Teenagers in love - and all that comes along with it for the parents
Me, personally coming from Germany and growing up there....then coming to this country years later - I felt dumbfounded by the way teenage sex, especially when it comes to teenager/parents is addressed or not addressed. I had a friend who asked me one day what to do and how to talk to her son about sex and the first girlfriend etc....It puzzled me - because for me it was a very natural and simple thing to do - go and talk. She was scared to death! Well, scared to death to talk - how will you react when your son comes home one day with the news "Mom, my girlfriend is pregnant...". If you can't handle to talk with your son, how do you want to handle that?
Well, they are teenagers....with hormones swirling around, hearing from others about love and sex, the tv is not hiding the topic either, magazines available everywhere, internet provides info in every way, Dad has some porn movies at home and they caught their parents watching it (parents never noticed - they were too exited!). Maybe they even heard their parents through closed doors! How do you want to keep the kids away from something that everybody talks about, must be somewhat exiting and fun. Off course they have to try it!
While the teens today do not seem much more mature in other ways, but their hormones are going crazy at much younger age - so their interest grows at younger age as well. It's about time to address the topic once you notice there are changes - this is not my little boy/girl anymore....They also grow up in an environment where sex is no longer hidden and a secret as it used to be. And when you are ready to talk to them - don't be surprised if they already know it all and maybe even more than you wish they would know about it.
Now you are getting worried....the first boyfriend/girlfriend! Oh, no....don't get involved and get pregnant! Best thing - get strict now and enforce rules of where to be and when to be home etc. Well, you really think that will help? Don't you remember....the more things were forbidden, the more you feel like doing it? Believe me - they find a way to have sex elsewhere....and then it happens, what you are so afraid of....They do it without protection. How could they have asked for protection, when you clearly signal that you forbid any sex or relationship? You are creating a barrier instead of an open door.
While my parents didn't do everything right, but when I was ready for sexual encounter and very young age, they were at least that straight forward and told me I should come to them, if I wanted the pill. When I was ready I asked for it! Yes, they knew now what I was up to....but do you really think they didn't know without me asking?
I don't believe in keeping boyfriend/girlfriend apart, giving strict orders when to be home etc....all these things just cause them to do it in secret and unprotected. And then that what you worry about most happens....And that is what happens in the US way too much. - I actually was shocked when I came here and learned about the ratio of underage girls being pregnant or already being a mom. I was the youngest mom at 21 in a big group of pregnant women, I was very young overall in Germany. Are there teenage pregnancies in Germany? Yes, but by far not as many as here....and it puzzles me. Is it really just the education parents are afraid of? Or is there something else?
I don't think it is a good idea to be a mom under the age of 20 at all. It takes a lot of maturity and it is rough with the first child. Often the finances are not that great when you just started your job or career. Both the mother and the father are still too young and still developing emotionally and mentally - many are not capable of handling a baby and are overwhelmed within no time at all. Some don't get any support by their parents and left on their own with the new life.
For the Christian at heart my idea of not forbidding the teenager to have a relationship and to have sexual experiences, might be against any biblical teaching and offensive. But I am also looking at it from a different point of view - the Christian point of view might be yours, but not that of your teenager son or daughter. How can they agree with you, when they don't feel the same way and most of them do not, because there is just too much curiosity about sex.
While I firmly believe in God I somehow can't find agreement in no sex before marriage for some reasons. First of all, sex is the most intimate part of a relationship - and there is no other place than in a relationship where you encounter sex (at least you shouldn't!) - So, if you don't get the chance to explore yourself in this area, about how you feel and what you like etc....how can you possibly find someone who blends with your sexual ideals? I also feel that sexual experience goes along with maturing. I know of some, who were just going stray over and over again....not able to settle until they were in their early 30". Now imagine this individual, getting married with no sexual experience and now with the urge to just stray along....chances are they will go cheating - which will probably end in divorce....Marriage without finding your true self including your sexual experience might come with the high risk of divorce. - What if your sexual desires collide? He wants it wild - she wants it sweet and plain and they just can't find a compromise? Wouldn't it be better to realize before marriage?
My son is 17, he has a girlfriend and things ended up that he is living with her and her mother, they get along very well and everything is fine. I am not scared, because I know they don't have to have sex in secret, but also because I talked to my son and they both have a clear sound mind on this. A friend of mine, their son ...is now a father of a little boy....he is a year younger than my son. After the birth they split up....The girl lied to him, telling him she would take the pill. Not nice from her! Still, nobody will consider it - he still will be held responsible for the boy for life. - My son was shocked when he heard about him being a father. I was glad that he had this happening so close to his circle of friends.....as a lesson for him.
I believe the best prevention is to talk about sex, being open towards your teens desire to have sex, even if it goes against your grain - but trust me - if they want to do it...they will find a way and that way is much more dangerous, because it is unprotected. Which way do you feel better?Knowing that they have sex and where they have it? Or fearing that they might have sex?