My teenage cousin confessed she is sexually active. I need help....how do I handle telling her parents???

Russ - posted on 11/25/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I am 32 and have a toddler girl. My 14 year old cousin confessed to me this weekend that she is sexually active. She has a 17 year old boyfriend and said they have had sex once...in addition on her 14th birthday she had sex with another boy ( which was her first time). She claims to have used a condom both times. She also asked me to help her get birth control. I was shocked and so sad to know my baby cousin who in my mind is still a little girl is sexually active already. I am glad she feels like she can talk to me but I am a mother of a little girl and feel I have a responsibility to take action. I made it clear to her that I could not get birth control for her and gave her all of the advice I could regarding the importance of trying to hold out, std's.... In addition I implored her to speak with her parents that as scary as it feels that they will eventually calm down and do what will be best for her future. She freaked out bc she does not have a good relationship with her mother and is afraid her dad would hurt the boys ( he is a couch and teacher at their school). I need advice....I know I have to tell her parents, my fear is that they will go nuts ( understandably so) and because she has a strained relationship with them will rebel even more and she will not come to me anymore. Ultimately becoming more rebellious and then no one will able to guide her. I do not have a close relationship with my aunt ( her mom) or my uncle so I can't anticipate what they do. I am more inclined to go to my uncle ( he is my moms brother and he is closer with his daughter). Part of me hopes that he will take it as a major wake up call and start PARENTING her but not let on that I told him. This is not because I am worried what she will think of me...I do not need to be cool to her I just don't want her life to be ruined and if she has no one she feels she can confide in... Then what? She is beautiful, sweet, an honor student and talented athlete with an amazing life ahead of her. Please help....what do I do???

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Dove - posted on 11/26/2012

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Honestly... I wouldn't tell her parents. I completely support your reason for wanting to tell and if I were her mother, I would want to be told (by my child), but.... if you tell them she may never come to you again... and then who is she going to have to talk to?



I would urge her to talk to her parents and volunteer to be there with her when she does though.



I believe you can take her to get birth control. It 'may' depend on where you live, but I think you can get birth control without parental permission in most places. Be there for her... give her reasons to NOT have sex... etc...



My girls tell me just about anything, but they already know they have that one 'aunt' they can go to if they can't go to me for whatever reason... and I trust HER to guide my kids to the best of her ability.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/26/2012

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Hey, here's an idea...YOU DON'T.



She told you in confidence, as a person that she trusted. You can suggest that she speak with her parents, but unless you want her to totally shut you out of her life entirely, you will keep confidences to yourself, and allow her to tell her parents in her own time.



Your responsibility is to guide her, to give her examples, and to give her advice. If she has used protection, then she's being "responsible". The quotation marks are because I don't believe that responsible behaviour is having sex at the age of 14, but if they are using protection, then they are being responsible in that respect.



Don't tattle. That's unbecoming, and not what your cousin is needing. Suggest. Let her handle it. She wants to be an adult, and part of that is handling your own confessions.

Amy - posted on 11/26/2012

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Actually depending on the state you can take her to get bc. Most states allow minors to purchase their own bc. I would not bring it up with her parents, because you will ruin the trust she has placed in her.

S. - posted on 11/26/2012

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I can't advice you what to do but I can relate to your cousin totally, I was under age, I couldn't go to my parents and I would have ended up in trouble if it wasn't for my older sister and I am so thankful that i had her now I am a adult, I never thought she was "cool" she was my support and the best adult role modal I had.

I have 3 girls now my oldest is 13 and hopefully she will never have to be in that situation because i parent her unlike my mother but I often tell her that she can come to me with anything but if she ever feels she can't come to me she's to go to her aunts. If they kept her secrets I'd be upset my daughter didn't feel she could come to me (that would be my issue) but I would be more upset if she couldn't go to anyone and ended up In trouble.

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Marian - posted on 11/26/2012

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This is a tough one. On the one hand you want to have open lines of communication with your cousin, but on the one hand you want her to be protected, but you are not the parent. As a parent myself I would want to know, and I would want my son to tell me himself. But if there doesn't exist a platform for this to happen you can't force it. I suggest you continue to be a listening and supportive ear for her. If there is a Planned Parenthood in your town I know they used to have something called Teen Tuesdays. She can get screened for STD's and get birth control advice there. I don't know if they do this at all the facilities, but it's worth finding out. 14 in very young, and could have damaging consequences for her. You're doing a good thing by encouraging her to take responsible steps in protecting herself. Keep up the great work!

Russ - posted on 11/26/2012

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Thank you to everyone! I have decided to not tell her parents. That was my initial instinct but was feeling unsure of the "right" thing to do. It is so hard because I love her so much and she is still a baby, she still sleeps with her childhood stuffed animal for god sakes! I also can not help my mind and heart thinking about my own LO and how I would feel. At the end of the day I would not want her to not have all means possible to protect her future. It would be easier if it were my sisters kids, I know her and have more active responsibility in their lives. I did speak with my cousin today and told her I was researching more on the parameters of obtaining bc without a parents consent. I praised her for her courage in coming to me and assured her that was the responsible thing to do. I asked for her commitment for the next month to not engage in sex until we could discuss the options further. She assured me it has only happen once with her now bf ( I am not however nieve, but hoping she is being forthcoming) and she would not. I am wanting to provide some boundaries of some kind so she does not think it's a free for all but I also realize I am not her parent. Any suggestions? I had thought about meeting the bf to make sure he knew a responsible adult in her life is present and to discuss the grave importance of condoms. He is a 17 year old senior and really I want to strangle him, but I know that will accomplish nothing. I also thought about making it a stipulation and encouraging her to take a class at planned parenthood. Idk...maybe this approach is over the top? Thanks again for the feedback. God...I am no prude by any means but 14 is sooooo young!

Ariana - posted on 11/26/2012

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I wouldn't tell her parents and I would help her get on birth control.



I think you basically answered yourself when you were asking how to tell them. She has a strained relationship with her mother and is afraid her dad will freak out, and she may rebel even more if this comes out. She has come to you, a responsible adult, for help and you gave her very good advice. Most people do not feel comfortable talking to their parents about sex, or any adult, so it's amazing that she's come to you with this.



I would help her get on birth control, or tell her to go to her health councellor (actually I don't know how eacch district does it but when I was in high school we could get birth control through the health nurse at our high school without parental consent). She's actually being responsible by asking you to help her with this.



Getting her on birth control is the smart thing to do, and it does not mean you are condoning her behavior but that you're helping her stay safe. If you keep this to yourself and keep in contact with her a lot then she will be more willing to come to you if other issues come up. Otherwise you'll have isolated her from her parents and from yourself.



You might try and see if you can see her more often or have her around. It might help her out a bit more.

ParkswayVoodoo - posted on 11/26/2012

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id like to add to my previous post that i was on birth control when i got pregnant. therefore i know if she gets it she will be forgetful with it

Brittany - posted on 11/26/2012

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You need to keep the lines of communication open and comfortable. Do not tell her parents, your right in thinking it will make her rebel. Suggest that she may be too young, educate her on safe sex practices, and take her to get birthcontrol.

ParkswayVoodoo - posted on 11/26/2012

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i was 14 when i lost my virginity, and what turned into using condoms all the time, turned into sometimes, and then into never. i ended up pregnant at 15. that age is too naive to understand what the consequences will be. my teenaglife was robbed from me due to my poor decisions. i love my child to death and i wouldnt trade him for the world, but id have a much easier life if it werent for my decisions then. she needs to hear these kind of stories, if someone wiuld have told me the reality if having a child so young i would have maybe thought twice of my decisions. even if she gets birth contril, 14 is a irresponsible age to remember everyday and to remember to refill on time, and its not 100 prrcent effective. i wouldnt tell her parents either, let her continue to come to you but keep asking her to speak with her parents, if she refuses understan its scary for her. everyteenage girl needs a woman she can talk to and shes a lucky girl to have you to feel comfortable with, as not all girls have someone.

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