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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

I’m worried my mom will be disappointed I had sex with my boyfriend

May 28, 2016

Happy Saturday. Today we’re talking about teens and sex.

Hey Terra,

I’m worried about telling my mom about have sex with my boyfriend. I think she’ll be fine with it but I don’t want her to be disappointed because I’m young, what shall I do?

Freaking Out

It’s not a four letter word

Dear Freaking Out,

You’re not alone here. For the record, no matter how old we are, there’s always a part of us that craves Mom’s approval. Just saying.

Now let’s talk about  you. You say you think your mom will “be fine” with it, but you don’t want her to be “disappointed” in you because you are young. Without getting into a debate about “How young is too young to have sex?” I’ll say this: I hope you used protection, the sex was a positive experience, and you have no regrets about it. That’s the best anyone can expect.

You can’t change your age (obviously) and your mom is likely to find out about it anyway, so the question is: How important is it to tell her? If it is very important, then you might say something like this, “Mom, you know that ______ and I love each other.  He and I have had lots of serious conversations about sex and recently we decided that we were both ready to have sex. And we did. I just wanted you to know.”

Then close your mouth and listen to what she has to say. She may be upset or disappointed. She may be happy for you. She may have already assumed you two were having sex so your news won’t be a big deal. Her reaction is not the key factor here. The most important thing is whether you feel good about your decision. It’s not your job in life to make sure everyone around you is happy with everything you do. That would be living your life for them. This is your life. Live it in a way that makes you proud of who you are.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,
Terra

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First she said she would but now she won’t…

September 16, 2009

We all need time to reflect

We all need time to reflect

Got email from a teen confused about Mom’s reaction to the fact that the girl and her boyfriend were having sex. The confusion came from what probably seemed like a bipolar set of responses from Mom regarding the Sex Talk.  Here… you read it:

Hey Terra,

Me and my bf have been together for over 10 months. My mom knows him well and loves him. A couple months ago me and him started having sex and I was like OK, I want birth control. So I told my mom I was “thinking about having sex” and that I didnt do it yet but wanted birth control just in case. And she was like “OK. I understand. That’s responsible.” And she got it for me.

A couple of days ago I told her that me and my bf did it for the first time. She seemed to take it alright. She said she knew it was coming and was glad I told her. Then later that day, out of nowhere she started being really weird towards me. Now she barely talks to me, hardly talks to my bf, wants to know where I am and what I’m doing all the time even if I’m just with a girlfriend (and she was never like that ever). She’s being mean towards me now. I can’t take it anymore. I’m so uncomfortable around her. I hate being home. I don’t know what to do. Please help.

–Confused

This is so sad for Mom and daughter. And so unnecessary. Just in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not texting the Bad Mother Police to come cart this woman away just because she isn’t jumping for joy. But her hostility has overshadowed her previous reasonable response. Of course that was then (My daughter having sex some day = abstract idea which I can handle.) vs. now (My daughter’s having sex?!??!! For real?! OMG! What can I do? I feel freakin’ powerless!!)

If I could I’d have picked up the phone and talked to Mom. I’d have told her I understand that finding out your little girl is sexually active takes some getting used to. I would have said that her knee-jerk stress-response isn’t uncommon. But I’d also add that she needs to stop and think about what she’s doing because the silent-treatment and “meanness” is driving her daughter away. This woman doesn’t want that!

But Mom didn’t ask me for help, the teen did. So here’s what I told her:

Hi Confused,

You did the right thing telling your mom about your relationship and about needing birth control.  Your mom did the right thing by helping you protect yourself.  I think she is having a hard time dealing with the REALITY of the situation.  You’re her daughter and up until now she’s thought of you in a certain way (that would include being a virgin).  And even though she said she “knew it was coming” that can be different from actually having a new reality in your face.

Here’s what I suggest… Talk to her.  Tell her that you told me. Tell her how you’re feeling about her barely talking to you and “being mean” to you.  Tell her that you miss the trust and closeness the two of you have always had and you want to talk about that.

Then close your mouth and LISTEN to what she has to say.

Your mom loves you and she wants you to be safe and happy.  She doesn’t want to lose this special relationship. She’s just not sure how she feels about this next phase of your life. She’s confused. If you’ve ever felt confused, then you probably understand.

She loves you.  You love her.  Talk.

In friendship,

Terra

Of course giving advice is a lot easier when it’s someone else’s kid. And you’ve got to expect this kind of conversation will be awkward on both sides, at least initially. But getting real with the people you love most in the world is sometimes the only way to nurture and strenghthen your connection. That’s gotta be worth whatever mumbling, stumbling embarrassment comes with it.

Filed under: Parenting,Teens — Tags: , , , , , — Annie @ 6:07 pm
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