Warning: This is adult material written for parents. If you are 13 years of age or younger, this article is not intended for you. This post is to help you break free from the uneasiness that is associated with talking to your children about sex and birth control.
My goal is to give you reasons why it is important to make them aware of the dangers, potential emotional trauma, and setbacks associated with sex.
Your teen has probably taken a sex education course like both of my boys did in High school but being educated about Gonorrhea doesn’t make them aware of the full impact sex can have on their lives.
It’s a sensitive subject to have to discuss with your kids, especially if you have brought them up in a religious environment where you have taught them that sex outside of marriage is wrong.
Sex is a natural, lovely thing and you shouldn’t have to feel awkward talking to your kids about it. It isn’t shameful, or embarrassing and isn’t a subject that should be hidden in the home.
It’s a reality that you should deal with rather than letting your teen learn about it from other kids. Those kids don’t know what they are talking about so please don’t allow them be your child’s mentors.
No matter how uncomfortable the subject of birth and disease control is, it is still necessary when they reach a certain age to be sure that they understand the impact sex can have on their lives.
When I had to teach my boys what birth control was, as their mother, it was not an easy task. I used a banana as a teaching tool and I did it as though I was their teacher in front of a class while they were sitting at the dining room table.
My foster daughter was sitting there as well because I wanted her to understand how to use a condom also, just in case no one in the future told her.
I know it was an embarrassing moment for all of them but not as embarrassing as it would have been to have to come home and tell mom that they got some girl pregnant because they didn’t know how to use a condom.
When you are faced with this decision, think about the alternative. Would it be better for them to be embarrassed for a moment and be educated, or to be ignorant, gullible, and then hurt over what they didn’t know?
I gave them this little sex education lesson before they were old enough to be having sexual encounters because certain signs told me they were curious about sex.
I wanted to be sure they were prepared when the time come. Don’t be one of those parents whose head is stuck in the ground. If the signs are there, at no matter what age, it is TIME to deal with the issue.
We have always spoken very freely in our home about any subject because I want them to know they can tell me anything, so it probably wasn’t as hard for me as it is for some people.
Obviously, all parents will need to make their own decisions about how to approach their children but I want to give you several reasons why it is IMPERATIVE that you at least talk to them about this and make sure they understand how their reality can change due to making the choice to have sex and/or date.
The Other Side of Puberty
I want to be clear with you that for the rest of this article, I am only talking about children who are at the age of maturity to have the opportunity to have sex; almost grown children.
I’m not talking about your thirteen year old who should be with YOU instead of out on a date. Also not your fifteen year old who only thinks they are grown.
From now on when I make a reference to “teenagers,” I am talking about the other side of puberty; the side where they are obviously ready for dating and who are weighing their options for sex, marriage, and love.
I am not trying to offend anyone but if your teen is having sex before they are emotionally and physically ready to do so, and you are supporting them in it, you are not a very good parent.
Before you get offended, please allow me to expound on what I’m trying to say.
If you are giving a young teen condoms, because you know they are having sex, you first need to realize that your job as a parent isn’t just to GIVE THEM CONDOMS. It is to teach them why they shouldn’t be having sex in the first place and then to STRIP THEM OF THAT OPPORTUNITY.
See the difference?
Simply gearing them with condoms teaches them nothing. Getting your girls on birth control only helps them to not get pregnant. It does nothing for disease control and most certainly does nothing for the emotional trauma sex can have on that child’s heart.
I cannot even fathom supporting my children in the decision to have sex as a young teenager.
Sex is an ADULT act.
I personally have raised my boys so monitored that they didn’t have much of an opportunity to have sex, however, I understand not all parents are like that. Some children get to spend the night with friends, go on road trips, so on and so forth.
My personal belief was that if my children were with me, they were not doing something they shouldn’t be doing. I’ve even kept a flexible job that allows me to spend time with them and be there when they need me.
The only time I didn’t have control over that is when they spent time with their dad. The law said I had no choice in the matter, so he will give his own account before God for whatever he did or didn’t do while they were with him.
Now, of course they had opportunities to go out and spend the night but ONLY with the people I trusted the most and not very often.
However, reality is, despite all my efforts, some teens do have sex…
…even if you do your darnedest to prevent it. I’m not stupid enough to believe otherwise.
Because of this reality, I also believe that it is imperative to teach them how to control themselves, how to protect themselves, and also how to deal with the emotional and stressful challenges having sex, dating, and falling in love can bring.
Supporting them in having sex by giving them opportunities to have it, isn’t good parenting. Making sure they are not put in that position to begin with but are protected in case it does happen- is good parenting.
Let’s face it, if you have children, that day is coming if it isn’t here already that they will have sex, hopefully after marriage, but in this day and age that isn’t guaranteed.
A TEEN’S FREEDOM
My youngest son just turned seventeen and he is just now getting to drive and have a little bit of freedom. I didn’t turn over a set of keys to him last year just because he turned sixteen. I am strict with how much freedom my boys get.
I also didn’t hand them an iPhone so that they can watch unlimited porn, stay distracted, or have a wreck while texting and driving. They need to experience life and that doesn’t happen staring at a screen.
They have flip phones with no internet. The internet here at home is turned off unless it’s homework time or they’re being monitored. We have their history monitored as well.
I also made them buy straight shift vehicles instead of automatics so that they can’t text and drive. I also have a GPS tracking system in their car to keep up with where they are.
Someone said to me recently, “I feel sorry for your kids.”
Why? Because they are protected and loved? I would have given anything to have had that when I was growing up.
I may be judged by other people who didn’t raise their kids right, but I am the one who has to be held accountable for my own children’s behavior, so I do my job despite other judgmental parents not understanding where I’m coming from.
I didn’t feel my son was ready for driving last year so he didn’t get to do it, although my oldest son got to drive at sixteen. Freedom should be given to a child ONLY if they can be trusted and only if they have earned it.
If they have been dishonest with you and untrustworthy in the past, handing them freedom is like telling them to have sex, do drugs, or give in to whatever their weaknesses are.
The Freedom to Go Out With Other Teens
I guarantee you some of those other teens are not what you think they are, no matter how “Christian” they seem to be and no matter how “well behaved” they are in front of you.
My girlfriend used to meet her boyfriend at church and make out in the back room. Not having sex, but getting aroused…at church. Just because someone goes to church with your children that doesn’t make them a good influence.
One of my girlfriends used to take me out with her to make her parents trust that she couldn’t get in trouble while I was with her. She was only out to chase boys. And, at 15 years old she was sexually active.
My girl friends would run off to the bathroom, to the back of the building, or anywhere else they thought they could get a little privacy with their boyfriends.
What were they were doing in the bathroom? Having sex, of course.
Do you think that a child’s best friend wouldn’t walk away long enough for that to happen? Sure they would. I mean, what could I do about it? It was her decision and most friends see it that way.
It can happen anywhere. My friends did it at the park, in the car, and even at the ball field in front of the school. Their raging hormones caused them to not care where or when or about consequences.
I can assure you teenage boys are familiar with quickies, so time has no bearing on it. With high testosterone, and adrenaline pumping, it can happen easily in FIVE minutes.
When I was a teen, I knew other teens who didn’t care who was around either. They would hide in a corner and have sex in FRONT of one another. Their friends just turned their heads and acted as though it wasn’t happening.
You think teens have morals? Huh. There may be some exceptions but not the majority.
Many of my children’s friends have parents who hand them money whenever they want it, and I’m talking hundreds of dollars.
They allow them to run all over town with their friends, and even provide them with the vehicle and car insurance to do it with. Nothing has to be earned, it is all just handed to them.
And, guess what? Several of them are now on drugs, are having sex, and are living like an adult. I am blown away by how people just let their kids go and then claim to “love” them.
Love doesn’t enable; love protects, love teaches, love supports wise decisions- not stupid ones.
I want what’s best for my kids so I didn’t just hand over freedom like its candy. I made them work a job and buy their own car, car insurance, and fuel for that car. Teaching them responsibility is your NUMBER ONE job as a parent.
Have you ever seen the comic where the little red devil is sitting on someone’s shoulder? The angel on the other shoulder competes in telling the person what to do. That is actually the closest description I can think of that describes what a teen experiences.
My youngest son tends to think things are cool that could potentially get him into trouble. So, until he gets rid of that, he is home with mom. He drives with mom, he goes to the store with mom, he lives with MOM.
I’m starting to see a glimpse of maturity in him so I’m hoping that will change soon but until it does, he belongs to ME.
He doesn’t belong to this world and this world isn’t going to take care of him, love him, or protect him. His friends aren’t going to do that, his dad obviously isn’t going to do that since he hasn’t even heard from him in about four years now.
I am his sole mentor and it is my responsibility to be sure he comes out on the other side of puberty with wisdom. He will not spend most of his time with some girl, other teens, or in a position that could potentially hurt him.
As long as that little red devil seems to be in the lead he will not be dating even with a group, or driving alone until I see that he is more in tune with the angel on his shoulder.
For some reason, parents seem to think that because a child turns a certain age, it is their right to get certain privileges that go along with that age.
Turning 16 didn’t earn my son the right to drive. What has earned him that right is showing us he can be responsible and mature enough to handle it.
The same goes with sex. Sex is a big responsibility because it can bring big consequences.
Instead of teaching my children that sex is wrong, like many people teach their children; I’ve taught them that sex comes with consequences, is a big responsibility, and needs to be cautiously planned so that you don’t get yourself in trouble by having it before you’re ready.
You see, I was brought up being told that sex is wrong but that didn’t stop me from having sex.
What usually did stop me was my own realization that if I got pregnant, I wasn’t ready to be a mother. Or, if I got AIDS or HIV, I wasn’t ready to die or live my life with some sort of disease.
After the age of 15 or 16, I had an awareness that most of my friends didn’t have. I didn’t like to do things that were wrong and it really bothered me when I did. I didn’t want to get in trouble or have to pay the consequences for poor behavior.
I tried drinking but didn’t like the feeling it gave me or guilt it brought. I also tried several other things that I was pressured into but my conscience wouldn’t allow me do those things. They were wrong and I knew it enough that it made me not want to do it.
When I got to the age of wanting to have sex, and I’ll be honest with you I WANTED IT BAD; I didn’t know how to deal with those mixed up raging hormones and emotions.
The local church, my own conscience, and other people all taught me that sex outside of marriage was wrong. What do you do with that when you need love, affection, and attention?
I was an abused child, and really all I wanted was to be loved by someone; held, nurtured, shown that I mattered. I also wanted children so badly I could barely live with the thought of not having them.
I suffered through the beginning of it. Handled it pretty well in the first few years of puberty and thought myself to be pretty strong compared to many of my teenage friends and family members who were obviously sexually active.
I wanted to be different than that. I wanted to be in love first.
Just about the time I thought I had a handle on things, here comes this brown eyed, tall handsome man that I fell for immediately. Oh, he was gorgeous! And dangerous.
He wanted to do things I didn’t want to do. Things that went against my principles. Before I knew it I found myself wanting to get married.
Why? Because I WANTED TO HAVE SEX. Just being honest. I didn’t have a parent or mentor to teach me anything, so I wasn’t sure how to deal with all of the emotions I was feeling.
Telling me that sex outside of marriage is wrong, didn’t help me, it actually hurt me. I agree that the boundaries of marriage provide much more protection but it doesn’t make sex right if you’re not ready for it. After being sexually abused, I wasn’t ready for it.
I was extremely attracted to the man that I married and I wanted to act on that attraction without the guilt. Did I love him? Sure. But that wasn’t enough.
Marrying the wrong person for the wrong reason was wrong. Just as wrong as sex before marriage would have been. So, you tell me, which one was better?
That brought me nothing but heartache and ended in divorce. Churches and parents seriously need to take into account a child’s future. Marriage is not a fix-all for the desire to have sex.
My heart was ripped to shreds when I realized my husband really just married me for the sex. I knew it the moment it was obvious he was looking at and thinking about other women. It wasn’t until years later that I realized I had married him for the same reason.
I don’t want that for my boys. Divorce can be detrimental and I don’t want their hearts ripped apart because I ignorantly taught them the wrong thing about what sex is or what gives you the freedom to have it.
Sex is not wrong or bad. Sex is beautiful. It isn’t wrong any more than having a baby is wrong. Sex is a blessing meant for two people who love one another and yes it is meant to be within the confinement of marriage but like I said, marriage isn’t a fix-all.
A baby is meant to be a blessing also but we all know that having a baby for an unmarried thirteen year old is NOT a blessing. I don’t care how you look at it or how much your grandmotherly instincts kick in once that baby is here.
If having a baby is not a blessing at a certain age, then sex is not a blessing at that age either.
I’ve taught my boys to think of the consequences of their actions. If you get the consequences that those actions can bring, is it worth it? Is it worth having a baby over? Having to pay child support? Is it worth getting some disease? Condoms are not guaranteed protection, so if it breaks, is it worth it?
Life isn’t just about right or wrong. Life is more about making wise decisions that will bring good consequences instead of bad ones. We reap what we sow, each and every time; either right now or eventually.
The very best thing I can think of to teach my kids is that we reap what we sow. If they have a consequence mindset, then they constantly have to think about what they will reap for their actions, which will help them to make better decisions.
Can this decision potentially hurt me in the long run? If it can, then it is not time to be doing that particular thing.
Is this something that can cause guilt and shame? If it is, then you need to be doing something else with your time. You need to spend time with someone else or do something that will distract you from making that bad decision.
I don’t care how much your kids promise you that they are not going to have sex, or how strong you think your kids are, sex WILL be a temptation.
They will tell you all sorts of things to make you think they are not doing it but don’t trust that. Trust your gut.
I guarantee you their friends are having sex and condoning it and maybe even encouraging it. YOU may be their only hope for wisdom.
Be that voice of reason- not telling them that sex is wrong, but that sex is GOOD only at the right time and with the right person; when they are ready to not have to worry about the consequences of it.
The Best Thing To Teach Our Children about Sex
We are spirit beings, not flesh. If we are constantly giving in to what our flesh wants, we are not allowing our spirit to lead and since our spirit is our true self, that makes us weak.
Our flesh is just a tool to get our spirits where we need to go. We should care for our flesh and nurture it, but allowing it to lead can get us in trouble. Our kids need to understand the balance between the two.
If you get one out of balance, the other doesn’t operate correctly which means we will reap bad consequences for our actions, because an out of balance person will make bad decisions.
Teaching them abstinence is obviously the best choice, but they need a back-up plan in case they fail at that. If you haven’t taught them to protect themselves otherwise, what will save them from the bad consequences of those actions?
My job as a parent has been to protect my sons, and admittedly I have went to the extreme at times to be sure I have met my obligations. At other times I didn’t go to the extreme, and those are my regrets.
So far they haven’t had the burden of knowing they got someone pregnant, got aids, or some other infectious disease that ajax can’t scrub off.
So overboard, or not, I’ve done my job. Judged or not, I’ve still done my job.
The mistakes that I’ve made were the times when I didn’t go overboard. If I could go back and do it ALL over again, I would go even more overboard to protect them.
I didn’t let my kids off the hook easily when they were in trouble because I wanted them to realize that consequences for bad behavior are not easy.
Both of my boys have told me they want to wait about dating until they know they’re ready for a serious relationship and until they have the extra money to be able to spend on her.
My almost grown children don’t date. Not because I won’t let them (if they are listening to the angel on their shoulder I will let them), but because they want to wait until they are old enough to handle it wisely.
My oldest son will be nineteen in July. He has told me that he is waiting on the right one rather than going through the dating scene with a bunch of break-ups and heartaches. He said he doesn’t have time for all of that.
Now whether he sticks to it or not once he moves out will be up to him but I trust that when he leaves my house, he will be ready to make wise decisions.
I wadded up a piece of paper one day and threw it one of my sons. I told him to put it back to normal. A heavy book didn’t even make it flat again, although it helped.
I said, “A heart is like a piece of paper. Once you wrinkle it, it’s hard to get it back to normal. If you rip it, it will never be back to its original state.
Your spirit isn’t meant to be broken over and over like that and it will cause trust issues among other things. For girls, when you break up with them, it can literally ruin their entire world. The best solution is to just not date until you’re ready to deal with the emotional issues it causes.”
Apparently, that made a big impact on them.
Giving your kids birth control has been a long debated issue at school. I don’t want the schools giving my kids condoms because that leaves out the education factor behind why they are giving them condoms.
Here’s the harsh truth: If they want to have sex, they are going to do it whether you condone it or not.
Teenagers are lead by hormones. Not their brains. Most of them don’t care what God thinks about it, or what we think about it- they care that it feels good.
We as parents need to teach our children how to deal with the desire to do what feels good. When it comes to sex, in the heat of the moment, they are only considering how they feel.
We have all been there, haven’t we? We’ve had our moments of weakness when that gorgeous brown eyed boy looked our way. The truth is, it DOES make you weak.
If you are going to allow your kids to date, as most parents do now, or even hang out with friends and dating at the same time, why leave them in a position to get hurt? That is what you’re doing if you don’t make sure they are “protected” and educated.
When they have that hot passionate thought in their mind, it isn’t going to go away just because you said no for them in your mind, because in that moment, you can’t say no for them in reality.
Do you want your child’s future to include a baby? A disease? Death? Obviously the decision is yours if you give them birth control or not but gearing them with knowledge IS your responsibility.
Teach them how to use a condom whether you give them one or not. Make sure your girls are on birth control or know how to use a condom as well. Yes, girls SHOULD know how to use a condom. Show her how.
Sex isn’t bad and it isn’t dirty. Teach them the boundaries sex should be in but ultimately you need to realize the decision to have sex or not have sex is your child’s. I know that’s hard to hear for some of us helicopter moms but its true nonetheless.
Wouldn’t you rather they be prepared and fully geared to make wise decisions and lesson the chances of bad consequences for their actions if they don’t?
Above all, be your child’s mentor and have clear communication with them. Train them up in the way they should go and then trust that you’ve done your job well no matter who judges you for it.
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