I Found Condoms in my Teen's Room!

I recently found condoms in my 15-year-old son's room! His aunt thinks that I should confront him, tell him that I do not approve of him having sex and throw the condoms away. I think that he will continue to have sex, and if that's the case, I would rather that he be protected from becoming a teenage father or getting a sexually transmitted disease. What do you think?

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Gayle Peterson

Gayle Peterson, PhD, is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She is a clinical member of the Association... Read more

Your appreciation of the responsibility that your son is taking in protecting his health and avoiding the life-changing effects of unwanted fatherhood is not only a more realistic approach, but a life preserving one. While it is true that your son may interpret your silence as tacit approval,his aunt's suggestion could be potentially harmful.

Perhaps he has acquired your own good "common sense" in his approach to sexuality. Still, it might be beneficial to discuss sex openly, rather than avoiding the topic altogether.

Discussing the nature of sexual involvement is is just as important as the initial decision whether or not to have sex. Commitment, as well as loving and caring for another person, may also be a part of your talk about sexuality. Keep in mind that your son might have questions which could be best be addressed in the father-son relationship.

Minimally, it is advisable to open a discussion about the fact that you have seen that he has condoms and would like to discuss this with him. Let him know that he can come to you or his father with questions about sex and relationships. If you disagree with sexuality at this age, let him know your reasons, but stop short of trying to control his behavior.

Your job as a parent is to discuss your views with your adolescent and make yourself available for guidance as needed. But, at some point, you must also recognize that he is a "beginning adult" and will make his own decisions.

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