of the house and do whatever she wants, plus you would have no access to her health info so instead of lecturing, it's time to treat her more as an adult and have conversations.  You can't watch her 24/7 and I always found that the kids who were the most "protected" were the ones who also rebelled the most once they got out from their parents' watchful eye.  I'm sure you already said everything there is to say about the dangers of teenage sex--pregnancy, STDs, what happens if the guy breaks up with her and she gets hurt.  But in the end, it's always going to be her decision--it might be a bad decision, but when kids get to be this old, sometimes they make bad decisions.  You just can't control everything they do all the time.  You also don't want her sticking to this guy just to prove that you are wrong and she is right--so really you need to drop it at some point.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 1:29pm

Hi Kay and welcome to the board. I agree with the others that it's important she gets on birth control and gets tested for STD's. I understand how part of you feels you are 'condoning' it but very few people stop having sex once they've started just because their folks told them too. Definitely keep the conversations going, both about safe sex and about the importance of trust between you and her. Try to listen to what she has to say instead of talking at her (easier said than done, I know).  During these conversations also focus on her goals, plans, etc. Is she entering her senior year? Is she planning on college/military/trade school/etc.? Have you met the boy? Is this her first serious boyfriend? You might encourage them to spend time at your house when you're there so you can get to know him. Chances are it's not going to be 'the one' but it's a good idea to get to know any of her friends, especially while she's still a minor. Good luck and keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 11:32pm

Kay, gentle hugs and welcome to our corner of the village

Reread everything the ladies above posted.

Providing birth control and protection to your daughter IS NOT condoning, enabling, assisting, approving, supporting, etcetera, them having sex. It is recognition that she is at risk of consequences that can and should be minimized as much as possible. 

I would not wait for an appointment at the OBgyn.  I would take your daughter, (and the guy if he will come along) to the local Planned Parenthood (PP).  You can keep the appointment and she can carry those Planned Parenthood records to that first appointment with the OBgyn.  Time is of the essence as you want her on birth control (BC) as quickly as possible.    Most BC is started or given when the next period starts and takes a week or so to become fully effective. You don’t want her to delay getting it as quickly as possible.   While there, PP can test the boy and the girl for STDs.  And many of those PP offices have gender specific picture books (one for boys and a different one for girls) of what STDs on their genitals will look like.  A picture is better than a thousand words! 

(If you’re embarrassed and don’t want you and your daughter to be seen there, go to a PP thirty or forty miles away.  Another possibility is to send the daughter and the BF with money and demand a receipt and change when they get home.)

Long before a child is old enough to become sexually active (SA), both boys and girls should be given the shot for Hepatitis B and the Gardasil series of three shots for HPV. If money is short, call around to the public clinics as many have grants and are able to offer these shots on a sliding scales—ten-teen, eleven-teen, or twelve-teen are not too young.  The boys need it so they don’t go around accidently killing future wives.  Also, there is such a thing as a girl being sexually assaulted—boys also.  And therein is the reason that when they have a shot for HIV and herpes, I will be purchasing those for my daughters, SILs, grandsons. To protect them!!!

Our female OBgyn says that in the “real world” the pill is only 90% or less effective, which means that the odds of a girl getting pregnant during the first five years are about 50/50—especially teens. Our daughters, now 21 and 22, started the pill for period regulation at around 12, were smart enough to consult with PP to be sure they were taking it correctly before I found them in bed with “the guys” at 15½ and 16½ when I came home from work early one afternoon. I did not directly see anything, but it was obvious when they came into the living room and I was sitting there.  I let the guys tell their parents a few days later and the parents did not “high five” their sons or blame our daughters.  Their first dates were a junior high Halloween dance when they were all in 7th and 8th grades.  Both sets of the guy’s parents, along with hubby and me were planning the destination wedding when the youngest couple came up pregnant and the youngest couple have blessed us with grandsons now 3½, 2, and 8 months.

Like the Obama’s we are a three generation household.  Hubby and I live with the two couples, each young couple has two bedrooms to retreat into, with hubby and me having the master bedroom and bath. (Two of those bedrooms are in the garage after a conversion into bedrooms.) They each work two days per week, are ahead of the pack education wise, with us grandparents watching the brothers four evenings a week while the four of them go to evening classes.  And yes, all six parents worry about these teen marriages in those out years, but things look good.

When I found the couples in bed, I phoned the OBgyn office and talked with the head nurse about the situation and the need to go in as they were now SA. She said, “This is a pro-life office. If that makes a difference to the patient, there are many fine doctors who have a different view and we recommend that the patients go there as the relationship between a woman and her doctor is very important on this subject.”  And then after I said we were also pro-life, with a chuckle and continued, “Doctor and I don’t have a good personal track record on this as we share a grandchild via my son and her daughter on spring break several years ago. They are now on their third marriage to each other and we think they may make a go of this one. . . .”   

Our daughters upgraded to the nuva ring because it was considered to be more “fail safe” than the pill, but youngest DD failed to do the daily yucky task of checking to make sure it was still inside and found it in the dryer with the sheets. OOPSE!  Think in terms of a form of BC for your daughter that is less prone to the teen screwing up on. 

My point is that it’s a good idea to realize that your daughter may come up pregnant a lot sooner than you, she, the BF, and his parents would desire and you as her parents should have plans for dealing with it.

Both sides of our family (hubbies and mine and same for the SILs families) are pro-life, daughters and SILs could never choose anything but life. The accommodation we six parents made for these teen marriages was to turn over to each couple the amount of money that we would spend if they were single and living at home, along with paying for their bachelor’s degrees at local state university.   So, hubby and I transfer $600 per month to each couple along with $250 per month to service student debt for the BS degree of each daughter, with law school being on their dime and debt. The $250 ends in December, with the $600 ending in December 2015.  Ah light at the end of the tunnel.  LOL  Seriously, the kids have all been aware that their is an end to tho parental scholorship program. 

Other than providing space in our modest home, spending the same amount of money as we would if they were single, and having the delight of spending evenings with our grandsons, hubby and I ARE NOT RAISING THE GRANDSONS. (The other set of grandparents share evening blessings with us.)

There is an alternative view of these types of situations, where the parents of the girl do everything possible to “trap door” the sperm donor as they have determined that he is a loooooser and they don’t want him around to father a few more kids before he disappears.  Hubby and I did not have to face this type situation.    

As for the lies: There are very few kids that are going to come out and say something like, “After the game (or dance or movie), Tommy and I are going to park behind the Walmart and have sex (after we go in and shop lift a package of condoms).” Or, “Between when school lets out and you and dad get home from work, Tommy and I are going to share a condom while we wiggle around under the sheets.” Or, “Guess what, I’m no longer a virgin!!!”  And often it just happens in the heat of passion and as others stated it tends to continue because it is enjoyable.  When they break up, they usually pick up with the next partner where they left off with the last partner. 

Once they are doing it, another issue is where they are doing it.  For some parents its “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Some parents say “absolutely NOT in our home.” Others say “make sure it doesn’t happen when we’re around.”  I suppose a few kids still do it in a parked car or in the woods, others at a friend’s home, but I think most is done in one of their homes until they go off to college.  At one of the homes, when the parents are at work is a most common first time location for high school kids. 

As the other ladies mentioned I would be having long conversations with the BF and the daughter about where they picture things going from here forward.  Daughter what is your vision of the future?????  A year from now, five years from now, ten years from now, twenty years from now???  Besides having a “good time” with our daughter, where do you see things going young man??????  Are you here for the long haul?   Are you around for the baby?  How do you plan to support our daughter and grandchild?  What are you doing to get ready for the long haul???  These were the types of conversations that we had with the girls, "the guys," and the other parents when we discovered they were doing it and a year later when the mantra became, “We want to go all the way,” which to them meant formal marriage.  Besides the usual “we love each other” stuff we found out that each couple had made private vows to each other the year before (I came home from work early) when we took the guys to Destin Florida on our family vacation with the gals in my room and the guys in another motel room with hubby.  Those August 2007 dates are where they count time from and are engraved on the inside of their wedding bands and not the March 2010 date that the State of Hawaii wedding records recognize as the date of their wedding.  Yes, I know it is KINKY, but it is also true.  No I don’t endorse such, but if they make it to forever together, I’m good with it.

I was 16 when my 19 year old sister took me to PP after she recognized that I was SA. She was not SA. I thought I was popular and cool when in reality I was just available and easy.  I was 21 when I somewhat wised up and said to myself, “Kimmy stop being such a stupid ?itch!”  Hubby, who I met after that, was a male version of me.  Each of us had two failed shack ups (those people got lucky, LOL), which are like failed trial marriages, and both of us had leprosy (herpes) from prior partners who had not warned us or maybe did not fully realize they had it.  It took hubby and me a decade to work through all the baggage we came into our marriage with.  And as you mentioned we have scars on our hearts that will not heal on this side of eternity.  I mention this because there are people who have been able to walk back and been able to recover and rebuild lives that were really screwed up.  Hubby and I are two of those.  We are a most blessed and happy couple.

Our daughters were both high school cheerleaders, which around our school district is not all that difficult as we live in a very inclusive district where any girl that wants to be one, is one.  It’s almost like saying my child graduated in the top 100% of her class.  LOL  But, they were high enough profile that when our youngest couple was pregnant, word spread quickly and over the years I’ve gotten several calls from mothers with a pregnant daughter looking for thoughts and someone to bounce ideas off of.  They always get a pro-life perspective from me and I always tell them, “You’re going to love that little stranger.”  

When I think they might benefit from a certain change of perspective, I take them over to the headstone of a grave a few blocks from our home.  Over the years, I had seen balloons floating there and went to look one day.  She was seventeen and I have no clue as to how she died—cancer, cystic-fibrosis, bad heart, car accident, drug overdose, suicide.  What I do know is she was much loved, is much missed, and her parents would love to have a daughter with problems than a place to leave balloons floating.       

Though you want to try to stop your teen from driving over a cliff, you also want to be there at the bottom to help them rebuild their lives if or when they do drive off the cliff. They need their parents more than ever when they are broken at the bottom of the cliff. Over the years, here in the parents of teens section of ivillage, we have had some very moving stories about girls and couples whose parents did that for them. 

This two month romance will probably not go the distance and may even die a natural death before Labor Day.  You want to be there for her when that crash occurs to help her, not tell her how corrrect you were as she will alreardy know that fact.   


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Thu, 07-10-2014 - 1:13am

Kay, I had a little more time to think about your situation and I would offer these additional observations. 

Be grateful that your situation has no elements similar to the post from the other day that was tagged as a “Troll Alert” and has now been pulled and discarded.  There are people who do face bad situations with some of those issues--a cluster of problems that I have no clue how to deal with.  Another such situation is a kid hooked and strung out on meth, cocaine, heroin, etcetera.  We have a few in the children of mine and husbands generation of cousins.  My sister and I are just glad our kids still think of ICE is what floats in a Big Gulp from 7-11 and not a form of meth that is termed as ICE.

(As a side note about the troll alert posting that was removed, I would not just hit on one of those “take a look at this picture” website links for fear of getting “herpes of the computer” that would lock it up, unlock a data eating worm, etcetera. I do click on the pictures of regulars here though.)

Rose, who used to post here and worked in rest homes with lots of ladies in their 80s and 90s, commented that most of these ladies were having sex when they were teens.  Albeit that they were married at 16 or 17 or 18.  If you walk through and old family graveyards, as I have, you’ll often run across headstones with a heart between the birth and death dates of the husband and wife.  In that heart will be the wedding date of the couple and as you do the math you notice that what Rose spoke of was often the case. Great grandmother was 16 and sometimes as young as 15.

(Until a few years ago 14 year olds in our state could get married with parental consent, but the state has wised up and raised it to 16.  My understanding is that some states have raised it to no one under 18. The vast majority of unmarried pregnant teens have the baby out of wedlock nowadays, whereas back in 1961 the vast majority did like my parents, who had an accident at the Lone Star Drive-in, had an old fashioned “shot gun wedding.”  They were both 18 and the accident is my brother.  They have just knocked off 53 years of bliss.)

The average age of first period drops about four months per generation.  Among the reasons is better nutrition. Some say hormones in the meat products. Guys are reaching puberty earlier also.

I’m not looking at the exact statistics, but around WWII, the average age of marriage was around 20 (the age of George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush), not late twenties to early thirties (like George W. Bush and Laura Bush).  (The Clintons and the Obamas would fit into that older age of marriage.)

When you have mid-teens that are biologically equipped to have sex, with marriage ten or fifteen years in the future . . . dare I say . . . many of those teens will have sex.  I’ve read statistics like 70% will have had sex at least once by 18, and 90% by 20.  And lots of those college kids will “shack up” with lots of them not going the distance as was the case for hubby and me. 

The effectiveness of corporal punishment (spankings) ends at ten or earlier, when “grounding and depravation of privileges” (when taking away privileges like going to a movie, other activities, etcetera) becomes more effective.  Then at some point those loose effectiveness as the teen is reaching the age of majority and the age when “the cake is backed.”  As some of the other ladies alluded to, the older teen can go into full rebellion (start failing classes, drop out of school, move in with the bum, get knocked-up, to name a few). 

(And I suppose the trump card is to commit suicide as a 17 year old third cousin of our girls did three years ago next November, after a breakup with a GF.  I doubt that was the only issue. There are few days that go by that I don’t think and wonder about what might have been done different with that situation as I do recall bouncing him on my knee and changing his diaper.)

I think at 17, approaching 18, you have to appeal to their inner compass of what is correct and incorrect in their minds and hearts. This DOES NOT mean that you have to violate your values or house rules. Darling, you and Bufford (or whatever BFs name is) will have to “do it” out in the corn fields, a motel, his house, or wherever, but not in our home.

(We let it happen at home because Hubby and I just didn’t like the sneaking around and acting like nothing of the kind was happening aspect. I’m not recommending or not recommending that to other parents, but think it’s important to disclose here.)

By being in an ongoing conversation mode with your daughter, you have the opportunity to ask probing questions for her to think about, like:  How well do you know this fellow?  What do you know about how he thinks and “ticks.”  Do you know anything about his prior romantic life?  How many other such romances has he had in the past?  How is yours different than those?  Do you think 56 days is long enough to get to really know a person in depth?  And for him to know you, your feelings, your passions, your life goals, your shortcomings?  Can you and him be completely honest with each other?  Do you know and understand that being intimate with a person is about giving parts of your heart to that person that you can never get back, parts that belong to your future life mate?  (Sadly, hubby and I have great voids here and I’m envious of my parents and our couples because they have only been intimate with one person—their spouse.)  What positives and negatives do you bring to this relationship?  What positives and negatives does he bring to this relationship? Let’s list them for each of you and think about them together.  How are you going to feel if he dumps you or you decide to ditch him?  THE LIST IS ENDLESS and the longer you chat the harder she has to think.  Thinking is more than feeling. 

Share your and your husband’s hopes and desires for your daughter.  Primary among those is a happy marriage and home for her and your grandkids.  Share your fear that this relationship may not get there.  Try to understand her reasoning also. Bashing the guy will not help her see the light, as some of the other ladies alluded to, it may backfire and keep the romance alive longer as she tries to prove you and dad wrong.   Before you make any comments, be able to support them with well-reasoned logic.  And be willing to hear her thoughts. A conversation is a give and take of ideas.   All this is easier said than done. 

If you keep the conversation ongoing, you may be able to help her see things in proper perspective or maybe she will change your thoughts. 

Also, as I said earlier, if or when the wheels come off this romance and it becomes a train wreck, you and her dad will be most needed by her!  Be there!

I don’t know when people pass form attraction or infatuation (or lust) into love. I’m with love the same way one of the Supreme Court Justices put it about porn, “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.”  I don’t know why some couples, like Al and Tipper Gore or John and Elizabeth Edwards go splits, and others like hubby and I grow stronger with the passing of days into years.  As my mother once told me, “Kimmy, as a couple, you and your hubby are either growing closer or apart, things are never static with love, make sure you’re always moving in the correct direction.”  I’ve watched our young couples always growing closer with the passing of years. We’re any of us in love on our wedding day or did we just get real lucky and what we had grew into love?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Fri, 07-11-2014 - 12:29pm

Kimmy, Sorry but I have to correct a very annoying error you have made in your post .

It is NOT true that a teen has a 50% chance of getting pregnant on the pill after 5 years.  If one would follow your logic then, after being on the pill for 10 years, a woman would have a 100% probability of having a child. Nope.  It is incorrect to interpret the rate as the probability a woman will get pregnant in any given year.  And you do not add the rate per each year-incorrect math.

The effectiveness rate typically reported is based on clinical trials that monitored a group of women during their first year of using a particular b/c.  (The trial doesn’t even always last a year.) The first year tends to be more problematic for some women (learning how to use their b/c properly) and that pushes up the rate.  The rate tells us NOTHING about the long term effectiveness of any method. It does not even tell us how “forgiving” a method is when it is not used perfectly since typically the number of pregnancies when the b/c is knowingly not used as directed is not monitored, only the number of pregnancies over a period of time in the test sample.  In fact multi-year duration studies have reported rates lower from the first 12 month rate.  The rate tells us nothing about the degree of sexual activity, social economic class, education or even why the medication failed etc.

The rate should only be used to compare several methods when deciding the best method for a particular woman. Now, I would agree that a forgetful woman who would not take her pill at the same time each day, who forgets to take it all, has a hard time following instructions and/or has not taken responsibility for her own health and sexuality (i.e. doesn’t read the full instructions that comes with the medication), the pill might not be a good choice.  But that depends on the woman. I know young women who take their pill religiously; who are very serious about not getting pregnant and have been in serious relationships for several years (more than 5) and NO pregnancies. 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 07-11-2014 - 6:18pm

I have to agree wholeheartedly with I-Tea.  The birth control failure rate is 99% the failure of the USER, rather than the failure of the product.  If the pill is prescribed at the correct strength, and is used CORRECTLY, following all the rules, and ESPECIALLY when used with condoms a back-up contraception, the rate of success is virtually 100%.  Heck, I used a diaphragm and spermicide successfully for YEARS, when I could no longer use the pill.  I was 29 when I had my first, and 32 when I had my 2nd.

Everyone I know, who used birth control correctly, did NOT get pregnant.  Those who got pregnant, including my own children, got pregnant because they did not use their methods correctly.  DD1 missed multiple pils, and took others at odd hours because she was in Spain for 2 weeks, and off schedule.  And she did NOT use back-up contraception.  DD2 both times was impatient, and they KNEW they damaged the condoms, but proceeded anyway.  And did NOT get the morning after pill.  Now, both kids knew how to use birth control successfully.  DD1 was on the pill successfully for 16 years, DD2 used birth control successfully for 11 years.  They got sloppy because they COULD.   At the time both got pregnant,  they were adults, with educations, careers, self supporting, in  their own homes, and in long term, committed relationships.  Pregnancy was not a problem.

Likewise, tubal ligation when done CORRECTLY, using multiple modalities, is 100% effective. For my own tubal, they removed over an inch of tube, electrosurged both cut ends in multiple areas, and folded the longer ends up and sutured them away from the ovaries.  Cut, fried and tied.  I also followed the rules, and used back-up contraception for 2 months.  Lolo is having the same thing done after this delivery.  HER gyne told her, as mine told me 30 years ago, done correctly, and when patients follow the instructions, there is NO failure of tubal ligation.   Will is also getting cut, fried and tied.  Should Lolo get hit by a bus, he still does not want any further children, and is taking appropriate measures.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 07-11-2014 - 7:30pm

Getting her protected is not condoning her behavior, its just protecting her. I suggest taking her to Planned Parenthood. They know how to make teens feel comfortable and safe enough to be honest about their SA, how to talk to teens and get through to them. They will dicuss the BC options and help her choose, then explain well how to use it, and stress safe sex. They will give her condoms. They will tell her what to do if she thinks she messed up the BC, and to come back when she needs more condoms. Your gyno might do some of the above but depending on the doc's demeanor or your dd's fears she may not be comfortable there, might think the doc will tell you what was said etc. 

I really think you can talk to her and give her your point of view on the different issues (heart, reputation, etc) but then drop it. The more people talk at her the sooner she will stop listening. You plant the seed on an idea then give it time to grow. At 17 she should have already absorbed your values pretty well---as somebody else put it "the cake is baked"; IMO whatever you say and do now is the icing. And I can tell you from experience that many teens veer from the moral course their parents tried to set, only to return to that course after a period of experimentation. 

So you say your part, you make sure she has the information and the products with which to physically protect herself, tell her that you trust her to do what needs to be done, and then you let her own the issues like the adult she is trying to act like. Let her know that your ear and shoulder are available if she needs them. Sometimes giving them the responsibility for themselves makes them want to prove to the world that they are up to the task, and can encourage them try to make mom proud. I'm not saying that she will stop having sex because that's what you want, but she can be responsible about protected sex and not make you a grandmother.

Would you have grounded her for lying if the lies had been about something else not involving sex? I think its important to separate the infractions. Punish lying however it would normally be punished. The sex part is a different issue. Make your ground rules regarding it, such as not in your home if that is important to you, and if she breaks the rules then you deal with that. 

I realize that there is a lot of "letting go" involved in my advice, and I don't pretend that it is easy. But looking ahead, in less than a year your dd will be 18 and legally an adult. She can walk out the door and you can't do a thing about it. If she goes away to college she will not be supervised so the more experience she has with self-control and self-management the better. The more she feels controlled now, the more she will want to break free of the control and the more likely to go wild when she finally gets that freedom.

As for sending her to an all-girls religious school, BTDT. I can tell you that the "wild girls" did not get reformed but they did figure out how to sneak out and meet boys. Where there's a will there's a way. 

None of us knew what we were doing when we first approached these issues. We all dealt with it by the seat of our pants. Some of us went into parenting a teen better prepared than others, but in the end you are learning as you go. And there is nothing wrong with telling your teen that you have made a mistake in the way you approached or handled something, I think they will respect you more for being able to make that tough admission. Take stock of how you have raised your dd so far, and if you think you've done a good job then trust yourself on that---that's a big part of being able to let go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Fri, 07-11-2014 - 8:38pm

According to what I have researched, the combination pill has a Pearl Index rate of 99.7%, when used as directed. They are never going to say it is 100% effective but that is close as you can get. 

If the woman doesn't like to take pills or is forgetful, get the shot or the implant or use some other form of b/c or combination of methods.  A man, if he doesn't want to be a father, should egually takes steps.   It is not rocket science.

But, as you say Sabr, if a woman truly doesn't want to get pregnant, there are means to stop it from happening. There were, when we were young women in the 70s and 80s.  There are even more methods now.