What If My Teen Is Sexually Active?

Sometimes teenagers become sexually active. It happens. Not all teenagers who have sexual intercourse, however, use birth control.1 As a result, they’re likely to experience a teen pregnancy or get a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The most important thing that you can do to prevent these consequences is to talk with your child about early sexual activity.

Talking Tips

  • Tell your kids how you feel. Explain how most teenagers who have had sexual intercourse wish they had waited.2 Just because teens have had sexual intercourse once, or a few times, doesn’t mean that they have to keep doing it. The same goes for all teen sexual activity.
  • If your teenager tells you that he is thinking about having sexual intercourse, ask these questions, which will get your teen thinking about the many complicated facets of teen sexuality:
    • Why are you interested in having sex?
    • Are you feeling pressured? Are you pressuring someone else?
    • Are you afraid of losing a boyfriend or girlfriend if you don’t?
    • Are you willing to take responsibility for birth control?
    • Do you understand the risks involved in teen sexual activity?
    • Are you open to reconsidering your decision?
  • If your teen is sexually active and plans to continue, encourage your him to use birth control. You do not want your teenager to get pregnant, father a child, or contract an STI.
  • Be clear that all it takes is one time to get (or to get someone else) pregnant. The only sure way to prevent teen pregnancy is abstinence from sexual intercourse.
  • Stay connected with your teen. Teen sexuality is a difficult issue for many people to deal with. Keep talking about it with your child.

Finding out that your teen is sexually active can be a stressful experience, but by concentrating on helping him make good, well-informed decisions, you can have a positive effect on the situation. Avoid condemning your child, as this will only result in him being defensive and the situation becoming more difficult.

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1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2007,” Surveillance Summaries, June 6, 2008, MMWR 57, no. SS-4 (2008): 22-23.

2. Bill Albert, America’s Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy: An Annual Survey, (Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2007).

 

Comments

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Not a lot of help. What if your teen age girl is sexually active. I cannot say that it is okay for her to have sex with her boyfriend. I cannot allow her to stay out with him all night. I have to set some boundaries.

I divorced my husband when my daughter was only 6 weeks old andshe has had only a very small amount of contact with him. It is just me and my daughter andit is very hard to be her friend and her parent. When there are two parents one can be the bad guy and the other the comforter. but when there is only one it is hard to uphold rules and also maintain an open dialouge.

what if, like I did you come home from work and find them in your house with the door locked and the boyfriend slides out the window half dressed.
What if your daughter says she is going to a friends and when you check she is not there. You finally catch up with her she is down at a local spot where kids go to have sex and also do drugs and the homeless also wind up there. a potentially dangerous place. she and her ,way to young boyfriend, decide they are safe because they are in the truck. They planned to spend the night in the truck at this place. This is also a place where there are signs up that no overnight stays are allowed. Obviously the police have better things to do than enforce the issue. But she could have been rousted by the police from the place. Her boyfriends family has some influence. We do not.

I mention all of this to her she is not affected. She tries to start a screaming match. I refuse. She tries to turn the conversation around and starts screaming that if I was not such a control freak I would not have checked on her. and why did I check on her. And I should have just stayed out of it.

This was the week end that spring break started. so all her sprng break plans were stoppedand I made her stay at her grandparents during the day while I worked. Her birthday is also 2 weeks away and she had plans to go to Universal. Which I had not yet okayed because I thought she andher boyfriend were too young to drive 2 hours to a big city alone. They are 16 years old. Now she is screaming at me because her birthday plans are ruined. I say its is unfortunate that she chose this time to get herself grounded. and that until she can make better choices I will continue to make sure she is chaparoned by and adult in every thing she does.

Is this wrong? apparently some parents just give the kids birth control and look the other way. I don’t see that as very good solution. Kids are not old enough to make decisions on thier own at this age. They can still become pregnant even with birth control.

Where do I go from here. I do not want to be my daughters jailor but she is giving me little choice. It is avery hard thing to work all day and worry what she is doing and then go home to her yelling at me for the slightest thing. And not be able to do anything on my own because she cannot be trusted not to bring her boyfriend over while I am gone. And to be around her constant insullence. I guess this is why other parents decide to ignore it. So they do not have to deal with it.

I am miserable and she is too. What do you suggest?

Hi “Anonymous”,

We are sorry to hear that you are feeling so miserable about your current situation. We can certainly empathize. One of the things that define the teen years for many parents is difficulty with boundaries and discipline. Teens are eager to assert their independence, and this can often conflict with the rules you’ve set for your family. Dealing positively with these conflicts is important and will set a good example for your teen as he or she matures into adulthood.

The dual-household, different rules situation can certainly add a layer of confusion to boundaries and expectations for your teen. The best case scenario would be for the adults to work together to keep rules similar at both households, but if this can’t work, don’t change your expectations without careful consideration. Work to be extra clear with your daughter about the reasoning behind your rules and empathize with the challenge she may have in adapting from one home to another.

You’re exactly right in your instinct to set (and enforce clear boundaries. We can’t stress this enough. It is also a good idea to talk to your teen about WHY you are setting these boundaries and expectations for her.

If expectations haven’t been consistent up until now, it’s going to be an “uphill battle”, but it CAN be done.

Here are some links to boundary setting tips that you might find useful:

http://www.parentfurther.com/blog/setting-boundaries

http://www.parentfurther.com/discipline-values/discipline/teens-and-boun…

Additionally, you may find these articles helpful:

Dealing with Teen Angst:

http://www.parentfurther.com/resources/enewsletter/surviving-teen-angst

Talking about sex:

http://www.parentfurther.com/blog/talking-to-tweens-about-sex

And for a bit of encouragement:

http://www.parentfurther.com/blog/parenting-worth-the-wait

http://www.parentfurther.com/why/9-parenting-strategies

We wish you the best as you continue to parent your teen through these tough years, Anonymous. We’re rooting for you!

-The ParentFurther Team

and you ask why we keep our girls at home and make them cover their self.

for muslims its forbidden to have sex with anyone but your spouse and the same thing for christian as well but the different between the two of us that we tell our boys if the reach majority age not to talk to girls unless it is necessary.

Some parents go overboard with trying to prevent their teen from early sexual activities by exerting too much control, or invading their privacy. All these only results in a lack of trust, and may eventually backfire.

I read all these things and still am not sure what to do.
We have alwasy been open with our son, hoping it would help him be open with us when he decided to have sex, only to have our openess throw back in our face and used against us!

I found out by taking my son’s ipod what he and his “girlfriend” we’re up to. She was pressuring him to have sex. She is in 9th grade and my son is in 8th! MISTAKE #1~ I lost my temper and flew off the handle! I cried and the situation was terrible! I regret that I lost control but WOW!!!! I block her from everything, took the ipod, took away internet and cell phone! Everything I could think of then SHE called at 11:05 pm on school night, (How stupid!, and I never say that word!) I got on the phone and told her NEVER to call again! I called her cell for the second time and said NEVER TALK TO HIM AGAIN!!! After talking to my son I discovered he would call her from our land-line phone after we went to sleep! REALLY! She has such a hold on him!

WHAT DO I DO!?!?

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Some parents go overboard with trying to prevent their teen from early sexual activities by exerting too much control, or invading their privacy. All these only results in a lack of trust, and may eventually backfire.

My friend and his older brother were looking at pornography when I was around the age of 7 or 8. I joined them. We started using the word “Fuck”. We wrote it on the sidewalk. I didn’t know what it meant. My father flipped out and punished me by spanking me. My mother freaked out and told us in depth detail of what women and men do while having intercourse. She never considered my feelings. Being the age of 7 or 8 I thought it was disgusting the way in which she told me how it was done. I was not 100% interested in pornography. I just did what my friends did. Now I am addicted to it. I am afraid to be real with women and friends about my sexuality, because everybody condemns my behavior of watching porn. Other people condemn me for being afraid of sex. I can’t chose a path because I’m trying to please those who agree and disagree with sex.

I am afraid to have a girl, and I am afraid to have sex with her. I am so afraid that my sexual thoughts are very hard to express and cause me a lot of anxiety to get out. I am so confused because of how I was introduced to sex and how my situation was handled.

You should be very considerate of your children’s feelings or they may end up with social problems that are very difficult to fix. Be nice to them. This will allow you to get in depth detail of what is really going on. When you find out what’s going on, you can be the sex coach, but sex is inevitable.

You don’t want them stuck on porn like me. I’m 23 and i wish I knew wether or not to just go out and lose my virginity, or to just sit here and try to hold my urge that causes me to hate myself for not letting it out. I am afraid of change, just like anybody else.

Why don’t you treat your teenager as an adult and come to terms and conditions to live by together. Teenagers are eager to be treated as adults when you baby them it causes resentment, however when you talk through problems and talk about ideas of how to fix a situation together rather than enforcing one it has a much better outcome become said teenager feels they have control in their own life.

What age is considered as early for being sexually active ? And thus, how old must be a teenager to start talking about sexuality with her ? I have two daughters ( 10 and 12 yo ) and I don’t know what would be the best age to talk to her or if it’s still too early.

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My daughter is 12 and i m affraid to speak about sexuality due to her young age. Do you think i can speak to here? Isn’t to earlier?
Perhaps i thinks i will wait 2 years again. What do you think about it? My mother never speak to me about sexuality and i don’t know if the cause but i start to make love at 18 years, that’s late for a boy. So this is a great article.
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Middle school- start talkin! I wish my parents would have!!

I would tell my daughter that she’s too young to have sexual intercourse, adolescents are figuring themselves out, they don’t need to throw sex in the mix. Adolescents should not have a choice, that’s why a lot of our teens are screwed up today. I’m not saying don’t talk about it with them. Sex is supposed to be a beautiful thing between a husband and wife, not two teenagers. Talk about the diseases and chances of becoming pregnant and how she would be difficult to be a teen mother. You’re the parent, she’s the child.

I have a 13 year old daughter who I just found out is taking provocative pictures of herself sending them to boys and has done something’s with boys, I don’t know what to do I have such a hard time with her and monitoring what she is doing is very difficult when I’m a single mom..she is my eldest of three, I sometimes feel like I should not have become a mother when I did..I’m lost

I am beyond sickened. I found out my daughter who is almost 14, has been sneaking out and driving our vehicles to the boyfriends house. We have had the sex talk but I guess there is something about this generation I don’t understand. We raised her to know better well we thought we did. If that isn’t bad enough it was 2 guys one 16 & 20. Yes the 20 year old could be charged. We decided that after reading text and figuring things out to not press charges. I have grounded her until further notice. I dont know where to go from here.

im a mum of a 13 yr ole boy hes 14 next month and hes had a girlfriend for 9 months (she 13 too) and he came to me 6 wks ago and told me they had spoke about having sex after shes 14. I have always had a really close relationship with my son and told him he can always come to me and ill either help him solve a problem or be completely honest if he asked me a question. Then his gf got grounded and he told me that she had shared something with her sister who went and told her mum so he came and told me they have had sex already recently he is sooooo clued up on everything there is to do with sexual health and pregnancy as we have spoke at length throughout the years. He had safe protected sex in our house when we werent in urgh. but i would rather him be here than up some dirty back alley having sex but that doesnt mean i am in anyway agreeing with it . my son then asked me not to tell his dad(my husband) but i said he needed to know as her parents knew and i told him and hes went mad he knew they were thinking about it but we thought we had more time to discuss thing with our son. so as i am writing now im waiting for him to come in and as i realise hes acting on raw emotion i dont want to isolate my son and ruin the open relationship with my son that i have now but i dont see chastising him will change the situation and i cant stop him from seeing the girl as they go to the same school urgh sometime being a parent is hard and most say its when they are little well try having a teenager :)

What to do when your 17 year old son is having sex with his girlfriend and you don’t know if she’s on the pill? My husband and I have spoken with our son and encouraged him to get her on it. We don’t think this has happened. Do we sit him down with her or do I (the mother of the boy) talk to the mother of the girl? AND ask her to look into it but confidentially so the kids don’t know we’re talking? Also, what if I do this and she tells the girl that I came to her? Thanks!

t I don’t think people should be telling their personal stories of “oh my son blah blah blah“. Do you think your kid would like it if you are telling the world about their s#x life?! Come on, have some respect for your kids personal life. If you were in your kids shoes how would you like it if you were on this website and you see that your mom or dad told the story of how they thought you were too young or whatever to have s#x. I am somewhat uncomfortable using the word sex because people shouldn’t be discussing it on a website, that is what family/friends are for. You should really be doing that on your own time. Though I have enjoyed reading other peoples stories as advice for when my children get to that age, so thank you yet keep your and your kids private life to yourselves. I’m not trying to be rude I’m just saying it isn’t all that appropriate to do that nor is it appropriate to have a 13 year old kid have sex but still the same matter if you know what I mean

Early sex is all about miss use of virginity and wedlock .

I am a mother of a 17 year old son. Seven months ago he stated seeing a 14 year old girl. My husband and I said this was wrong and even asked the girls mother and stepfather to set boundries and to not encourage them seeing each other. Now it has come to our knowledge that they have been seeing each other and is now in a sexual relationship. We as parents of a well behaved boy are at our wits end. He now wants to move out. He says he cannot stop seeing her. I have blamed her family and feel betrayed by him and their actions of allowing this to have happened in their house.

No one ever talked to me as a teen and I had to make a lot of adult decisions that I shouldn’t have and probably wouldn’t have if someone had sat me down and talked to me about values and healthy relationships. Now I have two teen step children and face the challenges of wanting to talk to them and feeling like I can’t because their mother may disapprove. My 13-yr old step child now has their first “b/g friend” and within in two weeks there has already been a kiss at a dance. At least they are being honest and sharing this info. I hope to have a chance to chat with my step teen and revisit our family values and have them identify healthy relationships and what to do if they feel they need help.

So the basic issue to do with teens not being able to view pornographic content is that videos/explicit images can cause a young person to develop inappropriate ideas about a sexual relationship. I’ve (probably) watched more videos and seen more pictures that are pornographically-related than most people my age (22), and I can still perfectly well draw the line/tell the difference between what’s right, wrong, disgusting, unnatural in a healthy relationship, etc, etc. In fact, before I’ve delved into the disgusting rabbit-hole that is pornographic material (as a teenager, for instance) I was still quite capable of discerning these things. Its irritating, in my opinion, that the law dictates that there can be absolutely no exceptions for teenagers who wish to have a normal and healthy sexual life through partaking in private activities (solely, not with a partner), through such things as masturbation and other sex-related bodily stimulation. It helps assure that teens remain abstinent if they’re happy with using lefty and righty versus a partner; it maintains prevention of the spread of STDs and stupid teenage pregnancy, unless one becomes dissatisfied with private activities. I can personally tell the difference between unsafe sex in pornographic material (the porn-stars most likely use birth control and morning-after pills/spermicidal foams, if not condoms, behind the cameras) and safe sexually-related activities and safety precautions that real partners enforce. I don’t have unrealistic expectations seeded into my mind about how great sex could be through a variety of interactions (not nearly as much as the fact that my partaking in sexual interactions could ruin my life if I impregnated a woman before I was prepared to raise a child), and I’d be safe about STD-avoidance; honestly, I’d imagine I’d be the awkward one in a relationship. I don’t have any major or negative stereotypical or sexist beliefs that I hold to that may have been developed subsequent to viewing pornographic material; I would treat a woman as a fragile and beautiful, equal human being deserving respect and tenderness. As a society, it’s simply a thing deemed inappropriate for a teens’ age-group. This is simply because some can handle the concepts properly, and some cannot. It’s about maturity level, partially. I understand that the people partaking in pornographic photography and filming are perverted and are usually what one would consider a terrible sexual partner, an a**-hat, and a degrading d**khead; I’m not too curious about sexual activity, and I’m just waiting for when it’s the correct time to partake in it (a teenager would see it as when society deems them capable, and personally when I feel I’ve made the proper choice in a partner). I’m not worried about what my body looks like or how it responds to sexual activity; I have standards but I could hardly care about what my sexual partner is like (so long as they play things safe or have done so as well in previous experiences). Part of the problem of a teen-pregnancy is (obviously) that you’re in no condition to raise a child to the best potential as when you’re out of the house, fully matured (physically and intellectually), and when you have found someone you know you can share a special part of yourself with (your love). As long as a woman is shown respect in reality, and one recognizes that virtual interactions show no truth of sexual interaction or relation (it’s always a one-night fling), one could measure oneself to be a person prepared for a mature sexual relationship. Not like I promote something along the lines of the concept of ‘Brave New World’ (have a new partner every day or you’re a social outcast), but I honestly think it should be okay for a teenager who successfully assesses that they are mature enough for private self-pleasure, to access pornography as they please. So long as they understand that it is forbidden to hold a real sexual relationship, I would imagine they are perfectly fine. A problem with preventing teenagers from viewing sexually explicit content is that they may be driven to partake in the act of sex as a replacement, or something equally stupid. Not to say that viewing pornographic content is any better, but it’s merely a comparison to something like the alcohol prohibition. If one can manage not to be tempted to have sex with a partner, they can prevent STD-spread and pregnancy. That would be in part due to their maturity and intelligence level (their being able to understand the weight of action and consequence subsequent to acting on the desire to act).

Not to say that private relief is the best stress-relief, either, but it is one. And then, that leaves the problem of a person turning to some awkward self-interaction to relieve stress. It’s a very complicated matter, sexual activity is.

Given I basically had the right idea about sex as a teenager (although it is true that misconceptions are a common thing amongst hormonally-inflicted teenagers, especially when it comes to sex), I can personally say that I would have probably handled viewing of pornographic material quite well as a teenager (not that I would dream to have let that happen to myself). As I said, teenagers are prone to misconceptions and being misinformed about sexual activity; it all depends on the teenager and how they handle the concept, so there is really no way of making a reasonable law or form of leeway for allowing teenagers a healthy and private sex-life.

The reality is that our kids have sex . They do not need to ask our permission . Permission is not ours to give . Did you ask your parents for permission ? Did they tell you it was ok too have sex ? Of course not !

It is our job as parents to educate our kids and to teach them to become adults. To teach them how to make good decisions that are right for them . To let them make mistakes and then be there for them to comfort them and help them learn from them. There is only one right time for them to start having sex , when they choose to . Not when then become a generic age , or when they get married , our when they are in love or when their partner loves them . When they choose for themselves because they want to .

Everyone has sex . Our kids will to just like we did . They will decide when for themselves just like we did . They will have good and bad experiences just like we did . When they start having sex is their decision that they will make for themselves just like we did .

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Honestly, if she wants to have sex then there is nothing you can do against it. Trying to force her to abstain will only want her to do it more.

Concerning the age to first talk about sex, in Europe get the first sex education in 5th grade elementary. That’s about the age many guys start masturbating, some later.

Most teens have their first time when they are 16 years old and that is completely fine. At that age they are already able to take responsibility for themselves. At least concerning their sexual life.

I Have A 13 Year Old Daughter With A Cell Phone And she Locks Herself In Her room, She doesn’t dress Proper, And Doesnt Like doing Anything Her Mother Tells Me That She Can Be Doing Something in There.We Took Her To The Doctor And She got Shots, Now They Are All Worn Off.WHAT DO I DO? ?

Right guys, this is from a teenagers point of view. Fair enough, educate your children about intercourse and tell them what can happen, but don’t tell them not to go out there. Don’t stop your daughter from seeing a guy just because you have suspicions. That really isn’t fair. Now, where I live, theres a great deal of sexuality in teenagers. I read that teens who have intercourse are more likely to fail school and take drugs. That’s not true. I’ve already got an A in English even though I have another year left and I also think that drugs are vile. Seriously guys, I wish I could tell my mum things without her flipping out because I have nobody to talk to other than my boyfriend and I can’t really go to him for sexual advice can I? All I’m saying is, just don’t try and force rules upon teenagers that they will escape from. Wouldn’t you rather your teenager and their partner have intercourse in their room other than some corner of a park in the middle of the night. (Remember if you don’t let them out they will sneak out, I know from experience.)

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