Monday, July 19, 2010

Teen daugther and the pill

Subject: Sex and My 16 year old daughter

Question: My daughter is 16, soon to be 17 years old. She does well in school, excels in sports year round, and has recently asked to be put on the pill.
She stated it was because of severe menstral cramps (her friend is on the pill for this reason), but I'm afraid it will be a green light to have sex with her boyfriend of 6 months. He is a senior, seem pretty nice, shy, and seems to treat her well. Still, my daughter is the aggressive one in the relationship and I'm worried.

I have often talked to her about NOT having sex till she is MUCH older. Her answer is that she is not going to have sex, but its none of my business anyway. YIKES! She carries around a condom in her wallet she got from a concert. (Maybe it makes her feel cool.) I'm scared to death. She is a junior and her boyfriend is a senior. In the fall he will be going to college. It just seems like a receipe for disaster. Still - should I just be safe than sorry and put her on the pill?

She often visits with her boyfriend at his house, but only if the mom is there. He drives, she temp drives. She is not worldly. They live far apart, so I have some control on whether he sees her, because I usually have to drive. I would like to talke to his mom, but scared that would be interfering too much and I don't want to lose her trust and I really don't like the idea of putting drugs into your system when you don't need them. She is a sensitive person, but has had at least 4 boyfriends since 8th grade; relationships that have lasted only around 2 wks to a mo. If she has sex with this boy and they break up the emotional fall-out may be too much for her. I'm pretty sure both are virgins. HELP!

Do I put her on the pill? Can you tell me what to say to her that I haven't already done?

Answer: Dear Anonymous

First of all congratulate yourself on your parenting so far. To have a 17 year old daughter who is still a virgin speaks well of your parenting. Trust yourself a little more and realize there are other influences in your child's life. She is practically an adult whether or not you are ready to see this or not.

Secondly, the reality is if she is serious about having sex...she will. Are you ready for grandchildren and having her at home with your grandchild?

If she really is just looking for a cure for cramps, calcium tablets is a good way to go however probably she is trying to protect herself and you really need to understand in this day and age with a teen pregnancy rate that is high she IS being responsible asking for the pill.

Talk this out and instead of lecturing, LISTEN TO HER until you think you cannot listen anymore. Really listen to her. Many times we parents think we are listening when what we are doing is lecturing, interrupting and problem solving their problems. Trust that the way you have raised her will win out. Everyone has the capacity to make good decisions if they are heard. You need to be her sounding board and I am sure by now she understands your values and your position on this topic, enough said.

If she still chooses the pill realize she can probably get it without your permission and the fact that she came to you speaks VOLUMES about your relationship. Cherish this no matter what mistakes you think she is making. This is the stuff long term adult relationships are made of a good indication you will be in her life when she gets married, has children and visits you in the nursing home later in life.

As far as this being to much for her emotionally, she sounds to grounded to shrivel up. She may get her heart broke however she will survive and move on we all do and she is not the first teen to get into a romance and get her heart broken. How she deals with it may have more to do with your support and your belief in her ability to make decisions and live with the consequences of her actions.

Sincerely,

M Kay Keller