How to Parent your Teens when they are old enough to have Sex

Our greatest fear as parents is often that young people will have sex too early, and that this will in some way harm them. Why do we object to early sex? You may think the reasons are self evident and obvious. They do, however, bear examination. Common arguments are that a too early sexual relationship:

  • can lead to emotional damage.
  • can lead to physical harm.
  • can lead to pregnancy.
  • can lead to sexually transmitted disease.
  • can take their minds off education and careers.
  • can lead to an unsuitable marriage.

Of course, the greatest anxiety parents acknowledge, especially those with daughters, is that an unwanted pregnancy will occur. Logically, if this were your only concern, the sensible action would be to encourage your daughters to seek contraceptive advice if and when they became involved. We are, on the whole, far from logical!

Teens About sex

Pregnancy is not always the result of ignorance or accident. For some, it happens as the result of a conscious or unconscious weighing up of costs and benefits. The costs of a sexual relationship are arguments with you, and the risk of pregnancy. The benefits are the status of having a steady girlfriend or boyfriend, the affection he or she might offer, the feeling of adulthood and the sheer sexual pleasure. The costs of not using a method of birth control are the risk of pregnancy and all the problems that brings. But the benefits are that they avoid the enormous hassle of getting contraception, the arguments your finding it would produce, the reputation using it might give them, and having to admit to being sexual.

If they do get pregnant, this in itself may have some benefits such as giving them status or, for a young person who does not have a career or even a job in prospect, something to do.

Pregnancy is also a powerful weapon to be used against parents who are refusing to let them grow up, and an effective way of hawing their anger at or disagreement with you.

Sex is itself often seen as an explosive force – an elemental owner that can control you, damage you and possess you. It is only its consequences that we wish to avoid. If we find our own sexuality problematical as adults, how much more difficult, we assume, it must be for a ‘child’ to cope? Remembering the pangs or our own first love, we seek to protect our own from that pain. However, painful experiences are an essential part of growing up, and the more one is protected from them, the less well one is able to manage. In any activity, one has to serve apprenticeship. Trying to cut this short or delay it does not produce a skilled craftsman, but one who is at risk of damaging himself and anyone around them when they are put in a positive responsibility.

The very fact that your young person is experience they are at the stage of being ready learned to understand and cope with them. Our mistake is in summing that the depth of emotion and commitment they may e feeling, and the significance they attach to such a relationship, means that they are having full sexual intercourse.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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