Subject: 16 year old daughter and new boyfriend
Question: My 16 yr old and I have a good relationship even though she is not always upfront with me. She recently began a relationship with a boy who is 3 years older than she is. They started out as “just friends” but now the bf & gf. Her b-day was just last week and he gave her a gift that she can’t show us. I could not help but to snoop around in her room for it and as my worst fears were confirmed it was condoms and a 2008 sex position calender. I am beside myself. I immediately want her to break up with him but do not know how to approach this as I am guilty of snooping. I just can’t get over the disrespect this guy has for her since this is all new to me. I want to tell her but how? She is a beautiful, nice girl who is so excited to have a boyfriend.
Answer: Dear Rose:
No sentence should begin with my daughter and I have a good relationship although she is not always up front with me….anyone who is not upfront with you does not have a good relationship with you. Let’s just get that out of the way now.
Next, she is only sixteen and you are legally and financially responsible for her. If she gets pregnant you are legally and financially responsible for both you daughter and your grandchild. Again she is only sixteen and becoming sexually active is emotionally distressful at her age. As her parent it is your responsibility to make provide for her emotional well being as well as her physical health.
PRIVACY is a gift in your home and if her behavior is not respectful dump your guilt. You may want to start with just a conversation to find out if she has said yes to sex rather than assuming there is a problem. Let her know you respect her and that your expectation is that there is no underage sex under your roof.
When you do realize you can only do your best. Teens have to choose to listen and respect you and if they want to do what they want to they will find a way. Best to have access to birth control. This is the hardest part of parenting and then they are off.
M Kay Keller