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March 13, 2009


My daughter is only 6, but I love coming here and reading about the trials of raising a teenager.

I applaud your friend. I'm doing everything in my power to make sure that I have a similar relationship with my daughter that she has with her's.

I'm in awe of the mother for her clear-headed thinking, of the daughter for taking responsibility for her actions and owning up to the scare, and of their relationship for being so strong and secure. Thank you for writing about this!

Woah! I'm impressed. Only hope that I can do a sufficiently good job with my daughter that she would come to

with this issue. Certainly gives me a target to aim for.


I have to say, I don't entirely agree with the premise. My oldest is 11, so maybe you are right that I don't know what I'm talking about yet, but I used to be a teenager myself, and I know that I didn't drink or have sex until college, and never did drugs, in large part because I knew just how very disappointed in me my parents would have been. I know that "my parents will kill me if they find out" doesn't work for every kid, but for some it does.

Kristi - "Everything in my power". Good perspective, because you can't control everything. Sometimes you can have done all you could, and the child still wouldn't confide in you.

Lylah - You're welcome. I thought it was a tale worth telling.

Wendy - I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it impressive. Thanks.

Anita - Parental disapproval is a motivator, I agree. The thing is, do you deny your kids access to information because you disagree with teen and/or premarital sex? You may not choose to go so far as actually providing condoms, but would you honestly want your child to be afraid to come to you if they did 'slip up'?

This is an interesting and emotional topic for me.

I had Son (20) when I was sixteen. My mother was not supportive and told me I could live at home only if I had an abortion.

"Then we can just forget the whole thing" were my mother's exact words.

I applaud your friend with all my heart for being the kind of mother her daughter could come to with confidence that she would be supported no matter the outcome.

Sometimes it is parents who lay the harshest judgments on their own kids.

I want the invisible hedge that will keep my girls chaste until they meet the right, loving man. But at the same time I'm not stupid and hope and pray I am as level headed as your friend to guide my two girls correctly. Holy crap am I scared!

As the other of a teenage girl who is sexually active and has had one boyfriend for the past two years, I applaud your friend for doing all the right things. She has done everything that I've done, and that I've counseled my own friends to do.

I just worry about my friends who refuse to acknowledge that sex exists outside of marriage and under the age of 26. They're really going to have a VERY hard time accepting their kid's sexuality, even though it's perfectly natural, and in my not so humble opinion, a really nice part of life.

By the time they are 16, most girls have had sex. It's just a fact. You can either deal with it like a rational adult and realize that kids aren't the same as when you were in high school, or you can force your kids into hating you for not accepting them as sexual beings. Because they are. It might not be what YOU want for them, but honestly, you can't stop them.

Your friend is a great mother. A mother who is staying in relationship with her daughter to guide who through whatever is set before her in her life.

A side comment is that birth control doesn't stop 100% of pregnancies. I have many married friends who have more children than they planned and were using birth control! We need to believe accidents can and do happen to teens as well. (This is something I've shared with my 16 year old daughter to add to her store of information on sex!)

Zayna - It's a tough one. To my mind (and this is me, I'm not preaching at anyone here) an abortion is a worse moral offense than pre-marital sex. My kids know I feel that way. If my daughter were in that position, and nonetheless chose an abortion, I would hold her hand through it, but, oh, it would be a heartbreaker. So, however, would seeing my child give up the rest of her childhood to raise a child.

Bottom line, for me is that though we have the right and responsibility to guide and direct, it is the teen's decision to make.

JennH - I like your balance. I don't see why this has to be an either-or proposition: Either you want them to stay chaste or you give them information about sex. How about the middle road? Teach/show/model your moral framework AND give them the factual information, so they can make an informed decision themselves when the time comes. I firmly believe that kids whose parents do this *do* wait longer, because they're far less likely to succumb out of curiosity or peer pressure.

Margalit - My worry for the kids whose parents won't even admit the possibility and refuse to give information is that those are the kids most likely to end up surprised by a pregnancy and/or a nasty disease. And if they find themselves "in trouble", who can they turn to?

Giving them the information doesn't make them want to do it. Does putting on your seat belt make you want to crash your car?

Ali - Too true. All my pregnancies were planned, but everyone knows someone who had a "surprise" pregnancy. Telling your teen that surprises happen may make him/her more cautious, particularly if you can point out Cousin Suzie, the "surprise"... Just so long as we're not giving the teen the impression that 'condoms don't work all that well, so why bother'!

your friend gets the fabulous mother prize ... because the lines of communication are open between her and her daughter.

it's something i strive for. and hope to maintain as the roo-girl steps further into teen'ness.

shoot me now.

Kudos to your friend for being there for her daughter. That is such a sticky subject in our household between myself and hubby. Our one and only is almost 12 and daddy is having a hard time coming to terms that his baby girl is growing up. He doesn't like it that I discuss certain topics with her; he thinks I give her too much info for her age. In a world where kids are having sex in some form or fashion at a younger age, there is no such thing as too much info.

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