Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Parents who want their children to wait until marriage to have sex, will you be angry if your child doesn't wait?

Asked by JLeslie (47552 points ) February 15th, 2012

What will be your emotion, and what will you do about it?

Angry, dissappointed, worried, something else?

Will you yell at them, punish them, forbid them to see the person they are dating? What exactly?

Would you accept they are sexually active now, or try to convince them to stop?

Does it matter how you find out? If they come to you and tell you, if you catch them, if you hear it from someone else?

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48 Answers

saint's avatar

If it turns out the child does not wait, then the horse is pretty much out of the barn. What good does getting angry do at that point.

keobooks's avatar

I don’t think it’s any of my business, so long as she doesn’t get pregnant or diseases. I hope that she doesn’t treat sex casually and carelessly, but at least believes that she’s in love and ready for a more mature relationship. I also hope she doesn’t let herself get taken advantage of by people twice her age.

The fact that she’s less than two years old now may give me a certain over-secure feeling of “of course, that wouldn’t happen” But I hope to be able to respect the fact that she is a human being. And human beings are sexual and sex is natural. So it’s likely she’s going to get at least a little bit of nookie long before she’s married.

janbb's avatar

I didn’t and they didn’t.

tom_g's avatar

To be honest, I’d be puzzled if my kids wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. That’s fine if they want to wait (I suppose). I’m taking the approach that we will be ridiculously-open about making sure they are practicing it in the safest ways possible. They are quite young now, but I’m hoping that our open communication and great relationship continues – even when they are doing things that hormonal people do.

[spoken by someone who has kids < 10 years old, so I could be full of shit.]

janbb's avatar

@tom_g It can as long as you also give them their space.

wundayatta's avatar

I think I would be more disappointed if they did actually wait until marriage. I guess I don’t think sex is that big a deal. It is a natural bodily function and it is an important part of relationships. If you don’t include it in your relationships, then I don’t think you are adequately preparing yourself for a long term relationship or for commitment.

Of course, I had sex before marriage and the only virginal partner I had was the first. I wanted to remain with her for life, but it didn’t work out that way.

Sex is both more important and less important than the “save it for marriage” idea allows for. Sex is essential for a complete expression of love, in my experience. It raises the emotions to an intensity that can not be found any other way that I know of. That intensity is huge, and symbolized the meaning of a love relationship in a way nothing else can do. Sex unites emotions, spirituality, and physicality for the fullest experience.

Having said that, I could not say that sex is special in the sense you should only do it with one person—the person you promise the rest of your life to. Yes, sex is special, but it is also a skill and something you need practice with. The sooner you start, the better. Which is not to say you do it with just anyone. You want to do it with people who matter.

Sure, it could be a sport. How good a lover are you? What are your techniques? But all the technique in the world matters not if there is no spirit to it. If you don’t actually love your partner, it can never be very good. It might feel great, but it will never be transcendent.

So I want my children to experience it when they feel they are emotionally ready to try it. I want them to do it with people they love and who they think love them in return. I want them to be educated about how to be safe and how to take care of their bodies and if I had the guts, I’d want them to have some understanding of what can be done and how to do it.

But mostly I want them to focus on the feelings, and if the feelings aren’t there, I see no point in doing it. Sex is about those special feelings, it seems to me. It is not a sport. It is not just about stimulating various genitalia. It’s about exploring bodies and about wanting to make someone else feel good (as opposed to wanting them to make you feel good). If you want to make someone else feel good, and they want you to make them feel good, then do it so long as you can stay safe.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t think it’s necessary to wait, but it is much more important to teach them the emotional and physical consequences.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’ll preface this by saying, I hope my son doesn’t wait.

I’ve contributed to raising many other peoples children. This summer I attended the wedding of one lovely young woman I contributed to. Her parents are so gung ho that their children remain pure for marriage, they do the whole promise ring crap.

This lovely woman, who also happens to be a cousin to my husband, fell in love with a fella from another country whilst they were both studying at a bible college abroad. They are young. They are both still in school. Their engagement was short.

Both my husband & I sat through the wedding and reception wondering how long it will last. Both “kids” seem far too immature to be married at this point. It seemed to both of us there was only one other reason they got married (besides the love, of course)...sex. It was obvious to us.

Personally, this ^ event solidified my opinion. Waiting until a certain emotional maturity is a great idea. Waiting for marriage…dumb.

BeccaBoo's avatar

If they are going to do it, it will be when they are ready, not when I am ready for them too. Otherwise they will stay virginal all their lives LOL.

Bellatrix's avatar

I never pry into my children’s sexual activity. I have spoken with them often about safe sex, being responsible for the emotional and physical consequences of their sexual activity and beyond that I have to trust they listened. I have to say I have never counselled them to wait until marriage for sex. I don’t agree with that idea. I do want them to be responsible though.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I tried to teach my children to wait until they felt able to be responsible for their own feelings, their partners and all the emotional and natural consequences of having sex. I think they are doing pretty good and I never sought to punish them for their choices.

jca's avatar

It’s funny that nobody on Fluther seems to feel that they want their children to wait until marriage to have sex. I know we hear all the time about religious people that do want their kids to wait, and supposedly the kids are on board for it, but then a lot can’t wait (who can blame them?) or they have anal sex and consider it “no sex.” I think that it can go really fast from making out to sex, and kids especially might have a hard time realizing that it can be a really quick hop (pardon the pun) from one base to another, if you let it.

For me, my expectations for my child will not be unrealistic. I know that kids (teens, whatever) are only human. I just hope she will have respect for herself and her relationships.

sliceswiththings's avatar

One of my best friends comes from a family that wants her to wait until marriage. She hasn’t. Her mom also strives to be close to her, and they do have a close relationship. My friend told her mom that she wanted to get the morning after pill, so she had to confess to having sex. Her mom was nice and helpful and stuff, but kept saying things like “I’m going to be vomiting for weeks at the idea of you two.” etc. The end.

digitalimpression's avatar

I will be disappointed. Especially if they do like so many other teens these days and impregnate a 16 year old girl who hasn’t even had a chance to decide a path in life, but is suddenly faced with adult decisions.

@keobooks
“I don’t think it’s any of my business”
This is very scary to me. Perhaps I’m alone on fluther though.

@wundayatta
Can’t even start to respond to that. We’ve already had too many disagreements for me to believe it would be a profitable venture.

@SpatzieLover
Ditto.

@Bellatrix
“I never pry into my children’s sexual activity”
What do you mean by prying? I certainly won’t scour through phone records or post a private detective.. but I certainly will want to be involved enough to prevent a stupid decision based on hormones.

@jca
I think I might be one of 4 conservative, bible-believing, republicans on this site.. so here I am. I’m finally here to say it. I will be ecstatic if they wait until marriage. I doubt it will happen with the way society has changed in the last 30 years.. but there’s always hope.

Bellatrix's avatar

My children are all adults @digitalimpression. If they want to tell me about their sexual activity, they are old enough and quite capable of doing so. I don’t ask them what they do with their partners and if they do tell me and I don’t like it, if appropriate, I tell them my position and leave them to make their own decisions. It is called allowing your children to grow up and both behave as adults and to take responsibility for their actions.

As to policing their behaviour prior to them reaching the age of consent, I stand by my position. I gave them all the advice and guidance I could on appropriate, responsible and respectful sexual behaviour. They never gave me any cause to consider they had not listened or were not behaving responsibly. If they had, I would have done what I could to protect them (birth control measures), but if someone is determined to have sex, they probably will and bar grounding them until they reach the age of 16 (the age of consent where I live), there wouldn’t be much I could do about it.

We had certain rules about times they should be home, where they could go, use of drugs and alcohol. However, I believe in parenting by example, education, fair expectations and through reasonable guidance rather than imposing unreasonable or unrealistic rules that are unlikely to be met.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I seriously doubt my daughters will remain virgins until they’re married, and in this day and age, I really wouldn’t expect them to. I just hope they will wait until they actually have some feelings for the person, and don’t just give it up to Joe Shmoe. I also hope that they’ll feel free to talk to me about sex and that they’ll be responsible about it.

JLeslie's avatar

I asked this question because on another Q a teenager stated she was having sex with her boyfriend and that her parents would be angry if they knew. She sneaks around to be able to have sex. Not that I expect her to announce it or anything.

One thing I always worry about, and try to reassure teens is, their worries about their parents being angry are usually not as bad as they think. I think most children perceive their parents warnings and rules as things parents will be angry and punish them for if they break the rules, but some of the rules and guidance parents provide are not offenses that would be punished. Thing is I think children have no concept of which is which. And so, the child forbidden to have sex before marriage, when he/she gets in trouble, needs a parents help, let’s say she is sick, or pregnant, or concerned for whatever reason related to sex, she will most likely not seek the help of her parents, because she thinks she will be in trouble. The teen might even not seek a doctor’s help, for fear the parent has access to all medical records, or that an EOB will show up in the mailbox.

So, I wondered, maybe I am wrong? Maybe the parent who is strict on these matters will be angry, and take some sort of action. But, I hate to think that is true.

I later also thought that the Q might in the future reassure a young jelly they can go to their parents in a difficult situation, even if their parent had expected them to stay virgins until marriage.

But, so far we don’t have any jellies who have advised their children to wait, except maybe @digitalimpression? I was not sure if you want them to wait until marriage? Or, just not get pregnant as teens?

Bellatrix's avatar

You make a good point @JLeslie and it is something I have always been conscious of with my own children, if we are too strict and have too many rules, we may make it very difficult for our children to come to us when they do need help or guidance.

As an example perhaps I can tell a story. Sorry about the wall of text for those who don’t want to read on.

I loved my father, but he was very, very strict about the smallest of things. If I got home five minutes late, I was in big trouble. Despite this, when I was 16 and just about to go off to college, I spoke to my father about going on the pill. Seems strange that I spoke to my father but I loved him dearly, trusted him totally and I wasn’t at all close to my step-mother who had very, very puritanical views and well, was a bit of an idiot. I explained to him that I was 16 and would be mixing with boys more and if I did meet someone and wanted to have sex, I wanted to be sure I would be safe from pregnancy. He almost fell off his chair in horror! I then got a long lecture about not being easy. I wasn’t suggesting I was going to be easy. I had no intention of just sleeping with anyone. I wasn’t dating. I was just being sensible (in my mind). It was another year and a half before I did have sex and the guy and I had been seeing each other for more than six months. I had also gone on the pill (by visiting a sexual health clinic on my own very soon after the conversation with my dad).

What his reaction did though was exactly what you suggest @JLeslie. When I did suspect I was pregnant a few years later, I did not go to my parents because of the reaction I thought I would get. I wasn’t pregnant as it turned out but I had missed a couple of pills and had sex with my long-term boyfriend and I was freaking out.

I never want or wanted my children to be in that situation. I think having rules, and giving guidance, should always be teamed with clear communication that you will always love them and be there for them no matter what.

Pandora's avatar

I did want that for them but mostly I just wanted for them to wait till they were adult enough to handle everything it would mean for them personally and be ready for any consequenses that may follow. They at least waited till they were living on their own. Was I a bit disappointed but staying chase till I found the guy I loved and would marry was my choice. It could’ve gone wrong but I didn’t wait till I said I do. I was just lucky enough to find mr right, sleep with him and then marry him, instead of find him, marry him and then sleep with him.
But no to the question, disappointed yes, angry no, and holding a grudge for human nature, never.
Now if they were teens living under my roof. Angry. Hell yeah, I certainly would’ve been.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora Thanks for your answer. What would have done while they were under your roof? Would you have punished them? Or, restricted them in some way, less freedoms to try and keep a closer eye on them. Would you have expected them to cease and desist?

AshLeigh's avatar

I’m not a parent. You already knew that.
But I know my mother would prefer I waited until marriage. And I don’t see anything wrong with waiting.
My parents were angry when they found out my sister had sex at the age of fourteen.
They were angry when they found out my brother had sex at the age of fourteen.
But I think that’s only because they were sleeping with some very nasty people, and they were so young.
I don’t remember them being upset when my other sister did it, but she was a lot older.
And now they don’t care if they do. They haven’t for years.

Although I feel like they expect me to be more responsible when it comes to sex. And they trust me more, because I’ve waited longer than any of them, and I intend to wait a lot longer. She would probably be pissed if I did, and she found out. As far as she knows, I’ve never been kissed.

Pandora's avatar

First I probably would’ve yelled and made a ton of threats. Then after calming down and knowing that it’s not going to fix the problem, I would’ve talked to the other parent to see how they feel about it. If they really don’t care than I would’ve sat with both of them and talked to them as to why the whole thing is wrong and disrespectful and foolish. I would’ve checked to see if they were being careful and taken my child to the doctor to get checked. I also would’ve followed it by letting them know that they can not resume their relationship in any way until they are 18 since I cannot trust either of them to ever be alone again. My child would’ve been required to be home everyday after school and to only be able to attend adult supervised events where I pick up and drop them off. No computer, or texting or calling anyone except for when I am home and only on the house phone. Cell phone use would be monitored and messages blocked coming and going. Computer use only for homework and supervised. And school grades would have to stay the same. It would’ve been really bad for them. But I made this all clear to them before they started dating and told them what the consequences would be if they ever took that step. So they were well aware they would lose their freedom if they lost their virginity. I told them every senario that could ever happen if that would happen. I think the biggest deterent was when I told them stories of friends I had in school that did get knocked up, and what happened to the children and my friends. Some where careful and it still did no good. I told them that I trust them to show me that they are ready for adulthood by being responsible and not having intercourse befoe they could be ready to handle all the financial and emotional responsibilies that comes with it alone. I already had my two children and raised them without anyone’s aid except for their father and even though we were married it was a huge commitment. I made sure to have all the fun I wanted as a single person before I would have to put a childs life in front of my own and that is what I wanted for them. I explained that you only live life once. So live it well and try not to screw someone else in the process. (like your unborn out of wed lock child)

Earthgirl's avatar

My parents employed the don’t ask, don’t tell policy. I wouldn’t have felt that I could confide in them. I actually felt that my sex life was only my business anyways. If I had children I would hope to do better. I would want them to feel like it was ok to admit it if they had sex before marriage and not pretend to be virgins. I would want them to value themselves enough to ask for mutual respect and love. I always understood that that was what was important, so in that respect, my parents taught me well.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora Thanks for your answer. After reading it I think it makes me realize there are parents who are dead serious no sex before marriage, and then others who suggest waiting. There would be no way for a jelly to know which type a young person in a quandary might have without knowing the parent. I do think your children would know how serious you are on the topic, because you were clear not only about your expectations, but also about the consequences if your expectation for them was broken. They could not go to you if they were having some sort of difficulty related to sex, the consequence was too harsh. I am not judging your parenting, it sounds like your technique worked for you and your children.

keobooks's avatar

@digitalimpression – got melodrama? I was sexually active before I was married. I lied to my mom about it. If my daughter is of the age of consent, it really is none of my business—just like it was non of my own mother’s business.

If she’s an adult there’s not a thing I can do in that matter except hope that I’ve spent the years she has with me boning up on her self esteem and hope that I can influence her to have a high self esteem so she doesn’t just take sex casually and hope that she is a smart enough cookie not to get emotionally blackmailed.

But seriously, I have no idea why you think it’s downright scary or sends chills down your spine that I’m not going to pry and poke around in my future consenting adult unmarried daughter’s sex life. If it does, I have no idea what to tell you.

Also like I said, she’s under two right now, so that’s pretty far away on my radar.

Pandora's avatar

I told them I expected from them what was expected of me. I had no problem meeting my parents expectations because I agreed that I could not be considered an adult while living under their roof and having to depend on them. It would be extremly selfish of me to maybe get pregnant and then expect my parents to help with the cost because I can’t make it on my own. It would be selfish of me to also not try my best to provide any future children with a stable home enviroment like I grew up in. I had two parents and I wanted the same for my kids. It didn’t work for all of us. My brother did move out at 18 and got his 16 year old girlfiend pregnant. They try to make a go of it for 2 years but neither where ready. I saw my nephew suffer for years because of their troubled relationship. Always wanting both his parents together and both of them ignoring him and seeing him more as a burden than a blessing.
My kids had and still have no problem talking to me about sex. They understood it wasn’t so much about sex but what I was expecting was for them to understand the complexity of sex is more than insert her, moan and move on. It has the power to effect the lives of everyone around you and yourself.

digitalimpression's avatar

@Bellatrix
You could have stopped at “My children are adults” on the first part. I made the mistake of assuming your kids were more age-related to the question. (my bad)

@JLeslie
“I will be ecstatic if they wait until marriage”
Is this really that confusing?

@keobooks
“got melodrama?”
No, I have milk. What do you have?

@whoever
I’m still scared by the mentality that “if they want to, it’s gonna happen”. (Obviously if they don’t even live in your house anymore it’s less of an issue). But there are quite a lot of things that they could do “if they want to”. Does that mean you won’t be involved enough to find out that they got blazed out on meth, slept with a stranger, woke up with an std and a pregnant girlfriend? Where is the line in the sand?

Forgive me if it’s not the way you intend it to sound.. but to me it sounds like you just don’t want to be involved with your kids.

JLeslie's avatar

@digitalimpression Well, some people on the Q responded about adult children, which I kind of did not expect, so since you mentioned teenage pregnancy I wanted to be sure. No need to be condescending.

I don’t see why people being accepting of the idea that many teens have sex means the person is an uninvolved parent? That doesn’t make sense to me.

digitalimpression's avatar

@JLeslie Wasn’t meant to be condescending. It was just a simple question.

I don’t agree with accepting the idea of “many teens having sex”. It’s a horrible, horrible idea.

Obviously, I’m outnumbered again on this thread and I don’t really have the patience to answer multiple @digis tonight. So, I wish you all a good night (as far as this question goes).

JLeslie's avatar

@digitalimpression I don’t want anyone to feel challenged or attacked on the Q. I was only genuinely interested in the opinions of parents who wanted their children to wait. I am not looking to change anyone’s mind, just to have a better understanding.

dubsrayboo's avatar

I want my daughters to wait. I waited, granted it was hard at times, but I waited. Sex is very special and should only be shared within marriage. My girls know my opinion.

JLeslie's avatar

@dubsrayboo What happens if they don’t? If they don’t and you find out about it and they are still teens.

augustlan's avatar

I would prefer they not wait until marriage, honestly. Sexuality is such a huge part of who we are, and I really think we ought to know ourselves fully before we get married. I do want them to wait for a mature, loving, committed relationship, and to take proper precautions. We keep the lines of communication about this (and all other things) open.

keobooks's avatar

I don’t know why it’s surprising that someone brought up adult children. There was a time when kids got married right out of high school and went from living with mom and dad to living with their spouse. Those days are long gone.

There was a time in the US during the mid – late 20th century that in some States, girls could get married as young as 13. Getting married at 18 wasn’t at all shocking and by the time a girl was 21, they might start getting pressure about putting off getting married too long.

So parents had quite a bit to say about sex before marriage because the time after adulthood and before marriage was a pretty narrow window—sometimes there was no window at all. The last time I checked the average age of marriage in this day and age, it was somewhere between 26 – 28. Thats a long time after high school. That’s a long time of living alone, working a real job and making all your own decisions.

Yet for some reason when people talk about “sex before marriage” they act like it only applies to kids. If my daughter follows the norms of today and in my footsteps, it’s likely that she’s going to be in her 30s before she gets married—if she gets married at all. She’s still going to be my daughter. There’s a chance that she’ll still be on my insurance plan for several years, which is why I think it would be my business if her sex life led to medical situations.

The reality is that not so long ago in our country, kids were reaching puberty at a later age and getting married at a much younger age. The window between sexual maturity and marriage was a very small one. Now kids are sexually mature much younger AND they are getting married later. There is a huge gap between growing up to sexual maturity and getting married.

I think it’s extremely unrealistic to still talk about sexuality in a pre-Vietnam war mentality. “Sex before marriage” is not the same argument as “teenage sex”. And I don’t think it’s doing any good to pretend that it is.

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks It is kind of interesting to me the topic of teenage sex vs. sex before marriage. What happened was when I wrote the original Q, I am thinking the child is a minor in the parents home, and punishable. Maybe at most they are not minors, but still in the home, maybe in college. I did not convey that in how I worded the question though, so that is me thinking everyone knows exactly what I am thinking without telling them. But, I don’t regret how I worded the question, or the answers.

I don’t see what it matters if a parent is upset, angry, dissappointed when their 25 year old child has sex. The child is now an adult, living their own life, has a reasonable concept of consequences to actions. When I say it doesn’t matter, I don’t mean we completely stop caring about our parents values or respecting their wishes, my only point is the parent can’t really do anything about the decisions their adult child has made.

My concern was for young people, teenagers, who sometimes find themselves in bad situations, and don’t go to their parents for help for fear of the parents reaction. A 25 year old can handle it. She/he has medical care and her parents do not have access to her medical record, she more likely has knowledgable peers who can help her, she has more competence in handling bad situations.

I think it is absurd to expect a person to stay a virgin until age 30+ if that is when they marry. I do not mean the person who waits that long is absurd, I respect the sexual decision, it is a personal decision, and no one else’s business. Now that we marry later in society, as you pointed out, the wait til marriage seems unrealistic. I prefer the wait until you are an adult and in a trusting relationship. But, I am not angry, dissappointed, or surprised when teens are having sex. I don’t have children, so maybe I would be freaked if my 15 year old was having sex, but I don’t think angry, I think concerned maybe, just hope they are ok. Full disclosure, I was 15 when I lost my virginity. Uh, I guess, as I write this, I would be a little dissappointed and definitely worried if they were very promiscuous.

keobooks's avatar

@JLeslie —You’d be surprised. My mom was fully expecting me to stay virginal and I didn’t get married until I was over 35. I have talked to many adults that say they go through this weird ritual of pretending with their parents about being sexually chaste even when they are living with a partner. Maybe it’s because I’m from a very conservative part of the country, but adult sex before marriage—even when the kid is in their 30s is kind of a big deal still. I think it’s an interesting topic.

I don’t think I can touch the topic of teenage sex right now. It’s too close to my heart. I look at my little toddler daughter and I get misty and sad thinking that soon she’s going to get too big for me to carry her and soon she’ll be getting into trouble because she wants to disobey (as opposed to now where her trouble is just about curiosity) Thinking about her being an adult is surreal enough and far away enough that it isn’t painful. Thinking about her being a teenager is closer on the horizon. I just can’t even go there right now. I know it’s not on the topic, and I will have to think about that soon. But right now, I’d prefer to stay in the frame of mind where diapers are more pressing than birth control.

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks I do believe there are still many people out there who expect people to be virgins until marriage. Since I do not come from that perspective, I sort of have to remind myself those people are still out there. It is part of the reason for the question, because I am trying to understand what it is like to grow up in that household. Genuine interest, no judgement. I do wonder how that really pans out in terms of teenage pregnancy, and risky sex, studies seem to say different things, but that is not what I was getting at with this question.

I can understand why you don’t want to even think about it all regarding your own child. Be in the moment, enjoy each stage. :)

jca's avatar

Once I had this coworker who had two beautiful teenage daughters, and they had some international guests come from Spain for a few weeks. These guys were pilots and they slept over in my coworker’s house. They and the daughters were all hanging out 24/7. I asked my coworker “Do you think they’re having sex?” and she said “oh no, my girls would not have sex with them!” My other coworker emailed me simultaneously and wrote “Can you spell ‘naive?’” I had another friend who had a son that was visiting his fiancee a lot, overnight. I asked her what she thought was going on, and she said “I raised ____ to have religious values, and I think he would never have sex before marriage!” I told her religious, yes, but men are men and he’s a man. You know how men are. Sure enough, he came to her two weeks before his college graduation and told her the the girlfriend was having a baby in two weeks! Shock of her life! They did get married, so to her it somewhat eliminated any “sin” but still, it’s funny how people insist that their kids are not having sex, and in the meantime, people are people.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I am always stunned that parents think their kids tell them everything. Not just sex, I mean in general. I had a neighbor whose daughter finally after almost a year got diagnosed properly for an STD. The mother had insisted her daughter was not sexually active, still does even after the diagnosis. Her daughter is a “good girl” and she must have developed the infection by touching something dirty and wiping herself when she urinated. They had tried OTC yeast infection meds off and on for a long time, and then finally a doctor diagnosed her properly with cultures. If the daughter could have admitted she had sex, she would not have been sick so long. Well, still their story is she did not have sex, but I highly doubt it.

jca's avatar

I had another friend who insisted that her daughter would tell her if she had sex. The daughter went to another country for a semester at school and her boyfriend was spending nights in her apartment. I asked the coworker if she thought they were having sex, and she said “Nooo! She would tell me!” I was thinking “do you really think they’re spending hours making out and doing nothing else?” It really is naive to think that way.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca Yeah, but interestingly it is two different views and expectations about the sex. One example is the wait til marriage mom who can’t fathom their child is having sex, and the other is the my kid would tell me if she was having sex, because I have always been open and have strong communication with my kids. Funny. I told my mom I lost my virginty, I told her very soon after I did it to get birth control.

dubsrayboo's avatar

@JLeslie I would be very disappointed. But I’m not going to get angry and yell at them. Sorry, I don’t feel well so I’m not giving very detailed answers because I can’t wrap my brain around it right now. No, I would be disappointed.

wundayatta's avatar

Seems to me that there are people who go by the book and people who are willing to improvise. People who go by the book do not allow any room for wiggling. If you are in my house, you will not have sex.

It makes me wonder if they understand the purpose of the rule. Is it about responsibility? Well, if it is, then it seems to me that it is possible for people of the age of 16 to be financially responsible for themselves and a child. Not likely, but possible.

But what if the child makes a mistake? Is that it? They get kicked out? Their lives must become hell for one mistake? Is that wise? Is that in the best interest of the new baby?

Improvisers believe it’s not possible to have a rule to cover every situation. So you must teach your children to make their own decisions, and that does not mean choosing or not choosing to follow a rule. That’s not making your own decision. Making your own decision means deciding on a course of action based on the situation on the ground, not based on what the book of rules says.

As far as I know, the education literature says that teaching people to make their own decisions is much more effective.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree @wundayatta. I was raised by improvisers. I am quite decisive.

My husband & his brothers came from rule book parents. He and his brothers truly weren’t ready for the world at large or for adult decision making when they were all sent packing at 18.

My sister and I often have conversations about how free our parents allowed us to be, and how we both chose straight & narrow paths. We both have friends that got pregnant as teens….all of these girls had strict parents.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I am not sure the main purpose of the rule is responsibility in the black and white household. I think in the strictest of households it is about morality.

wundayatta's avatar

@JLeslie I’m not sure where you’re headed with that comment.

Morality, it seems to me, is about thinking for yourself, not following rules. There are not enough rules in the universe to enable someone to behave morally in all situations.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I think in the strictest of households it is about morality.

Yes, I think you are correct in thinking that is what this type of parent believes they are teaching, however delusional their thoughts may be.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Where I am headed is I think the parents who are very strict on the issue tend to be very religious, I am sure there are exceptions. Anyway, I figure sex before marriage is about God’s laws and how they interpret following those rules as being moral. I think responsibility is secondary to this in religious households. Sure, those parents want their children to be able to handle, be responsible, if and when they have a child, but I really don’t think that is what drives them to have such black and white rules on the topic, because if their child has sex and uses BC pills and condoms as back up, it still will have been wrong to have sex before marriage.

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