Babies having babies.

My daughter told me the other day she heard about a  girl that’s pregnant at school. A 7th grader who is 13. She said the girl’s boyfriend is 16. Her parents know and so she posted it on Facebook so now everyone is talking about it. Emma also said that there are kids talking about who they’ve had sex with. I asked her what she thinks of this. She said, ‘Mom, that is gross’. And did her expression, the kind she gives me if she sees me in a swim suit. So I knew she was telling the truth.

<<GULP>> Oh God. Did my heart just skip a beat? Did my stomach just plummet to my knees? ‘Cause I kinda want to vomit.

These are babies. Oh dear. Babies are making babies.

Children at age 12 and 13 haven’t finished puberty. Their bodies are still developing. I was developing until I was 19! I grew a whole cup size between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college!

Even the idea of my kids as sexual active adults creeps me out. I won’t kid myself and think that they will be 30 years old, just married and ready to lose  their virginity. BUT please dear God, please let them NOT make a poor choice and start getting sexually active before adulthood. PLEASE!

I remember when I was in middle school, hearing about a girl in 8th grade who had an abortion. Ugh, just the thought gives me chills. This girl was sexually active in 7th grade. I remember at the time thinking how foreign this was. I sure was curious. But I was NOT thinking of having sex. Kissing and making out with a boy sure sounded fun (I didn’t have my first kiss until 14), but SEX? God no!

We need to talk to our kids about sex. Don’t be afraid of what they are watching on YouTube or TV. It’s not Glee that is going to make them jump into something and go too far without being prepared. Don’t blame the media that kids are uber promiscuous nowadays, or that they’re all sexting each other. Adolescents are naturally sexually curious. Yes, the media can fuel this fire. Yes things are available in a click of a Google search. But I remember 30 years ago when we would sneak my friend’s sister’s smutty novels and read the dirty parts. THAT was the extent of my curiosity! Oh, I think her sister also had some PlayGirls. Those were interesting. I hadn’t EVER seen anything like that. And to be real, haven’t since. Ba da bump. Sexual curiosity comes with all generations.

So I will ask you- Are you talking to your kids? Can they come to you for questions? Do you know what they are doing with their friends? Do you know who they are texting? Who they are dating?

We can’t be perfect. We can’t always be there. But let’s not shame them out of wanting to know what sex is like. What is it going to feel like? Will I like it? Who should it be with? When will I be old enough? What are my options for birth control? How can I  prevent an STD? You know these questions are racing through their heads. Help them out! Write them a note. Take them out for frappucinos. TALK to THEM!

School isn’t going to do it all for you. Health class only goes so far.

Abstinence isn’t the answer. You know why? Because abstinence doesn’t work for grown-ups. If you think you can trust kids with a grown up decision that even some grown ups can’t handle- you are fooling yourself. Did I just write that? ‘Cause that’s kind of genius. This doesn’t mean, DON’T give them abstinence as a choice. Abstinence IS a choice. But it’s not the ONLY choice.

If you tell a teenager not to borrow the car and they borrow the car without asking or because they’ve been told not to, they still might borrow the car!!  What makes sex different?  We know it’s a lot different. But do they? We license 16 year olds to drive. We tell them about seat belts and airbags. We get them auto insurance. We tell them not to drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. Don’t drive with more than one passenger. We give them the tools to be safe behind the wheel. Are we giving kids the tools to be safe about sex. To know all their options?  But if you haven’t talked to your kids about sex by now, how do you know they’ve got all the information correct? Because it’s on YouTube? No. Not good enough.

And to be honest with you. I don’t expect my children to wait until they are married. I don’t. I wish they would. But it’s not realistic. How do I even know if they will get married at all? I don’t have a crystal ball.  Sure, I want them to have spouses and families, of course! But this isn’t the 50s. Or the 90s. What if they work on their career, don’t meet their spouse until their 40s? Does this mean they’ll go that entire time being celibate? Hardly. But they will be adults. And they will hopefully make good choices.

So I’m talking to my kids about sex.

Family Life and Sexual Health education starts in 5th grade in our school system. It’s weird and makes the kids feel bashful, sure. But it opens doors.

If you think waiting until they’re 13 or 14 to talk about it instead of 9 or 10- it’s already too late. Do you talk to your kids about pedophiles? Child molesters? No? Well, you should.

Not talking about something isn’t a tree in the woods falling and not making noise, just because someone wasn’t there to hear it.

I feel like a ‘More you Know’ service announcement. Cue the rainbow.

Good luck!

14 thoughts on “Babies having babies.

  1. Yes, and yes!

    I remember when Spike had a baby on Degrassi Junior High and she was in Grade 7/8. Crazy – but it was daring and good television because it didn’t glorify it! I think there are many ways to approach the subject without “damaging their innocence” (or whatever the crap they’re yelling these days) but so many people think it’s so black & white. It’s not. Be mature adults about it – that’s what you’re supposed to be – especially for your children!

    What they don’t comprehend is the very notion of them demonizing EVERY aspect of sex and getting on their soap boxes about it, they are ALREADY giving their children a negative idea about sex – and thus the cycle continues. Com’on people – it’s 2012 – why is this still an issue; it’s making me tired.

    When I was teaching, we had 2 girls (14yos) pregnant by THE SAME BOY. It was too much craziness that just really made my heart sad for these girls.

  2. My biggest lesson for this whole sex thing was having an acquaintance/friend who was VERY sexually promiscuous. It quite frankly made me sick, I was disgusted and never EVER wanted to be known as that! My first kiss was when I was 16, my first sexual experience-not sex- was a year later and sex a year after that…with my boyfriend who would later become my husband! Go Me!!! 🙂 I only hope my daughter has a slut friend, because that right there is e best “medicine” 😉

  3. Sing it! I taught high school for ten years and had more than my share of talks. I wish I could have given my student’s parents your blog. Talking doesn’t lead to doing. Talking leads to better, more informed decisions about not doing and waiting to do.

  4. You know I had this whole long thing typed out and deleted it. Good stuff! Just keep in mind, kids NEVER do things how we want, or how we would do it. 🙂

  5. You’re exactly right . . . communication is soooo, soooo important. My parents were embarrassed to discuss sex with us at all–it was sort of a taboo topic in our house–and we had to go searching out answers ourselves, because let’s face it, that kind of curiosity can’t just be brushed off. The Maiden is only six, so we haven’t had any super-major talks yet. I subscribe to the theory of give them as much information as THEY need–they may not want the full description when they ask questions, and so far the information she has is fairly minimal and mostly anatomical (she wants to be a doctor, so she’s pretty blase about anatomy). I’ve taken great pains that whenever the topic of boys/girls/anatomy comes up, there is no difference in the way I talk to her about it in comparison with any other topic. I don’t want her developing any kind of reticence about that subject. If she’s going to have questions, better she asks me than someone else!

  6. Wow and thanks….couldn’t agree more. I had to have the talk a little prematurely with my oldest a few years back. He was like..”ewww mom, can I go back out and play basketball?” But hey, I got it done…and he knows. I am going to burn it into them and they won’t even know it. xo cheers for hitting the nail on the head with this!

  7. I was taught that abstinence was my only option and I wish there had been discussion beyond that. I’d have less regret I think. Or at least I would have felt I could have been honest.

  8. Wow, I love this! Found you via Katie at Hems for Her. This is all soo true! We’ve talked with our 13 year old daughter (my stepdaughter) about sex, protection, etc. Her mom is soo worried about the upcoming teen years because she remembers how she was. Having sex at 15 while her parents were home and they allowed her bf to sleepover. BTW, that would have been with my hubby. lol I guess in that regard I don’t blame her for worrying. However, we won’t be letting any special sleepovers occur. If they’re going to have sex, they’re going to have sex. I’d just like to make it more difficult than come on over to my daughter’s bed. It’s a lot harder to have sex in a car. lol It still shocks me that my hubby was invited to sleepover at his gf’s house. His mom wouldn’t have allowed her to sleepover. And of course she never knew he was sleeping there. She thought he was sleeping at a buddy’s house.

    I on the other hand didn’t have sex until I was 18, out of school and with a serious bf that turned out to be my first husband. I never really felt the pressure to have sex. My parents were both really good about the sex talks, even though at the time I was mortified my mom was talking to me about oral sex and masturbation!! lol And my dad was great with the self-esteem building. I never felt I had to have sex with a guy so he would like me. I’m proud to say that I’m 34 and have only ever had sex with two men, my ex husband and my current hubby!!

    Sorry, didn’t mean to ramble on, this is just a great topic!! Maybe I should write a blog post about it too. It’s definitely an attention getter. Thanks for sharing!!

    ~ Catie

    • Parents are often too quick to point the finger at media influence, at the schools, even other parents, when it comes to the mistakes their children make. Real education starts at home, and it doesn’t end at any age! I have adult children who still call me often for advice—there is absolutely nothing that we are afraid to discuss (even though sometimes I cringe inside over the things they confide in…but keep the smile plastered on my face!). It’s our job as parents to keep our kids informed, and to follow through year after year after year!

  9. So true! I like the non-hysterical, non-media blaming tone of your post. Kids should be curious; it’s healthy, and if they’re not curious that’s more likely a sign of something wrong than “innocence”. While you seem to be upholding the dominant position that kids have no right to start families, or should not, while older teens and adults have that right, it is true that most teen pregnancies (especially of teens younger than 18/19) are accidental. And it is the parent’s job. I learned everything at age 6 when my mum read me a book aimed at kids, do babies come from?’. Abstinence is never the answer, and yeah I like what you wrote about adults failing or not choosing abstinence, so how on earth can we expect children to succeed! And staying celibate until age 40 – or for your whole life, as you may never marry – is pretty unrealistic and it may not be healthy for the mind or emotions.

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