Found condom packet in 15 yr old daughter's bag and not sure how to handle this.

(50 Posts)
crosss Thu 28-Nov-13 14:31:22

My daughter only turned 15 two months ago, and she has been going out with a boy who is one month older than her for about 5 or 6 months. Today, I have found a packet in her bag from a c-card scheme, where, I have since found out, that under 19's can go to get confidential sexual health advice and free condoms. The packet was empty of the 4 condoms that it apparently originally contained. I am now unsure as to how to handle this. I don't want to confront her with this knowledge and risk antagonising the whole situation, until myself and her dad have had time to think it through, and decide on the best course of action to take. Until now, I have believed her when she has told me that nothing has happened between them, but the trust I had in her is now in doubt. If anyone has any advice on how to handle this, it would be much appreciated.

ChristineDaae Thu 28-Nov-13 14:34:43

She could well just be planning ahead for the if/when? She may have taken them out and put them in her drawers or something?
Shouting won't solve anything here I don't think, she will only deny it and then not feel like she can tell you when something does happen.
I don't know, my mum was useless at this sort of stuff when I was young, and my DD is only 3... Am sure someone with teens will be along to help soon

Casmama Thu 28-Nov-13 14:36:38

Be pleased that she is being responsible?
You mention trust- how exactly did you come to be looking in her bag?

JeanSeberg Thu 28-Nov-13 14:40:36

Not a great deal you can do, they've already had sex at least 4 times.

How do you get on with the boyfriend? Does he seem a decent type that will stand by her if she gets pregnant?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 28-Nov-13 14:41:49

It's so young isn't it sad At least they are using condoms, or at least intend to - she might have put them in his wallet/her bag etc.

It's hard to say what I'd do when I don't know your DD - but I think I would say to her that you have a feeling their relationship has progressed or is progressing to a sexual one and that you would like to make sure that if it has (or when it does), she is as safe as she can possibly be, including being on the pill.

Obviously you'd rather they weren't having sex, but you can't change that. A.ll you can do it help them be as safe as they can be.

My parents would have hit the roof, which of course, is precisely why I denied it when asked.

gamerchick Thu 28-Nov-13 14:43:54

It's a horrible feeling when you realise your kid is securely active. Sadly there's little you can do about that. Once they start they won't stop.

Comfort yourself that she's being sensible though.

When you see her.. apologise for going through her bag if you didn't have a legitimate reason for it. Tell her what you've found and ask her if there's anything she wants to talk about.

I hot footed mine down for the implant but she was slightly younger. Taking the risk of pregnancy away really helps with the anxiety of the situation.

gamerchick Thu 28-Nov-13 14:44:21


2beornot Thu 28-Nov-13 14:47:06

I think she is remarkably mature to have sorted contraception out. So regardless of what you think about her having sex, this is clearly something she is going to do anyway.

I would bring it up with her. Tell her your concerns but that you are happy to discuss anything with her in a totally non-judgemental way. Do anything else and you risk alienating her.

And make sure that this is what she wants, not her boyfriend.

[caveat - my dd is 3 so what do I know?]

insancerre Thu 28-Nov-13 14:48:10

just be thankful that she is being sensible about it
you won't be able to stop her doing it
at least she is taking precautions and has access to advice and support

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 28-Nov-13 14:54:24

Erm, yes, great she's responsible but she's not 16 yet. Having sex before you're mature/ old/ responsible enough to deal with the consequences is not a great idea. All things can go wrong with a condom, she can can pregnant.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 28-Nov-13 14:56:05

And it will be the OP dealing with the aftermath. Easy to be glad someone else's kid is 'responsible' to get condoms, when it's not you being the parent if the child having sex. hmm

GimmeDaBoobehz Thu 28-Nov-13 15:01:22

All you can do is be there for her. She knew you would be angry and maybe act irrationally that is why she didn't tell you.

insancerre Thu 28-Nov-13 15:10:50

drinkfeckarsegirls why do you think teenagers can get access to free condoms and health advice?
becasue they are already having sex.
The Op is not going to be able to stop her DD from having. All she can do is support her to make the right decisions.
If you think that teenagers don't have sex underage then you are very naive.
I speak from experience, my children are 24 and 17 and have been through this before.

insancerre Thu 28-Nov-13 15:11:43

and I've had to deal with the consequences

You handle this by being conscious this is her body, her life, her rights and her decisions. Then you be delighted you have bought her up to be sensible and mature. Then you say NOTHING about your discovery, but make sure you talk to her about contraception and sexual health soon, and the inadequacy of only relying on condoms and you offer to take her to the GP if she ever wants to start on the pill. then you remind yourself that her private life is indeed private.

Norem Thu 28-Nov-13 15:20:43

I would congratulate her on being responsible in trying to prevent stds and explain the condoms are not 100 % in preventing pregnancy.
Offer to take her to family planning services to see about a long term highly effective method of contraception.
Good luck.

Brodicea Thu 28-Nov-13 15:23:52

I would say, try to calm down, accept she is already having sex, or is at least considering having sex very soon. Try not to be judgemental or she'll be mortified and never want to talk to you about things. You could sit down with her and ask if she wants to go on the pill? And/Or do what my friends' mum did and leave some condoms in the bathroom for her to take if she needs to.
I started having sex at 15 and hid it from my mum until I got an infection, being sat in the Drs surgery revealing my sexual activity was so horrible for both me and my mum. She needs to feel this is something she can talk to you about and ask you about.
I know my mum was pretty stricken about it, and I understand that now, but feeling ashamed really didn't help me reach out.

AdoraBell Thu 28-Nov-13 15:27:35

Being 16 doesn't automatically make people mature enough. I certainly wasn't I started having sex at age 16, almost 17.

It's the bothering To think about contraception and staying safe in terms of sex, and actually doing something about it, that shows marurity.

As has already been said you won't stop them if they have already had sex. Just be thankful she is being mature about it and let her know she can talk To you without being judged.

insancerre Thu 28-Nov-13 15:45:59

The most important thing is to maintain that relationship. So don't judge or lay down the law- you risk alienating her.
That's not to say you have to like what she's doing, but you do have to accept that she has the right to make choices about her body. I see my role as a parent to make sure those choices are informed choices.
DD has a friend aged 16 who self-harms. She doesn't have a good relatonship with her mum- she can't talk to her, she just flies off the handle.
This girl last week slashed both her arms, left the house at 3am and was found wandering around, bleeding by a taxi driver. he took her to the local hospital where she was treated and returned home at 7 am. her mum knew nothing of this- the bandages were hidden by long sleeves.
I would rather have a relationship with dd where she could talk to me and be open about her life.

When my parents found the same thing when I was 15 they hit the roof. was innocent. My friend whose parents are Drs and always has been very factual about sex, got me and another friend to go and buy some condoms to make sure we had some. For what purpose I never found out, it was something we did as a " aren't we grown up" sort of thing. We carried them around, again not sure why.

So there may be a different reason for why she has them. I think we wanted people to think we might have been having sex. But this is 20 years ago and maybe teens are more grown up now

trooperlooperdo Thu 28-Nov-13 17:27:47

Worryingly, it is still sex with a minor

AdoraBell Thu 28-Nov-13 17:32:33

According To the OP both teens are minors. DD turned 15 Two months ago and boyfriend is 1 month older.

wakemeupnow Thu 28-Nov-13 20:06:05

There's a reason why there was a recent attempt to lower age of consent to 15. It's because a lot of 15 year olds are sexually active.

Having condoms doesn't mean you are sexually active , but it does mean you are thinking sensibly, being prepared and looking out for yourself.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 28-Nov-13 20:26:17

There is one thing 2 15 year olds having sex together and another changing the law so an adult of any age can have sex with a 15year old. Me thinks the forces behind are pushing for the latter hmm

AdoraBell Thu 28-Nov-13 22:37:50

I am actually in favour of raising the age of consent because of the pressures on teens and the posibility of much older adults believing it's okay because it's legal. I do realise, however, that teenagers will have sex regardless of the law.

In this case, as I said above, both are minors and so the issue isn't of sex with a minor. It's fact that the OP isn't ready for her DD To be sexualy active.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 28-Nov-13 23:38:43

I agree, Adora. I was just responding to the poster above raising the issue.

lisad123everybodydancenow Thu 28-Nov-13 23:45:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Madlizzy Thu 28-Nov-13 23:47:40

Don't say that you've found them. Do, however, keep the lines of communication open and tell her that if she's in the position that she's thinking about taking things further that you will, whilst you'd rather she waits, help her access contraception. My daughter is nearly 15 and has a 16 year old daughter and knows that I will support her having an implant when the time comes, but she also knows that she doesn't have to bow to pressure before she's ready to do this, and that it's good to wait until she's in a completely secure and loving relationship.

AdoraBell Fri 29-Nov-13 01:23:33

No problem Drink smile, I kind of was too.

cory Fri 29-Nov-13 07:59:14

Having been given them doesn't prove she is using them. Having taken them out doesn't prove she has used them to have sex: she could have taken them out to look at them and see what they're like or she could have given them to somebody else. So whatever you do, don't go barging in and jumping to conclusions. If you do talk to her do it gently and with an open mind.

specialsubject Fri 29-Nov-13 12:43:48

she may have been given the card by someone else. Shows a good responsible attitude is possible.

if she is having sex she needs to know a) that it is illegal and b) she needs to be both on the pill and using condoms. She may also need to start her smear tests early as the rate of VD in kids is very high and early sex increases her risk. Although hopefully she's had the jabs.

if your horse has bolted, forget the stable door and concentrate on the training. :-)

PenguinsAreCute Fri 29-Nov-13 12:47:53

Or then again, maybe they didn't use them for that! I remember being about 14 / 15 and having a packet of condoms and me and my friends took them out, looked at them, blew them up and had a competition to see who could fit them on their head like a hat.....was a lot of fun, even if it wasn't the fun they were intended for!

PenguinsAreCute Fri 29-Nov-13 12:54:11

Or if they were flavoured we used to take them out and give them a lick....this was all before ipads of course and was always disappointing!

randomquicknamechange Fri 29-Nov-13 12:54:37

I think it must be very hard when you find out your DD has reached that stage, mine is only 4 so I can't comment on what I would do.
I think we as parents need to try and remember that 2 15 year olds experimenting together can be a very normal stage of development as hard as that is. And that it is very different from girls being taken advantage of by 20 something aged men.

ouryve Fri 29-Nov-13 12:58:02

Be thankful that she's not having unprotected sex.

If you confront her, how do you think she's going to feel about you rifling through her bag? She's hardly going to be more willing to discuss these issues with you if she feels justified in not being able to trust you.

Idespair Fri 29-Nov-13 13:00:50

I would not admit to having found them. I would ask her how she is getting on with her boyfriend and that you would like her to come to you if she is concerned or needs any advice re birth control. Keep calm discussing it as well so that she knows she can come to you.

trooperlooperdo Fri 29-Nov-13 13:52:19

as somebody who worked in this field, it IS sex with a minor (regardless of the fact that the boy is also a minor) it just means that he'll be removed from the sex offenders regiseter aged 18 rather than being on it permanently if caught.

randomquicknamechange Fri 29-Nov-13 13:56:45

Trooper you say he woukd be removed from register at 18 if caught, does that apply to her as well as he is a minor as well?

I am just wondering if as you didn't say anything about it whether it applies to girls as well?

AdoraBell Fri 29-Nov-13 14:44:04

Trooper I haven't worked in this field, so I'm not disagreeing with you at all but, really, an under age boy having consensual sex with a girl the same age is regarded as a sex ofender?

Would it be the other way round if she were older, but still under age?

I know that in this case we don't even know that sex has taken place.

conclusionjumper Fri 29-Nov-13 17:14:25

The law is not intended to sanction consensual sex between teenagers where there is no coercion, but it could be used.

I think as she has a BF you could have the sex discussion with her without outing yourself for having found the condom packet. Discuss relationships, how would she feel if x, y or z happened.

It must a shock and she is very young. ALthough I agree that hitting the roof is not a good tactic, there is a lot to be said for parental influence stalling DC becoming sexually active.

AdoraBell Sat 30-Nov-13 03:33:55

Thanks for clarifying that Conclusionjumper

My dad found a condom wrapper in my coat pocket when I was 15. He went spare. I'd been messing about with some friends & we put it in a broom handle grin

Mum also wouldn't speak to me for a week when I was 16 when she found my pill, except for PA comments about 'not knowing me anymore' until I asked her if she'd found them & explained it was because I didn't want my period on holiday.

The obvious conclusion isn't always the right one (although shes in a 'long term relationship' by 15 yo standards).

Feel free to use these examples of what not to do grin

SpecialAgentFreyPie Sat 30-Nov-13 04:20:53

When I was fifteen I got the 'DF and I are proud of you being responsible' talk from DM. Cue confused WTF from me.

Found condom wrappers.

Friend and I were.... Making balloon animals. blush Mum made me feel uncool

ReallyOverThis Sat 30-Nov-13 04:43:32

You don't say much about the boy. You must have met him, had him round for tea etc? Do you like him? Is he polite, responsible, does he treat her well? Is it a dramatic relationship of spats, break ups and reconciliations, or just 2 teenage kids being intense with each other? Are they both working hard enough at school? The answers to all these questions would have a very significant bearing on what I said to her about it.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Sat 30-Nov-13 05:09:19

I think a major problem in how you approach this will be whether you were justified in looking through her bag. Because if you were snooping her ears will close off after that.

ReallyOverThis Sat 30-Nov-13 08:11:40

Funny you say that your trust in her is in doubt because she told you nothing was happening and now you think she has been having sex. I suppose she's only 15 but iI do wonder if she was really obliged to tell you about the details of her intimate relationship?

I know that when I was 15 I knew all the rules of safe sex and would never ever have put myself at risk. I didn't actually lose my virginity till 16 but only because I didn't get the opportunity! And after I did start having sex I would have been truly embarrassed to have had an open discussion about it with my Mum and Dad. As I would be to this day were they still alive!

My feeling as a teenager was that they had no reason to be concerned and I did not have to talk about it to them because I was entitled to my privacy. (They never actually asked though.)

You know that she is being safe (and let's face it you can never be 100% sure unless you inject contraceptive into her yourself and put the condom on her boyfriend in person grin ) so it may be better just to accept that she's growing up and your boundaries are being redefined.

Now, on the other hand, if she had told you she was having safe sex, then you found out for some reason that she wasn't, or she was lying about where she was eg sleepover at a girlfriend's house when actually with boyfriend, THAT would be a reason to feel your trust had been breached.

LEMisafucker Sat 30-Nov-13 08:33:24

At colleges they tend to have days where they hand condoms out with advice leflets. Do they do this in schools?
Thing is, it is great she is showing a mature attitude to contraception. I think we have to remember that hormones have a role to play so whilst ideally 15 is too young she will have her body telloing her otherwise.

tell her you found the condoms and that its ok. Tell her she can talk to you at any time and that you just want her to feel confident to do what she wants and not to feel pressured. Don't make her feel bad

longingforsomesleep Sun 01-Dec-13 00:07:40

Found a condom in 15 year old ds's wallet a few weeks ago. (Before anyone says anything, I put money in there every night for his lunch the next day so wasn't snooping). He says one of his friends was handing them out (hmmm). He and his gf are only just 15 but there isn't really anything I can do to stop them.

Neither her parents nor us allow them to be in the house on their own together but I'm under no illusions that if they want to find a way to have sex they will. All I was able to do really was point out that they are both under age and therefore technically sex would be illegal. I also pointed out that, as his gf has a number of issues (she is anorexic and self-harms) she might not cope well emotionally with a sexual relationship.

I'm watching that condom in his wallet - but no doubt there are others

ReallyOverThis Mon 02-Dec-13 19:12:22

Any update OP?

longingforsomesleep Wed 04-Dec-13 23:27:09

Not sure where the OP has gone, but when I went to put lunch money in ds's wallet last night, the condom mentioned in my last post had gone....

I said to him that I noticed it had gone and he said it must have fallen out of his wallet. Hmmm...

So I said to him that maybe he should replace it as, while I most definitely don't want him to have sex yet, if he was going to I would rather he had safe sex. He said, rather too quickly for my liking, that they sell the in Asda so he'll get some there - but he wasn't thinking of doing anything like that.

I now feel I didn't handle it right at all and am worried I should have done more to discourage him. But he's generally quite open with me about things and I don't want to drive that openness away.

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