Teen age daughter having sex

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Teen age daughter having sex
7
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 9:39pm
Hello

I am new to this message board but desperately need advice. My 17 yr old daughter just told me she and her boyfriend of 3 months had sex and she wants to go on birth control.

I am sure some of you will think it is wonderful that at least she told me.. and I recognize it is. We have always had such a close relationship, I have been a single parent almost all of their lives ( I have an almost 16 yr old daughter as well)

We have always had a very open and honest and very trusting relationship.. but I have to tell you I am just devastated over this news.

My oldest daughter is the type of kid any parent would be thrilled to have. She is polite, respectful, a straight A student, very responsible. Her teachers constantly tell me how lucky they are to have her in their classrooms. She is involved in school, has aspirations to be a doctor..I could always trust her 110%, if she said she was going to do something I knew she would do it.

So when she came to me this afternoon and told me I felt like my world had just collapsed. Not only do I worry about her lost innocence, I wonder if I can trust her?

To the best of my knowledge she has never lied to me before... and here now is one of the biggest lies of all. Her boyfriend is not allowed in the house when I am not home, but she let him in and they had sex in her bedroom one afternoon. She says it has not happened since, although she thinks they might again (hence the request for birth control) and she absolutely insists he did not pressure her at all.

I can't help but feel like I have failed as a parent somehow, that our lives have changed completely in a blink of an eye. I feel like I have lost my little girl.

Any advice would be appreciated, am I over reacting? I know I can't forbid her from seeing him but right now I can't even bear the thought of him being in our home.

Help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 2:03am
My heart goes out to you. I can relate to how you feel, although my dd is only 15 and have not crossed that bridge yet - although we have crossed others. I guess the best thing I can do for you is reassure you that you are not alone. And that you HAVE NOT failed as a parent! The fact that you have had such a great relationship w/ your dd and that she can talk to you about this is testament to that fact. I know you hurt and the thoughts of taking your daughter to get birth control is not easy to take. It perhaps feels as if you are condoning it. And I can appreciate how you feel having him around.

Let me also say that 17 is young by our standards (parents)but I know it is average or a little older than average by the standards set by today's generation.

Perhaps talk to her about why she has taken the relationship to this level. Try to learn exactly how she feels about him and how he feels about her. The time they have been together does not seem that long - but it seems in today's teen world that is not a factor for them. Also - tell her how you feel, if you feel uncomfortable with this. Basically I think you have to talk, and I mean really talk, to reach an understanding and make a decision that you can both live with. I have found that when I am direct and communicate with people (family, friends or associates) the results are always better. But a word of caution, do approach it as a conversation, to better understand, etc. - you do not want to come across as preaching or telling her she is confined to the house until she is 21. I just had a lengthy conversation w/ my dd over some things that had recently occured. Tonight when I learned something else, I could not hold back any longer. I approached her about it. We talked and I think this was the first step to making things right.

Really - it seems you have done great to this point. Think about and talk it through and I am sure all will be fine. And remember - in the end you are still the parent. You will ultimately make the decision based on what you feel is the right thing to do - and that is okay.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 5:18pm
Welcome to the board, I have no real advice for you but to keep the lines of communication open, you already have been given some wonderful advice.

Again Welcome to the Board.

Lisa

2 dds, 16 & 19.

Avatar for yuccabugg
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 6:53pm
I understand your shock at your daughter having sex. I have abstained from sex, despite ENORMOUS pressure, and I am proud of my decision. However, I can only speak for myself.

Your daughter wants birth control. I think there's a couple of things she has to do to get it though. 1: See a gynecologist. 2: Understand that pills alone do NOT protect against STDs. 3: GAIN YOUR TRUST BACK. It's really necessary that you calmly tell her that she let you down. Maybe have her and her bf over for dinner and supervised activities so that you feel more comfortable with him?

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 8:57pm
Well, Dee1161, I know EXACTLY what you are going through. I also have a 17-year-old daughter, and she as well told me she was having sex with her boyfriend. They were dating for almost 9 months before she said they have sex. And the fact that they dated almost 2 years after that helped in the long run, BUT....

I will never forget that conversation with my daughter. I was dying inside when she told me. But I was SOOOO very happy that she came to me and could even discuss something like that with me. I tried to act cool and keep my head straight, and I don't really know how I did or exactly what I said. I think I was in shock for such a long time.

But NEVER EVER lose that communication and open door of dialogue with our daughter. It is the most precicious gift you could ask for. There are so many parents who envy me with my relationship with my daughter.

And yes, I did put her on birth control. Or should I say, my husband and I did. Eventually, my daughter talked to my husband about it as well, and if you think talking to me was hard, it was devastating to my husband. But after a very long soul searching, we both somewhat agreed that it was the best path to take. In one way, you're damned if you don't, because you know they'll have sex with or without your consent and there is always the risk of pregnancy. But then you're damned if you do, because it almost like you're giving your permission and the green light to have sex. We basically told our daughter that we DO NOT agree with her decision, and we both wished she would have waited. But if she is going to have sex then she has to take on the huge responsibility that goes along with it. She wanted to act like a mature young adult then she had to act like one, and that means protecting herself as well as her partner. Plus the fact that we both did not treasure the idea of becoming grandparents.

But we also told her that we WILL NOT allow any kind of sexual activity in our house. We do not agree with it and we will not turn the other cheek and condone it. We all know that it is basically impossible to keep track of every move your teenager makes, but we tried at every turn we possibly could to avoid or make sure that the opportunity would not be available in our home. Her boyfriend was welcome in our house, but he knew that "we knew" and that made him very uneasy....obviously! And that made a big difference that he knew EXACTLY where we stood on the subject and how we felt and that we would not give him our blessings on the matter. We also made it perfectly clear to our daughter that the minute the relationship was over, so was the birth control. She has to realize that birth control and sex are a huge huge responsibility and not to be taken lightly. And that birth control and sex should only be shared with someone who believes just as strong on the huge responsbility and morality of the subject.

Hope this helped and believe me, I know better than anyone how hard it is to let go and realize that your "baby" isn't a baby anymore. All you can do is guide them, give them the right tools and hope that they make the correct decision. You can't make those decisions for them, but you can make sure that the problem doesn't get worse than it already is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 2:16pm
Suzie

Thank you SO much for your response. I am still somewhat numb since my daughter told me two days ago... but I have made sure she knows that I love her just as much as ever.

It is just so hard to see them grow up and know there is heartache in their future... yes, I know there is also a lot of joy too... but we never want to see our children hurt.

Anyway, thanks again!

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 6:45pm
I understand how you feel. But, it sounds like your daughter is pretty responsible (besides letting her boyfriend into the house). Not many teens have the courage to ask their mother for birth control or even talk about sex. I know this is hard to think about but she may be going to college in a year or two and there she will be on her own. Free to make her own descions. I think that you better get her the birth control pills. If you don't she isn't going to stop having sex. It may even create an even higher desire. Its hard to let your baby grow up. But they all have to.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2003
Sun, 04-27-2003 - 1:36pm
I don't know what it's like to be the mother of a girl.

My oldest son is 17. He recently confided he and his 18 year old girlfriend wanted to have sex. My son encouraged his gf to confide in her parents and to do the responsible thing in getting more reliable birth control than condoms.

Like you, my world was toppled. I continue to tell my son my concerns about their decision. I reiterate that I won't be doing anything to facillitate the sex portion of their relationship. We talk a lot about his emotional maturity and the impact sex has in a relationship.

I am on the other hand comforted by the fact that my son confided in me. He did what I've always told him he could do, tell me anything and we'd work through it together. I'm also comforted by the fact that this is more than a casual relationship, he genuinely cares for this girl, just as in the case of your daughter.

You've done an excellent job with your daughter, don't stop talking, don't stop communicating with her. Realize how special it is that she confided in you about her physical intimacy. Don't let her down by making her regret her decision to confide in you.

She's growing up, maybe not on the timetable you'd envisioned, but her confidence in you gives a glimpse of the special kind of woman she's growing up to be, like her mother.