A child’s life is full of milestones that parents are eager to shout from the hilltops. There are those early babbling words, those first clumsy steps, a first lost tooth. Later, there will be school dances, academic or athletic achievements and eventually maybe a college acceptance letter or something with equal gravity. These moments make us proud and eager to brag about our children. We want everyone to see how well they’re doing and how quickly they’re growing up.
Then there’s the milestone you would rather that no one, perhaps including yourself, be interested in knowing or talking about, and that’s the day your kid first bumps awkward uglies with one of their peers. It’s inevitable, it’s definitely a milestone, and we’d all probably just rather not think about it, thanks.
Well, too bad.
Assuming you haven’t asked your child to pledge their virginity to you (ew) until they get married at 40, you have to accept that they’re going to do it. At some point you’ll probably want to know and then pretend you don’t know so you all can make it out of your child’s teen years baby- and STI-free with your collective dignity relatively intact.
But because the only thing grosser than knowing your parents have sex is knowing that your kids are, sometimes the realization manages to pass us by while our heads are planted firmly in the sand. Then one day, it hits you: Your innocent baby is no longer a virgin. What does that realization look and feel like? We’ll let the folks of this r/AskReddit thread tell you what you’re in for. A bunch of people weighed in to reveal how they learned their kids were having sex or how their own parents learned that they themselves were doing the dew. Take it away, Internet:
1. Through open, honest conversation
Before we get into some of the more horror show revelations on the thread, please enjoy this sweet story of a mother and a daughter having a relatively not-weird conversation about responsible safe sex:
“She told me when we were looking into birth control options for her. I was a little wistful for her innocent childhood days, but she’s handling it really responsibly and she’s in love, so what can you do? She was 18 at the time, if that makes a difference.”
2. Through an awkward wrong-number text
One dad recalls the day his daughter forgot to double-check the contact field before she sent a text intended for her boyfriend’s eyes:
” … She mis-texted me saying ‘of course I will have sex with you, I don’t care you are drunk’. I texted back and said you know you just texted your dad. Long silence, then she said my friends had my phone its just a joke. I was like, well now I know. She was 17 at the time, they are still together.”
3. When they tried to do the bait-and-switch with a story about love and marriage
Here’s a mom who couldn’t make the connection between what her daughter said and what her daughter meant.
“My then 14 year old daughter announced that she and her boyfriend were engaged. I thought, aww, that’s cute! Hubs said ‘They’ve had sex.’ Cue my eyes growing big with realization, racing heart and a glass of wine. I talked to both of them, made sure they were being safe (they were), and took her to get birth control the following week.”
4. When her son needed emergency condoms
We’re not sure what emergency condoms are, but we’re glad this mom was willing to do what must be done for both her son and her daughter.
“My son called me before it happened to ask for emergency condoms. I never drove so fast in my life!
My daughter asked to get on birth control as she was thinking about sex. I made the doctor appointment the next day. She decided not to have sex yet but she has the pills available when she is ready.
I don’t freak out. My son is 16 and daughter is almost 14. Because it isn’t taboo they are making good decisions in regards to sex.”
5. We all know what you’re really doing back there
Here’s a dude talking about the time his dad knew what he and his girlfriend were doing when they met up to “do homework” and opted for a little gentle teasing:
“We would go to the back room of the house to study. In reality we’d screw each others brains out, and then I’d spend 15 minutes doing her homework for her. (Hey, she made honor roll that semester!) Anyway, it’s about dinner time and we head out to the kitchen to discuss ordering a pizza with my parents. My dad is discussing toppings and mentions onions. Girlfriend says, ‘Eww. I don’t like onions. They give you bad breath.’ My father, not missing a beat, says, ‘Well that doesn’t bother me, but then I’m not the one screwing around in the back room.'”
6. In perhaps the grossest way possible
Let’s all bow our heads for a moment and offer this poor blindsided parent our sincere sympathy:
“He had stashed his used condoms in a Mcdonald’s cup in his closet, still filled with coke. I found out by removing the lid to dump it out.”
7. When she realized her daughter had done it before she was ready
It can’t be easy to tackle this stuff solo, but this mom seems like she’s got a good system and some good whisky just in case:
“I sit on the bed and ask her if she’s ok, and she bursts out crying and telling my i’m going to hate her. I have NO idea why she would have thought that, very positive abut all this stuff. Anyway, I guess, ask if she’s had sex, and she confirms. I made sure it wasn’t coerced, and if she’d used protection, and told her that just because she’d made one more move to becoming her own woman that I’d always love her no matter what.
I advised her that if this was the way she was reacting to having sex, then maybe she wasn’t emotionally ready to be engaging in things that far just yet. She went to bed, i went downstairs and had a glass of whisky.”
8. By accident, at the doctor’s office
This has got to be a really common way for parents to learn about what their kids have been up to:
“I overheard my mom helping my sister fill out a medical checklist for whatever. Mom was holding the pen and filling out the answers while reading them out loud. She was rushing it because she was bored.
Do you have any blood diseases? No. checks a box
Are you allergic to any common foods? No. checks a box
Are you sexually active? No.
Sister quickly interrupts with an awkward but resolute ‘yes’
9. The ones who never found out
You have to admire this person’s resolve, at the very least:
“My children are all virgins. So is my granddaughter.”