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How to tackle a 'sex talk' with my 15YO DS(24 Posts)
Oh help, advice and opinions needed.
My DS lives with me 50% of the time (2 evenings in the week and EOW) and he's home before I get in during the week days. He's a sweet, sensitive boy, but a typical hormonal 15 year old.
I don't snoop, but I was getting some washing from his room tonight and I noticed a bit of writing on his wall - it's a whole wall of blackboard to write/draw on - that said 'girls name was here' heart, heart.
I need to tackle this - that he's had a girl here without me knowing, precautions, underage sex... Everything!
I don't want to go in all guns blazing, but I do want to make my feelings clear and set some ground rules.
Keep the conversation very light. If possible do it while you are driving so that he doesn't have to sit in front of you and he can't just leave the room. If you don't have a car do it when you are watching telly or doing something else casual.
Say things like 'you know son you might have a few girlfriends over the next few years and although I love having your friends stay over I don't think its a great idea for any of your girlfriends to stay the night'. Explain how it is a nicer experience to have sex with someone you care for.
Be really nice and say things like 'if you decide to have sex you know that you should use protection to prevent against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.' Keep the conversation short and to the point. Try to joke a bit and say 'I don't want to be a granny okey dokes?
Also remind him of the legal age and tell him that if a younger girl's parent chose to do so he could be charged with rape of a minor.
Don't labour the point because teenagers will find this conversation excrutiatingly embarrassing and will flee if given half a chance.
I wouldn't go in all guns blazing because he needs to know that you are treating him like a young adult.
Thank you. I've spoken to his Dad and agreed we need a united front on this but as the "evidence" is as my place, albelit merely writing on the wall... Literally.
I just want to be able to talk to him without alienating him.
There shouldnt be a sex 'talk' IMO. I think it's a massive mistake we make here in britain to avoid discussing sex until we realise we have a big lump of hormonal teen on our hands and it is already overdue- as in your situation OP. sex needs to be regular, natural, easy conversation from a young age.
Not this hyped up, panic stricken bombardment of information relayed in embarrassed whispers never to be discussed again that is likely to happen with you now OP.
First you need to decide what your family boundaries are wrt boyfriends/girlfriends being there when you arent. What about girls who are just friends (do you know this girl is a girlfriend?) are girls who are friends allowed? If not- is that fair if boys who are friends are allowed? There has to be fairness and trust.
The facts, STIs, pregnancy, contraception, personal boundaries, legal status, self esteem, feelings etc- these all need to be ongoing, open conversations. You need your children to feel that all this stuff is ok to run past you, just like if they wanted to know how credit cards work. This means you relaxing about the whole topic and working on your "i'm not at all shocked by what you just told me" face. Communication is so important here, that's how you make sure they talk to you if/when problems arise.
There really is no need for 'all guns blazing'. Calm down or you will make this a far bigger deal than it needs to be.
I'm calm, we have a great relationship. He's just doing that teen shut down thing a bit and I really don't want to embarrass him, but I DO want to make him aware of all thing things mentioned.
I'll be speaking to him tomorrow night, thank you for the excellent advice.
I have a 20-year-old son and we have always discussed sex just the same as we discussed anything. For me it helps to not make it "A Thing" and it helps to talk side by side, like driving in a car, versus face to face.
You don't sound calm.
Just talk. I don't see the issue
You don't sound that calm OP.
I agree with poster above. Just chat to him. About responsibility for himself, and towards girls.
Has a girl stayed overnight in his room?
At 15 he wouldn't be charged with rape-he's under 16.
YY to what Footie said.
Teens put hearts on everything and proclaim their love for everyone IME - it may be nothing more than popping back to pick up something from his room and the friends see the blackboard and let rip.
If you saw my photo stream you'd think I had five daughters, I left my phone for five mins in the cafe at DDs dance school and came back to find about 40 selfies that the dancers had taken all pouting and posing. Just as an example of how teens mark anything they get their hands on, so a massive chalkboard would just be asking for them to do similar.
I find it hard to understand why you need to suddenly talk about 'everything'. How can your child get to 15 and sex never have been a topic of conversation? Surely he's had questions before now, triggered by topics raised at school, stuff on the news and/or TV that you've watched together? Has he never had a crush and talked about it to you or his dad? I have a 14 and a 15 year old and sex and relationships are a fairly frequent topic of conversation.
Anyway assuming you really haven't then it's a bit of a big topic to plunge into, and one where he should be fairly well informed from external sources. I think I'd just mention that you saw the graffiti on his wall and ask him if he's brought a friend over. If he has had a girl over then I'd ask about their relationship, if it's platonic then you can talk about future rules you may wish to apply, if she is a girlfriend then you might want to check with him whether things have gone further than a kiss. If the answer to that is yes then you obviously need to talk about respect, consent and protection.
But don't rush in because it could be wishful thinking or just friendship with no 'hanky panky' involved, and you could easily irritate or upset him. Might also be an opportunity to get him to sort out his own washing!
What have you generally done, regarding talks about friendships and relationships?
I'm not sure why you're so concerned. Is it not normal for him to have had friends around?
I'd be very surprised if your 15 year old doesn't know about sex and safe sex from school. It's up to you now what your boundaries are re friends visiting and staying over. But don't jump to conclusions...my teenage kids have lots of friends over of both sexes and they are not necessarily in romantic or sexual relationships with them. I insist on no-one smoking in the house, I want to know who is staying in advance, I try to stop them sleeping in the living room and I ask them to tidy up after themselves. I don't have people staying over on school nights. I don't have any rules about sex but I've never really felt the need to so far.
Don't you talk about these things already? As a mother to a DS you have a responsibility to make sure he grows up to respect women's boundaries and love them. Above all things to not see them as necessarily different and certainly not lesser than men. Protection obviously, but also how to treat girls he wants to have a relationship with (both before and after he has sex).
Also, whatever he's seen on the internet isn't what it's like in real life. Don't shy away from it, teenagers these days are exposed to all manner of horrors on the internet. As parents if we ignore this and pretend it's not happening they'll grow up thinking it's what normal sex is like. As a mother of daughters myself this is a terrifying notion.
There's a lot of talk about how girls should be raised to respect themselves, but this puts all the responsibility onto girls. Both sexes should be raised on mutual respect.
But all these things should be part of an ongoing dialogue of honesty with our children. The days of a formal sit down to discuss the basic facts of life are long gone.
I've found it harder to talk to my son about these things, mainly as after a while he just shouts MUUUUUUM and covers his ears :-) This despite the fact that we've discussed these things since the kids were tiny.
If he's a sensitive type he might just not have wanted to mention that he'd brought a girl back, e.g. in case you started suggesting she might be a girlfriend when she wasn't, or because it's just embarrassing to have your mum hanging about when you are essentially pretending to be an independent, cool guy.
At some point he will have sex, yes, and you won't know about it because that's the last thing he wants! You've brought him up to be careful, thoughtful, responsible, right? That's all you can do.
You don't need to even mention this girl's name - which for all you know he might have written himself to make himself look like a stud! - just say "You're getting to a certain age and I just wanted to check you're being careful ..." Maybe get one of those matey advice books for teenagers, which he might well read secretly, and use that as an opportunity to bring up the key point of "use condoms whether or not they are cool"!
Quite honestly if i saw 'X was here' in my son's room i'd just say "oooh who is X? is she your girlfriend?" with a nudge nudge wink wink and he'd either cringe and say yes/no or he'd be oh so totally 'cool' (mine does a very convincing "this conversation bores me" look) and say yes/no. Either way the conversation would be started and you can remind him of the rules, check he's equipped with facts and paraphernalia and let him know you are there for chats. You could even tell him about your first boyfriend/girlfriend. Something cringey to get you both bonding over laughter
You've left it far too late.
I take the opportunity to talk about various issues as they come up in the news or on TV programmes. Eastenders and Neighbours have been a great means to introduce subjects naturally.
I agree with joysmum
I've been talking to my boys about sex, current affairs etc since thy were about 6. I've kept it light and generals and started the puberty talk around the age of 9 (also included about girls having periods etc)
I think he will know a lot more than you think but I would bring stuff up in a naturally way. (TV programmes as previously suggested)
In a town near where I live we have a2 young people centres for sexual advice, contraception, health checks, free condoms etc. I would find out if your town has one, find out what they offer and mention it in a casual way, eg, 'hey DS, I was in town today and went past Brook. ( or whatever yours is called) do you know nothing about them etc............ I believe they ......' )fill in the gaps the way you want the conversation to go.
Thank you for all the opinions and advice. It's not that we have never talked about sex, girlfriends, contraception or how to treat women before, of course we have! It's just that this is the first time it's become reality and I want make sure I handle it sensitively and carefully.
Ravenmum, mine sounds a lot like yours.
If you've had these conversations with him over the years then I think maybe an informal but timely reminder is all you'll need, as you will already have a sensitive and thoughtful young man for a son.
Maybe say you've noticed how much he's matured lately and that you know the time will come when you'll find it hard to know how best to handle relationships and sex when they become a feature in his life but that you hope he'll also have the maturity to realise if you aren't dealing with things how he'd like he'd be able to to tell you what he needs. Also how you might worry more than he'd like you to.
I'm not one of these parents who have to be right about everything or dictate and lecture. My daughter is not like me in many ways so I try to take her lead and apologise if I'm not communicating in a way she best relates to so she knows I'm trying and knows she can change the way I relate to her if that's going to be better.
We can only trust that we're raising our kids to appreciate the human qualities in everyone and that we believe they are wonderful young people we can trust in and only believe sometimes need a little extra guidance. The hardest bit is taking that step back to let them make their own mistakes and to catch them when they fall.
Weird question but are you sure it's a girl that's written this on his bedroom wall and not himself to impress his friends?
I did something a bit similar when I was 14- bought a boy T-shirt from a charity shop and left it in my bedroom for my friend's to find and then explained that it obviously belonged to the hottest guy in school who'd been round to mine you know 'doing homework' when my mum was out. My mum found out and shouted at me and forced me to admit that I'd spent my pocket money on a second hand T-shirt and basically making myself look like a bit of a slag
Just a thought....
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