Mary - posted on 01/22/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
Ok, so my daughter's 15.
My question is... There is a young man she has a crush on. He's a very nice, mature kid (as is my daughter), but currently has a girlfriend, so he and my daughter are friends.
In a way, this is a "safe" relationship for her, a chance to develop a friendship with a boy without feeling the need to rush into romance. He came to spend the day today. They're hanging out, playing video games etc, being teenagers. Her little brother provides a natural "escort", so I am not hovering. lol
When I went downstairs before though, the three of them were in my daughter's room, hanging out... And she and the young man were laying on her top bunk.
It was completely innocent, they were fully dressed etc, but it's a tight squeeze for two good-sized teens to fit on a twin mattress.
They climbed down almost immediately when I came into the room, so I think they both recognized that it was not-quite-ok to be laying on the bed together like that... I didn't say anything about it because honestly, I didn't want to embarrass my daughter, and they weren't doing anything "wrong".
My concern is making her understand that physical contact/cuddling quite often leads to more. It's just common-sense reality. (Come on, we've all been teens... We remember how this works, right? You start out sitting very close on the couch, next thing you know his arm is around you and you're kissing... and it just goes on from there...)
I understand that she's growing up and will start to experiment etc, but I also want her to understand reasonable boundaries, especially in our home. I feel that she's nowhere near old enough for sex at this stage in her life... I'm not thinking "OMG she's cuddling, she's gonna have sex!!!", but I am thinking it'd be a good idea to address this early so she's prepared... It seems to me a lot of parents have this "they're kids, they'll learn by experimenting" approach to sex... but do we do that with driving a car? Of course they have to "learn by doing" at some point, but does that mean we hand them the keys and say "well, there ya go!"?...
So my question is, how do I convey boundaries respectfully? I don't want her to feel as if I'm going all Gestapo on her, ie "YOU WILL NOT HAVE SEX AS LONG AS YOU LIVE UNDER MY ROOF" RAWR!, as some of my friends' parents did when I was growing up, but I also don't want to use the "if I ignore the fact my child is growing up, it'll go away" approach my parents used.
Whenever we have a conversation I tend to get the "MOM, I'm not gonna DO anything" *eyeroll* response.
More experienced moms... Help??