Monday, January 17, 2011

Teen boy having phone sex

Questioner: Donald


Subject: Teen boy having phone sex

Question: My 15 year old met a 16 year old girl thru My Space about 18 months ago;
they've never seen each other in person. Four months ago I discovered that she was sending him very raw, naked photos of herself. Two months ago I suspected he was closing the door to his bedroom, masturbating and having phone sex with her.

I ruled that he could not have his bedroom door closed. It made no difference, because a week later I caught him. I took away the phone for a week, called the girl's mother (who lives 250 miles away), and
ruled that he had to have his phone conversations on the main floor of the house where there's no privacy and much more foot traffic from me, my wife and his younger brother. Last night I caught him doing it again, in the living room while his stepmother and I were upstairs watching TV in the bedroom.


I've sat with him and told him there's nothing wrong with sex, there's nothing wrong with masturbating, and there's nothing wrong with a teenager WANTING to have sex - but that at his age, it is simply unacceptable
behavior. This latest incident has infuriated and frustrated me, though I'm trying not to take it personally. I think that, given his determination to do this, and his continual disregard of my rules and boundaries, I'm going to take the phone away from him completely and not return it until he turns 16, which will be in 6 months.

I think that the independence of having a phone and using it responsibly is simply way more than he can handle at his age, and that it was a mistake to trust him with such a degree of boundary-less
freedom as a teen. He has other healthy relationships with male and female peers, is very active in extracurricular activities - in other words, he is an otherwise typical teenager who is successfully making the transition toward adulthood. What do you think - is my punishment too severe, have I been
too lenient in the past? Is there something else I should be thinking about?

Answer: Dear Donald:

If this is the only problem you are having with this 15 almost 16 year old teenager...then you need to congratulate yourself for raising a good teen.

NO I don't think your punishment is too harsh. I do think it maybe unrealistic as he can borrow phones from friends and the point it if he is doing so behind your back he will find away..mostly because this is a power struggle I don't think you will win.

If this is one girl and not that he is floating around on the Internet running up huge bills from sex talk lines and is a result of a relationship one on one then you are ahead of the game already.

While I understand that you don't want him having sex as a teen it is however the safest sex he could be having. Realize that while I am not condoning his behavior....his having sex with a girl in his own neighborhood could present you with being a grandfather much sooner than you want it too.

A better strategy is to combine the authority approach and spend more time with him. Figure out what he likes to do and spend more time with him. Work on your relationship with him as right now is very critical. How you handle this will determine how brought these teen years and adult years will be between the two of you.

Take some responsibility for your own actions as he was allowed to have a page on My Space and this is the chance that any parent takes when they allow access to adult sites which my space most certainly is an adult site. That it took 18 months for this relationship to get to sex is a positive on his part and needs to be recognized.

LASTLY, realize that just because you put the restrictions on him does not mean you won't catch him trying to go around your rules. Just accept that he will so you don't get so upset each time. Keep your new rules in place and don't allow his infractions to create so much anger and chaos around his behavior. If you are consistent in setting the same boundaries he will eventually get the picture.

Whenever we change rules with children even almost adult children, their behavior will get worse before it gets better. That doesn't mean you have to increase or intensify the rules, just be consistent and reinforce them.

And make sure you are having the safe sex talks because regardless of what you want he will make his own decisions so give him enough information to make healthy safe decisions.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller