I am going crazy! I found a condom in my daughter’s purse. I don’t know if I am more angry or afraid! She is only sixteen years old. I had no idea she was sexually active. I had my first child when I was sixteen, I am not ready to be a grandmother and I do not want my daughter to go through what I went through. I haven’t talked with her about this yet because I do not know how to approach her at this point. HELP!!!!
Too Young to be a Grandmother
Dear Too Young:
First let me say that as a mother of four (three girls and one boy), I understand exactly how you are feeling and I have been where you are right now. In fact, I had a very similar scenario with one of my daughters. I found evidence that indicated she might be sexually active. My first response was anger, I hit the roof. As a teen parent myself, I have always been very open with my children about my situation and tried to educate them about the consequences of sex and unprotected sex. Like you, I did not want my children to go through many of the struggles I experienced as a teen mom. After I hit the roof I became sad. I was sad that my daughter did not come to me first. I thought we had a pretty good relationship and that she felt she could come to me about anything. Then I became afraid! What if it was too late? What is she was already pregnant or had contracted an STD or something she could never get rid of? Like most parents I preach abstinence first and foremost, but I also have been a teenager with raging hormones and know some of the pressures and realities that many teens face. I still preach abstinence, but I also preach education. I had to have that difficult conversation with my daughter and I educated her. I even took her to the doctor to discuss birth control options, side effects, and other consequences of a sexual relationship. Outside of the obvious scares of pregnancy and STDs I also wanted to educate her about the emotional side effects. While we all want the best for our children and do not want them to repeat our mistakes, they will make their own choices and decisions and sometimes we are not aware of them until it is too late.
I am sharing all of this to say that you have to talk with your daughter sooner rather than later to see where she is and what she is thinking. She may or may not have gone all the way, but the evidence proves she is at least thinking about it or has some questions about sex. She needs some guidance, information, and education. Calm down, get your head right, get your emotions in check, and have a productive and real conversation.
Tamara Hartley is Your Advice Guru giving REAL advice from REAL experience. She uses her personal life experiences and lessons learned to give others a different perspective and help them make critical decisions in their life, relationships and careers. Email your questions to [email protected]. You can follow Tamara on twitter @drtamarahartley and check out her column and archives at www.youradviceguru.com.