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Teens Having Sex at 13, What Can a Parent Do?

By August 19, 2011

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A mom on our forum as this concern: My daughter is in 8th grade and she has a boyfriend (lives 20 miles away and not in same school). I know the parents of the boy and they are nice, responsible people. We both have camps in a very large lake resort area (700 units). The kids met each other in July 4th party. They decided they wanted to date. Well, date meant: families go out on boats together, go to each others house to swim or visit for the afternoon. Maybe 5 times and all supervised by one family or the other. Both families with the kids involved have had discussions on what is acceptable in 13-14 dating, which is no sexual contact. Both teens said that was good, they just wanted to hang out. Sounds reasonable to this point.....right??

WRONG... we trusted them. First there was a hickey, and a promise with letters from both teens to each other's parents that nothing like this would ever happen again. JUST GIVE US A CHANCE TO REGAIN YOUR TRUST! Well we did and for the next few visits (2) all seemed okay.

Then last night I found myself going to the drugstore to get a pregnancy test! My almost 14-year-old, still 13-years-old daughter had not started her period and I could tell she was concerned. I finally got her to tell me that they had sex, in my house, while I was outside. they were to be watching a movie in the basement. (which by the way, has no door and I was running back and forth doing laundry, every time I went down there, it seem nothing to be concerned about) They did use a condom and she is not pregnant.

This has really freaked me out... good grades, helps around the house, we spend a lot of family time together. She says they LOVE each other and they are sorry and it won't happen again. So does he, but I have already heard this empty promises once. I have had detailed conversations on trust, responsibility, consequences of your actions, disappointment and that they is not way even an adult is ready for a real "LOVE and SEXUAL relationship in 1 1/2 month".

I have always had an open relationship with my daughter but now she says she should not have told me.....WELL....I say, YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT!!!!!....she says she is sorry but I am heart broke that she know this is wrong at her age but did it because she wanted to. Him too. I called the boy and ripped him (also told him she was not preg). I am so mad and hurt.....I have really tried all her live to raise her with values but to be her own person. I guess I really messed up.

I know we will get past this, but I don't know how to move forward right now. Do I forbid this "Young Love"....not sure that will keep the door open with my daughter.

Right now, I don't want them around each other at all (even with both families together). Should I clam down?????

Denise's thoughts: You are right to be concerned and 13 is way too young to be in a sexual relationship. I think you could restrict their visits for a month as a consequence and then only allow them to date in public, once a week. No alone time, period. That means if you are outside doing lawn work, so are they. Monitoring them does not mean you have to do what they want.

You can also get a little inventive. Like getting them involved in volunteer work together. That way they see each other, they are in public and they may learn something.

I would also explain to your daughter about trust, and how you feel betrayed by her actions when you had took the time to get to know the young man, allow the dating and so forth. Tell her you want her to regain that trust and you hope she is willing to try.

Don't be disappointed in yourself. You talked to her about dating, you talked to the other family, you monitored the situation and you handled it when it didn't go as planned. You cannot make their choices for them, but don't let their bad choices ruin your relationship with your daughter. Get some me-time as soon as you can, de-stress.

Asking our parenting community: Please share your thoughts, advice and experiences in the comments area.

August 19, 2011 at 10:01 am
(1) Win says:

This mom has been a good mom. But, this daughter, and that son, need a big dose of REALITY in their lives. Each kid should be taken to gynecologist or MD, and have him or her tell her about how to get pregnant, what works and doesn’t work – what the chances are of getting pregnant – have a gyn exam. The boy should have a urological exam. Test both for STD’s and tell both the truth about STD’s, pregnancy and how easy and forever it is to get these conditions. Tell both the truth about abortion and that this is not an option when she gets pregnant. It’s not right to kill a baby just because kids don’t want to be responsible for their behavior and actions.

Make the community service be at a home for unwed mothers and a childcare center. Seeing the girls all alone and learning what they will go through without a husband and with giving up a baby or raising it themselves is heartbreaking. Taking care of little kids for extended periods of time, will be a real eye-opener. Stick to the community service for the rest of this year.

Absolutely no contact between – sorry – that’s over until both have had the above doctor visits, and community service. Then if they want to see each other with family, OK but on a limited totally supervised basis.

August 19, 2011 at 10:23 am
(2) Bryce Jusitce says:

WOW! My heart goes out to these parents and the kids. I want to be sensitive and supportive for all envolved. We all know that our teens what to do the right thing and when they make a mistake that is this life changing they’re in need of love, support and correction. We as parents face these challenge just as our children do and they need to realize and understand just how difficult it is for us as parents to deal with these situations.

These are children, no matter how grown up they think they are, we have set the bounderies and guidlines that not only allow them grow but that will protect them as well. This relationship needs to stop and these kids need to mature more before dating so seriously. I hope and pray all goes well for both families.

August 19, 2011 at 11:51 am
(3) janice says:

I know exactly how you fell. I went through the exact same scenario with my daughter ( who is now 17 with 168 days left till she turns 18!!!!). We are older mature parents who found out our daughter was 15 yrs. old when she first had sex. Disappointed and shocked was what we felt. I then discovered that 2 girls my daughter knew had sex at 15 and got pregnant and they both had abortions. All of these girls got good grades and came from good families. I have found out now, years later, that it does not matter how much you preach or explain the consequences of premarital sex,our young daughters are pressured by everyone. In conclusion, I am patiently waiting for the BIG DAY (18yrs.old) when I can set the rules MY WAY or the HIGHWAY and no law enforced agency can tell me she is still a minor. All I can say, is that your troubles with her are only the beginning of what is yet to come. Sorry, girls are tough to raise and what you think are GOOD girls, they are not.

August 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm
(4) Mrs.Hope says:

Thank you for not rushing to put her on the pill like the current trend that seems to be pushing our society.
It send the wrong message to teens.
They aren’t old enough to drive a car but we are telling them its okay to ride everyone in town .
To all you parent that struggle with this and may challenges that come up with raising a teenager, my heart and prayers go out to you all.
I’m a step mom and I to believe that these teen as well as most teens, my step daughter included need to have “Real Adult Supervision in place ” we as parents can’t be afraid to be the bad guy we are the adults. Who care if they get mad and yell at us “I hate you”, I always respond back with “I don’t like you right now either but I still love you, that way I don’t feed into the rage that wants to take over and it’s okay if you don’t like them 24-7 just love them.
We really can’t trust that they will make good choices.
For along time my mantra with my stepdaughter was make good choices every morning when I’d drop her off at school or on her way to a friends house and as always she would roll her eyes as she walked off.
Want I discovered from her teen thought process was that to her that meant “if it feels good at the moment then that’s the right choice no matter what the out come.. .
My new mantra is “Make good future choices”
She still rolls her eyes at me and now I just tell her to roll them back as she walks off. It causes her to pause, sometime I’ll ask her to repeat what I said so I know that she at least heard me in that moment.
I recommend LoveandLogic.com, they have been very helpful during all stages of raising and dealing with a child.They have made me a better step parent.
Good Luck M.Hope

August 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm
(5) lalvan says:

My heart goes out to you. You seem to be doing exactly what we are doing in our home. Excellent relations, always there for our kids. I had an incident with my child (16yrs) with sexting and I mean extreme sexting, exchanging pics etc. We are getting counseling to get by this and regain our trust. You start blaming yourself for doing enough. Bottom line kids are way too exposed with everything via internet, TV, radio shows, songs lyrics, magazines etc. They are targeting our children and does not care about the outcome. The sad thing it is only getting worse. We just to have continue doing our best and hope for the best. Some would say prepare for the worst. Good luck to all of us, our children and parents.

August 7, 2012 at 8:35 am
(6) mike says:

i am saddened shocked and amazed . although we as adults know that it is not wise to start having sex at such a young age we should never tell our kids that sex is wrong or bad or anything of the sort . how can something 99.9% of people on the planet do be bad ? i mean seriously …. they were responsible and used a condom . which means they actually did think enough to be responsible and protect themselves . when a person has sex is a personal decision that is the same answer for everyone . it is the right time for you to have sex when you decide on your own terms that you feel like you are ready to have sex . for no other reason than you want to have sex and feel like you are ready …putting our daughter on birth control does not tell them to go have sex in any way shape or form . there have been teen and unwanted and unwed pregnancies since the begining . if you ask anyone who ever got pregnant early im sure none would say my parents told me to have sex . in fact im sure the opposite would be true and they were told not to do it . birth control is being responsible for yourself . sex doesnt always happen by choice for girl or women . wouldnt it be terrible if after suffering a brutal rape your little girl finds out that the monster who savaged her has left a lasting child in her . and all because you dont want to protect your precious little girl by taking reproductive responsibility . sex is a good , natural , healthy , and fundamental part of life . we need to tell them to abstain , teach them to be responsible , and encourage them to have a healthy , happy proud sex life that they choose to have . after all how good of a parent can you be if you choose to shame your daughter into being a slut just because she did what is natural when she decided instead of when you decided .

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