Post # 1
So I thought we should spinoff and discuss maturity, teens, dating and sex on another thread because we were really taking away from the discussion on Facebook appropriateness.
I never knew that kids grew up so fast in England and it kind of makes me sad to be honest. I was playing Titanic out in the school yard (haha) with my friends and tried to have a fake boyfriend when I was 11 (meaning he could carry my stuff around lol) and at 13 still watched Nickelodeon…Maybe I am sheltered, but I think it’s good to let kids be kids because you have your whole life to be a grown up, wear heels, and have sex.
Post # 3
No one is interested in this? How old do you think is appropriate for teens to be having sex? What is too young to you and how do you plan on approaching this as a parent?
Post # 4
I think that it all depends on the teen.
Post # 5
I dread this as a parent. I think of the stuff I did and I was very sheltered. I would love to say that teens should wait until college but I know that isn’t going to happen, but maybe at least until they can drive.
I had my first kiss at 12 and my first serious bf at 13, yes we dated straight for three years and off and on until I starting dating Darling Husband. My parents were always involved and I was never allowed to be alone in my room with a boy or home alone. I would try to enforce those rules and not allow co-ed sleepovers and while teens are going to do what they are going to do, I would enable my kids and put them in the situations to make it so easy.
Post # 6
I will warn you, ,my post might be a little long-try to stick with me.
I have a 9 year old (4th grade). Last week I got a letter saying they would be talking about puberty and body changes in health this year and sex next year. So, I got her a great book about her changes and we have been talking about it a lot. She asked why boys and girls are different, which led a littl efurther then I was prepared for, but stayed as basic and honest as I could. My plan is to keep this dialogue there and when she get in high school be pretty active about getting her on birth control when it becomes neccesary. We do go to church so she will be taught the importance of saving yourself, but I will definately talk to her about prevention as well.
I will be so proactive because I was a teen parent. i dated someone in high school that I honestly thought I would marry. We talked about it all the time. I ended up getting pregnant when I was 16. I was too afraid to talk to my mom because I knew she wouldn’t let me spend time with him any more (mature way of thinking). And way too immature to insist on a condom. Looking back I realise I was too naive to not even know what I didn’t know. I really was making adult decisions when I was a kid, and really had no right to make them.
ETA: I think it also important to know that this really could happen to any teenager. I was on honor roll, played sports,active in my church, and never got in trouble with my parents until I got pregnant. I wasn’t what you pictured when you thought “teen mom.”
Post # 7
@kate169: Ideally? Never? But obviously that’s not realistic and I honestly don’t know how I will approach it when I have kids. I just hope my kids are more responsible and wait longer than I did. I started having sex when I was 14 and now I look at my SO’s little sister who’s 12, and the thought of her becoming sexually active in 2 years is mortifying.
Post # 8
As a parent, I don’t like thinking about the possibility of my kids having sex. Ever. Well, at least not until they are married and I start wanting grandchildren. 🙂
I have a fifteen-year-old daughter. She and I talk about her relationships with boys and sex. She has decided she is not ready for sex and plans to wait until she is married. Of course, as her mother, I am pleased with her decision, but I also realize (though I don’t tell her) that she could change her mind in a few years. I hope if that is the case, that she is still as open with me as she is now.
But I agree with you that kids seem to grow up faster than I remember. She may be fifteen, but she knows more about sex than I did in college. On one hand, she still watches SpongeBob and is in many ways a kid. But she knows kids at her school that are having anal sex, kids that are high nearly every day, and has a Facebook friend in the eighth grade that is posting pictures of her baby bump. She tells me that a lot of girls her age are sending nude photos out over their phones…and getting pictures from boys in return. It is a very different world from the one in which I grew up.
Post # 9
Yea I’m with MissBopeep, It might sound unrealistic but I’m hoping my kids arent having sex while they are teenagers. I was past my teens before I had sex so I’m hoping my kids will do the same or better than me.
Post # 10
Honestly I’m not really horrified at the idea of my kids having sex as teens. I had sex at 18, my sister was 15, and while I’ve never asked my brother I know it was sometime while he was in high school. Everyone turned out fine! I am actually marrying the only guy I’ve ever had sex with, and while he had sex with one person before me (and she had sex with a ton of people before him! I know because we were friends then and we’re still all friendly) everything is still all fine. My parents had pretty liberal attitudes in that they never told me to wait for marriage, just to wait til I was 100% sure I was ready and wouldn’t regret who/when/why for the first time. We had comprehensive sex ed in school and that’s why me and the siblings have always used protection and been smart about it. Hell, at 17 I took my boyfriend (now FI) to get an STD test because I understood it was the responsible thing to do considering we might have sex and some point and he wasn’t a virgin. But really, I think a whole lot depends on not just how you educate your kid but also the kind of person your child is–my sister and I were raised the same but are so different and the circumstances of our sex lives/losing our virginity are like night and day.
Post # 11
No idea what thread this spun off from but I’ll add my two cents. I really hope my kids can hold off at least until 17/18. I grew up in England and I didn’t have sex until my 19th birthday. Most of my friends started around 17/18 but most people I knew started around 15/16. Sexting and the easy accesibilty of internet porn really has desensitised kids towards sex and skewed their perspective on loving relationships. It is just so sad. I have no idea what I will do about this when the time comes.
Post # 12
If/when I have kids, I’ll give them the necessary information on how a loving relationship works (hopefully they’d see this from their parents), the anatomy of both sexes, how common day contraceptives work, and then I’ll include the religious aspect (we’ve both agreed to raise our (future) children Catholic). But just because we’re raising them with some religion, doesn’t mean they should be ignorant on the other stuff. And I’m not ignorant in believing that all of my children would wait until marriage. It’s a goal for some and for others, it doesn’t matter. I would hope that they would make good decisions and realize there are consequences with any behavior–even unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections if they don’t prepare themselves correctly and even under ideal circumstances, things can happen. There’s a failure rate with everything. These discussions would begin during pre-teen years.
Post # 13
I actually had a conversation similar this past weekend with a friend (‘D’) of mine. She had an inkling that her daughter (who is 10 going on 11) knew a lot more about sex and relationships then she had thought, and she was right. D straight up asked her what she knew and her daughter replied with “everything” and explained sex to a tee, knew about vagina’s, penis’, periods, etc. She did say that she knows that sex is an “adult thing” and has “only kissed Mommy, Daddy and grandparents”. She also said she had learned this all from kids at school, sex ed had barely started at school. She’s a smart kid, but holy crap I was dumbfounded!
My Mum tried to be proactive with me, but I still went behind her back until I was 16 and it slipped that I had had sex a couple times. She made an appt the next day for my pap and to get me started on BC.
I plan to be proactive with my kids as well, and knowing that sex ed starts at 11-12 in school, looks like I’ll have to start then, but also really push that they can still play with their barbies/trucks for as long as they want and not to grow up too fast. Sigh, I don’t want teenagers…
Post # 14
I think both my husband and I were naive on the subject of sex. I’ve only been with one other person (and only 3 times, lol) and he’s never been with anyone except me, so I think the majority of stuff we learned about sex was during the early years of our relationship. Neither of us came into our relationship with much education or experience, and in a lot of ways, I think we were very lucky to find each other right away.
Our plan, so far, is to be completely honest, factual and upfront with our kids about sex. Although our daughter is just a toddler, we use the proper terms for genitalia, and since I’m pregnant again, we’ve already told her (in very basic terms) that mommy is growing a baby mommy and daddy created together. I’m not entirely sure how much she understands at this point, but I’d rather start practicing this conversations now than wait until she’s ready and possibly miss my opportunity. I don’t have a specific age in mind (although my husband and I were both in college, so I think that’s a good timeline); I just hope that she feels completely ready and comfortable before she starts having sex and that the honest, open conversations can continue through that time.
Post # 15
@bearlove: I’m not horrified at the thought of older teens having sex either (15-19) but the thought of a 12-13 year old having sex is mind boggling to me!!
@plantains: The Facebook appropriateness thread got into a debate about whether or not 13 year olds are mature enough for sex.
@Mrs. Spring: I like your approach.
Post # 16
I live in England and it never ceases to amaze me how young kids seem to be at “starting” various different activities. This ranges from having sex to getting drunk all of which I strongly disagree with if they’re done underage.
A couple of my friends (in their twenties) will even buy younger friends (under 18 – 18 is our legal drinking age here) alcohol and that upsets me too. They brush it off with “oh well I was like that at that age” but the fact is it’s against the law and no doubt against these teenagers parents wishes, especially when they’re often left to make their own way home drunk.
In England the legal age of consent for sex is 16 (perhaps still too young?) but many teenagers are having sex way before that.
Both these things sadden me as the laws are there for a reason, to protect youngsters from the various dangers in society that both sex, alcohol, and the two combined can bring, even to a person over the legal age. The fact that these laws are ignored and little is done about it is so wrong.
I often hear the excuse “oh kids grow up so quick these days” but it’s this attitude that causes this. And I don’t even believe they do grow up that quickly anyway. Kids are far less independent these days – rarely walk to school alone or play outside unsupervised or run errands and yet they are thrust into a world of dangers with an attitude from their elders of shrugging it off and “oh well, it’ll hapen anyway”.
Meh, I’m ranting. I’ll stop.