Patty - posted on 05/30/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )
I started this post as a response to someone asking about letting teen girls hang out with boys. It got so long and eventually not exactly on topic that I decided to make a new post about my own struggles with my 2 teen daughters.
In regards to when and how long to let teen daughters hang out with boys, this has been my experience and what i've learned and am still learning. I have 2 daughters 14 and 16, and this a very tricky subject. I let them hang out in groups during the daytime hours and on certain occasions later if they were going to a movie, etc. Last summer I was going through some very difficult treatments and was sick most of the time, and my husband has a demanding job and works long hours. It was difficult to keep track of them all the time, but I knew all their friends, where they lived, and where they hung out. I don't believe that setting curfews, etc does any good if you're trying to prevent them from having sex. If they want to have sex, they will find a way during the hours they are allowed to hang out.
I'm saying this because with everything I felt I was doing right, my 14 yr old daughter got pregnant and just had her baby a few wks ago. This was such a shock to us at the time because we've never had any problems with her. I began talking to them about sex, alcohol, drugs, and any other subject that came up very early, so they always felt comfortable to come to me about anything. They know where I stood and expected regarding these issues, and we always had a good relationship even through all our struggles.
We've always had a lot of problems with my older daughter with her being bipolar, being very impulsive, oppositional and not thinking before she does things. She's been in and out of psych facilities. She's had history of cutting and attempted to overdose at 14. She's been picked up by the police a few times for some minor things that we've had to go to court for, etc, and has recently stopped taking her meds. I've always worried about her getting pregnant since she's been promiscuous. I now have her on Depo shots for birth control but I do worry about STDs because she's so careless.
Her sister is opposite of her in every way. She's normally very responsible, makes good decisions, and is ALOT more responsible and mature than her older sister. She even asked us to buy her a purity ring after we moved because she wanted the guys and other girls to know she was a virgin. We moved to South FL from Alabama a couple yrs ago, and it was a culture shock for both of them, but esp for the younger in middle school. Kids are becoming sexually active at very young ages in middle school...at least here they are. She had boyfriends before but always cut things off with them if they got too touchy-feely or put pressure on her. Also, her Dr had put her on the pill months before this because of her very heavy, painful periods All of this and SHE'S the one who got pregnant within the 1st month of losing her virginity. She thought she was protected but had been on antibiotics for 10 days during that time and didn't know that could counteract the effects of the pill. Neither her Pediatrician or I thought to tell her this because we didn't believe she had become sexually active. Also, since her bf was also a virgin the didn't feel like a condom was necessary.
I've always been very open with them and they talk to me about everything but sometimes after the fact. As soon as she missed her period, she came to me and asked me to buy a pregnancy test, so I found out she'd started having sex and may be pregnant in an instant. She immediately came to me with tears in her eyes with the positive test result. Although I was in shock and completely devastated, I remained calm and told we'd get thru this and I would support her in any way. I had no doubt that she'd have and keep the baby since she's very anti-abortion and has always loved babies. Fortunately her bf has been by her side through all of this an his family has also been supportive, and we are all now enjoying having a baby boy in the house. She and her bf are very hands on with the baby, and haven't needed or asked for much help.
She does realize that she is very fortunate to have all this support and a nice home with his own nursery to raise him in. She's been going to a school they have here in our county for teen parents and none of those girls have it even half this good. She will return to this school in the fall and has every intention of graduating from high school. This school also has free onsite daycare that she can take him to when I'm not able to for some reason I'm a stay at home mom on disability, so I will watch him most of the time. I finally finished my treatments about 6 weeks ago, and I think that considering all that we've been through in the past year, we are truly blessed with this beautiful baby boy.