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16 year old daughter sexually active

(82 Posts)
counter Wed 20-Feb-13 20:32:20

I don't even know where to start! The last 3 weeks have been nightmare and I am seeking advice on how to proceed. 16 year old Daughter is a straight A student and we have never had any problems. Three weeks ago we found out she is sexually active with her 15 year old BF. She tells us it happened 3 times and always with a condom.

I feel so disappointed and ashamed of her and am trying to work past that. Aside from the obvious conversations about sex, emotions, conversations with BF are the restrictions we imposed:
-2 week no contact
-blocked him from her cell phone as we believed it was texting that led to this
-they could talk only on the home phone in shared rooms
-no unsupervised contact for a very long time
-Birth control

Over this 3 week time period she informed us that she was considering breaking up. Her monitored communications with her friends supported indicated she was being honest. We could only hope as we have never liked this kid.

A week ago I found out they had found away around texting by using an email account I did not know about. She was telling him she need her space. He was very aggressive in his responses. Eventually his messages turned very sexual. I mean offensively sexual! For the most part she was not replying the same way but not shutting him down either. However, things like if you dont...I need...I love you...someone else will...

Last night the messages became so offensive I wanted to vomit. She does not know I am monitoring her cell phone at this level. I feel like we have to step in and tell her either she ends the relationship or we will. Everything I read says you can't block her from seeing him or you will make it worse! However, she is very calm and I am not sure that would be her reaction. Just the fact that she stepped back to consider a breakup tells me she may actually welcome this action. I know I could be totally wrong on this though.

Her last communication of the night was that she had decided to stay together and apologized for making him go elsewhere for his touching needs. This is the part that I am most upset about. That she apologized for him cheating on her.

Do we talk to her in generalities hoping to help guide her to the right decision or do we step in and let her know we have seen the messages, tell her the relationship is over, contact his parents and share the emails and ask them to support our wishes? (which I believe they would do.)

I cant even come close to figuring out the right thing to do here.

OhMerGerd Sat 23-Feb-13 06:11:15

It's very hard OP. I've got a straight As DD at a similar place. I don't agree that 16 is the right age for the age of consent, I think it should be 18. I am concerned about the impacts of my DD having an early and slightly crappy start to her sexual life and the possibility of a drop in her grades if she gets too distracted. I am not of the give them a box of condoms for their 16th birthday and let them get on with attitude at all. Neither do I think its normal for young children to be having sex, its an extraordinary consequence of this generation growing up in such a highly sexualised world.
But the facts are 16 is the age of consent, it's her life and if you give a 16 year old girl a cause to champion whether it's save the whale or see the boyfriend they're going to go at it with a passion, and you're going to come off the loser.
So I bite my tongue and swallow the bile on occasion. I too monitor her text/email/Facebook... She knows I spot check, but I can't micro manage her life. . My monitoring is to ensure she stays safe ( she is a little naive sometimes) and if I'm honest so that I can have done any wide eyed, manic, chewing a wasp slapped arse reaction faces in private, dealt with my issues be ready to talk calmly and lovingly with her. I can just offer time appropriate wisdoms and prepare myself with the right information for when she inevitably raises something or asks under the guise of asking for a friend. It seems to be working. We talk. She even shares some of my thoughts with the boyfriend and then shares his response or their common thoughts with me. So it's a conversation ongoing rather than a series of crisis and flare ups.
My advice, take a step back, apologise for hasty response, I'd say it was a shock but you've had time to reflect, share the info given by other posters and try to be more of a trusted guide through this exciting but confusing and slightly scary time in her life.
Basically Just be how you were When she left for her first residential school trip. Be happy for her that shes fit, well and able to participate in the next natural step towards independence. Make sure she's got everything she needs, knows how to keep safe and contact you if she needs help or just a chat, pack her off with a big happy face to give her confidence as she nervously takes the next step in life and then when you've waved the coach off go home cry and have a big glass of wine.

CheerfulYank Sat 23-Feb-13 07:00:04

I'm with you OhMerGerd. And I like your name smile

BranchingOut Sat 23-Feb-13 07:02:17

My parents were very strict and took the 'shame' approach to sex. So it was very easy for me to fall into a semi-abusive relationship as my first experience, (although we did not have full intercourse).

Not great.

BranchingOut Sat 23-Feb-13 07:06:24

The other side effects of this were that I did not report two encounters with possible sexual predators, because I knew what my parents' reactions would be - a man who tried to persuade me into his car and an employee at my work experience office who came onto me when I was aged 14.

So by being like this you are potentially making your daughter more vulnerable, in my view.

OhMerGerd Sat 23-Feb-13 09:38:48

Thanks Cheerful... Re name: - ohmergerd is a lifestage defined as the period between which your DD is 14 to 18. You have your newborns your toddlers your tweenies and your Ohmergerds! They shriek it at the start of every conversation with their peers and you're feeling it (ohmergerdish) pretty much all of the time in anticipation of the next teen drama.

KeatsiePie Sat 23-Feb-13 10:32:23

I get your problem with the boyfriend, he sounds awful, and that's a serious problem.

But you also said "The punishment was because of the lying." So if she'd told you right before or right after she became sexually active, you would have been supportive (until you found out the boyfriend was bad news, of course)? You'd have arranged for her to have birth control options and talked with her about defending her boundaries in case she ever felt pressured and all that? And if you'd say yes to those questions, did she know that? I mean, did she know that there was an actual rule that she had to come to you right before or right after the first time, or something like that?

I'm asking b/c I think you're moving the goalposts a bit, and if I'm right about that then she may be finding it frustrating, which won't help you. It doesn't really sound to me like the punishment is b/c of the lying. It sounds to me like you're telling her/yourself that, but really, the punishment is b/c of the sex.

Tbf. I also genuinely think 16 is too young, but it does have to be her decision, and I'm afraid you can't keep her from doing it without doing an awful lot of damage. And she needs to feel like she can talk to you without fear of repercussions, so that you can help her get out of this relationship.

flow4 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:40:57

It's very interesting to hear your explanation OhMer, because basically I was that 16 year old, and my mother's reaction was (more or less) yours... smile

For me, my first two relationships (9 months at 16 and 16 months at 17) were my escape from an unpleasant home life. It wasn't abusive, but my parents were unhappy and angry and ill. My boyfriends' family homes were much nice places to spend time than my own home.

I was also an A student, and sex was indeed a distraction, and I got lower grades than I was predicted at 'O' and 'A' level. However, it's hard to know how much the sex was to blame, because my parents' behaviour and my home life itself were also 'distractions' - perhaps I would still have got lower grades without boyfriends - and I would certainly have been unhappier.

Long term the lower grades did not matter at all : university made me a low offer because they recognised my potential, I got a very good degree, went on to gain the post-grad qualifications I wanted, taught and researched in universities, and have worked professionally all my life.

What worries me most about the OP is that very often (IMO) teenagers' early relationships are shaped by their parents' attitudes (we have more influence on their beliefs and attitudes than we think!). So, although my mother did not like the fact that I was having sex 'so young' and worried about my 'reputation', my parents did not think sex itself was 'shameful', and I had a good relationship with my father, and lots of positive messages about loving relationships... And as a result (I believe) my early relationships were positive: I picked 'nice' boys and had good experiences.

On the other hand, a teenager who is told sex is shameful and bad, and who is punished for doing it, is much more likely to pick partners who are going to fit with this belief - people who will treat them badly (as they expect) and abuse them (as they think they deserve). sad It is terribly sad, and potentially risky.

That's why (IMO) OhMer's tactic of doing the "wide eyed, manic, chewing a wasp slapped arse reaction faces in private" and dealing "with my issues be ready to talk calmly and lovingly with her" is really wise (not just about sex; about anything and everything)... So that whatever negative attitudes we have ourselves inherited from our parents, we can take a deep breath and try and pass on positive and enabling attitudes and beliefs to our own children.

TheSeventhHorcrux Sat 23-Feb-13 10:48:09

If she finds out how much your monitoring her shes going to have serious issues with paranoia for the rest of her life!
You're there to help her, guide her and support her not dictate her life, stalk her every move and control her.
It's not her behaviour that is worrying here! I'm deeply disturbed by your behaviour, OP

flow4 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:57:42

Oh, and I have to disagree with the view that 16 is young to be having sex... It's difficult because of course what is really 'old enough' depends on physical and emotional development, not chronological age. Across the world, age of consent varies from 'puberty' to 21... But even within Europe, most countries have lower age of consent than the UK ( Wiki info and map ) - 15 in France, 14 in Germany and 13 in Spain, for instance. And historically, once countries started making laws, most have set the age of consent around 10-12, and girls could be legally married below the age of consent. sad shock ( Wiki info )

SmileAndPeopleSmileWithYou Sat 23-Feb-13 11:08:00

Its been a while since I've seen a post where everyone agrees with each other.

People have phrased it in different ways and given you some great advice.
Doesn't the fact that everyone has explained how it is not right to spy on your DD and control her in this way made you think?

Even the post from OhMerGerd who says she does keep track of her DD on fb etc states that it is done in an open and honest way to keep her safe!

16 year olds need to learn from their own mistakes and bad judgement.
Have you never made mistakes in your choice of BF? Did you expect someone to wrap you in cotton wool and stop it all from happening? Would it have stopped you?

You are setting yourself up for a bad relationship with your DD and controlling issues. Are you going to suddenly stop interfering when she pays for herself? I think not...

funnymummy9 Mon 25-Feb-13 18:04:52

Dude?! By forcing them to not see each other! You're basically asking for her to have sex!

And she's 16! It's legal. It's more common than you might think. In fact, at my school, girls were starting to have sex about 13/14.

All you can do is encourage her to have safe sex, offer to buy her the condoms, or if she's on birth control, make sure she takes them every morning.

muddytiger Sat 09-Nov-13 18:55:10

Dear counter i found this way late wish i could have been there to support you at the time
Most of the ppl who posted are products of the new morality "if it feels good do it"
When we look around the world this is the attitude responsible for the sexualization of children, pornography, human trafficking...
I think you are right to have values and morals and to instill and enforce them in your child
when you said you were ashamed, i suspect you meant broken hearted for her and for yourself which is fine
it sounds like you love her
if more parents weren't trying to be friends with their children and make sure their children like them they would be checking face book, texts, the modern way of watching them and keeping them safe
of course kids will be angry but if your kids think you are cool and fun and agree with them you are not being a parent
when this happened with our 17 year old daughter it was so sad
we reinforced our family values told her she does not have permission to be having sex at our house we don't do sex outside of marriage she does not have permission to use our house or cars
we know we cannot control her feelings or monitor her 24/7 so we will put her on birth control
that she is a princess, a precious girl whom we still delight in and God loves more than the whole universe she is still herself she is not ruined it does not change our love or His one iota a princess should be having sex on beautiful white satin sheets sprinkled with rose
petals with a man who is committed to her for life and would die for her not in the back seat of a car or under bushes at the park with a boy.
we took the same approach with our first daughter and now she calls me her hero i loved her enough to rescue her from herself

Rosencrantz Tue 12-Nov-13 00:58:50

Counter. The way you are treating your daughter is disgusting. I hope she moves out as soon as she possibly can, has as much sex as she wants, and lives a happy, fulfilled life where sex isn't shameful.

BOF Tue 12-Nov-13 01:14:22

I haven't read the whole thread, but after a skim of the first quarter, I'd say that you need to get out of the 'forbidding' zone, and move into the kind advice zone. Good luck.

sparklysilversequins Tue 12-Nov-13 09:38:05

Way to go to give issues regarding sex and shame for the rest of her life OP.

You could be MY mum posting twenty years ago. I was 16 too I purposely waited and was responsible about contraception. My parents read my diary, found out about MY sex life and refused to even look or speak to me for 6 months. I will be honest and say our relationship has never recovered. It set the tone for the rest of our lives.

The fact she is saying she will end it with him reminds me of promising my parents I would never do IT again hmm. How dare you put her in that position. You need to turn this around and quick!

teenagetantrums Tue 12-Nov-13 14:43:50

take it from me having safe sex with a boyfriend at 16 is fine, i have two teenagers you cant control things like that, and i dont know why you want to...

LaBuveuse Tue 12-Nov-13 14:48:53

Are you in the US OP?

Blossomflowers Tue 12-Nov-13 17:04:31

Sorry counter you sound like real nut job. So you found out your DD was having safe sex with her bf and you make he feel ashamed and dirty. You should feel ashamed of yourself. I would imagine the first opportunity your daugher get she will be out of there away from controlling clutches. Have you seen the film Carrie beware!

cory Wed 13-Nov-13 13:10:59

muddytiger, have you ever contemplated the thought that other people may well have a morality, just not exactly the same as yours?

not everybody thinks sex between consenting young people above the age of legal consent is a morally bad thing; this does not mean they are not perfectly stringent about things they do regard as morally bad

(incidentally, telling somebody that she is a princess who should have sex on beautiful white satin sheets sprinkled with rose petals seems an odd way of preparing her for the often gritty and demanding business of a Christian marriage: how can somebody with expectations like that ever take a vow which requires her to stick to her husband through poverty and sickness?)

Kerryblue Thu 14-Nov-13 14:23:04

This thread is really old.

Blossomflowers Thu 14-Nov-13 14:53:49

I know noticed that after posting. But wow just wow have you read muddytigers post, holyF.......

madeofkent Sun 17-Nov-13 20:22:50

I just saw this and thought - wow! I was so delighted that my daughter managed to make it through to her 16th birthday before she embarked on a sex life! In this day and age it almost seems odd for a girl not to have had sex by that age. I knew straight away just by the look on her face... {hmm] So we decided to get her to the doctor's where she decided to have the injections rather than the pill. Unfortunately she and I had forgotten that her best friend's mother was the practice nurse and as I sat outside waiting for her I heard a voice I knew saying 'And does your mother know you are here, young lady?' I heard my daughter say that yes, I was just outside but it was obvious that she didn't approve. So we kept quiet about the behaviour of her twin 15 year olds... grin

Reading the OP's and muddytiger's posts makes me feel as if I have gone back 50 years in time.

Tiffany56 Mon 25-Nov-13 18:44:22

.... for all you naive parents out there.... most of my daughter's friends lost their virginity at 14/15!....this is not uncommon and they're all from what everyone would consider to be 'decent family backgrounds'.
teens will have sex if they want to.... all you can do is tell your daughter to always use condoms, be aware of s.t.i.'s, (they're rife amongst teens), don't ever send 'sexy selfies', never lose her self respect.....and that you won't hassle her if she's honest with you.... i tell my kids there's no need to lie about where they are, as i won't hassle them if they're honest; it's safer than them lying and me not knowing where they are.
btw.....sorry to say this but as your daughter's boyfriend is under age, can your daughter be arrested for having unlawful sex with him??
love and support from you is the best for both of you, no matter how this shocks and upsets you. kind regards.

OneStepCloserIWillExterminate Mon 25-Nov-13 18:52:39

I know this is old but muddytigers post just made me laugh a lot bit, what a load of tosh you just wrote muddy.

wakemeupnow Mon 25-Nov-13 21:44:40

Muddytigers' been reading too many mills and Boon grin

I feel sorry for Op's DD. she's being emotionally abused and controlled by her mum and her boyfriend sad

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