It’s no secret that different phases of parenting require different phases of ourselves. We have to be the nurturing, supportive and patient parent, the rule-making and rule-enforcing parent, the “we’ll figure this out together parent,” and at times, the “I don’t have all the answers parent.” When parenting a teen, it’s likely you’ll have to be all of those parents in one conversation, especially when they’re dealing with peer pressure, smoking, drugs, drinking, and, oh yes, sex. Talking about sex with your kid is never easy, but how about talking about sex when your kid is sexually active? That’s the big one.
This is what was recently described by a mom on Reddit’s Parenting forum. User Dull_Humor1754 wrote, “My daughter (16) and her boyfriend(16) had an oops where the condom broke and she asked me for the day after pill. I’m really proud of her for being brave enough to ask, and I’m also really #$# proud of myself for creating an open relationship where she isn’t scared to tell me things.
“When I was teenager I would have just prayed (and probably made sacrifices to lol) to the gods that I wasn’t pregnant and wouldn’t have said a word to my mom,” the mom continued. “I would have been grounded and she would have flipped out. I did this. I don’t know if I ever had a prouder moment. and it’s a weird circumstance.”
It’s obvious that Dull_Humor1754 and her daughter have been pretty open when talking about sex. And since they’ve already had an interaction about the morning-after pill, it seems the OP (original poster) can be proud of herself.
The OP’s own experience with her mom and birth control may have led up to this. “I got pregnant at 18 because my mom found my birth control and threw it away,” Dull_Humor1745 revealed. “I don’t want the same thing to happen with my daughter.”
Fostering a safe space for our children is so important, especially when they become teens and are faced with some mature lifestyle choices to make. And the responses to this post demonstrate that parents are collectively trying to create better dynamics than they had with their own parents. The overwhelmingly supportive commenters didn’t come to judge the OP for having this open relationship with her daughter (and the daughter for being sexually active). They basically want the deets on how this mom created such an empowering space for her teen, and we love to see it!
“This is great,” wrote commenter Catawampus555. “My daughter is only 2, but I hope to have this kind of trust from her when she is older. My childhood best friend got pregnant at 15 and gave birth to her first child the day after her 16th birthday. When she told me she started sleeping with her boyfriend, I told her she needed to get on BC. She didn’t because she was afraid of how her mom would react, because her mom was only 18 when she was born. I never understood that logic. Like I’d rather have my child ask for BC than tell me they’re pregnant. You’d think if anyone would understand it would be a mom who had pretty much been a teen parent themselves.”
Many of the adult women in the forum confessed to still being afraid to talk to their moms about sex. “It’s the kind of relationship I’m trying to foster with my eldest,” wrote Floss147. “I was worried telling my mother I was pregnant at 33 despite being a married, home-owning mother already!”
Predy_mama commented that her mother was like the OP. “I had a mom like you, and my experiences with sex were starkly different from all my girlfriends’ experiences. My mom was always super clear with me about how I should feel, how my partners should be asking, and that she was always always always there to talk about anything. It was everything. The world needs more moms like you.”
Commenter squishpitcher mentioned the irony of some parents who do not want to talk about sex but also want to be grandparents. “I find the switch flip between sex being shameful and bad behavior to, ‘When am I getting grandbabies?’ to be truly one of the weirdest and most surreal.”
Some commenters also noted that preventative birth control is also an important part of discussing sex with teens and how the day-after pill isn’t 100 percent fool-proof.
In the end, commenter Maki269, didn’t beat around the bush and flat out asked the OP to finally share her parenting wisdom. “Can you share briefly how you intentionally fostered this connection? Were there specific things you did?” she wrote. “Asking this because my mother was VERY closed off about anything sex, was pro birth control and told us we could get it, but we never had the talk or anything even close. I’m trying to do better when I have a child.”
To which the OP Dull_Humor1754 responded: “From the beginning, my kids never get in trouble for being honest. Even if it’s something that would make me upset. Once she became of an age where sex may happen we had a good sex talk even though she hated it lol. I also make sure I always tell my kids that they can tell me anything. Even if they think I won’t like it’s better to be honest and get things out in the open.”