Parenting --Teens/son too young to have fun?



I am a doting dad of a 13 year old son.  I've caught my son twice in the last month making out with a girl from our apartment building in his bedroom. He has no idea yet that I know and I've not had the heart to tell him to stop. My doubt is he's got himself a very pretty girl who is all over him and I feel overjoyed about it.  The first time I bumped into them they were kissing and petting in his bedroom. I was delighted to leave them to it and I don't think it went beyond that.  However last week the girl was performing oral sex on him. Now I worry they may even try intercourse someday and its far too early for kids their age. I haven't told my wife yet because I know I will have no option but to stop the kids from anymore fun.  I will tell her for sure.  But should I then ask our son to refrain completely or just refrain from intercourse? Should I talk to him about protection just in case?  will we really be able to stop anything at all? What should I do?

Hello, Steve-

I am shocked. Your wife is your partner. You keep nothing from her--ever.

That said, yes. Thirteen is FAR too young for these behaviors, and you should have shut it down the very first time you saw it happen. Now you have a worse difficulty, as once a behavior has been performed, the next time it is harder than climbing Mt. Everest to go back to innocent flirting and the joy and excitement a 13-year-old SHOULD experience holding hands with a girl. This will not now be possible, as his mind and body will want to jump to the advanced things.

Question: Had your son had been a daughter the first time you glanced this behavior, would you have stopped it? Would you have called it "fun" in that case?

Children are jumping ahead MUCH too early, and their only help is parents who are willing to teach them proper balance and right from wrong. You MUST be his PARENT, not his pal.

My daughter's very best friend had a brother who got involved with a girl at age 14, which is also much too young for these sexual encounters. He was convinced he loved her, and that they would marry and be together, in love, forever. She just wanted to have "fun" and when she was through playing with him, she dumped him. He was emotionally unable to handle it. He was too young to see she was an awful little brat, and know that there would be many other better women in his life. He wrote her a long letter and hung himself in his bedroom. His sister found his body. She has been inconsolable ever since. It tore their entire family apart.

If your son loves and respects you, he may recognize that you are right when you ask him to refrain from these damaging actions for a few more years. He may not, but it is worth a shot. Take more interest in him yourself. Work with him one-on-one doing something he enjoys...sports or other physical activities are great. He needs "man-time" with you as a role model. Mountain climbing, hiking, rock-hunting, biking, or volunteering to help the less fortunate together are great bonding experiences. If you can take him to work and let him see what you do, that is another good thing. Having meals together at least once per day is also critical and a key way to stick together as a family, discussing the events of the day, and dreams for the future.

Here are some of my hard-and-fast rules that seem to help:

1) No opposite-sex friends in bedrooms. (or same sex if you feel your child may have same sex attraction) This rule is in force until marriage. It is that important. You should have an area in your home where they can spend time together. It should be open for others to enter or walk through at any time, but still be a place they can feel comfortable to talk without mummy and daddy overhearing every word. In the USA, these rooms are called, Family Rooms, where relaxing, doing homework, board games, wii or television is part of the mix, usually with snacking involved, too.

2) Ages 12-15, group activities with friends of both sexes, but no pairing up.

3) No one-on-one dating until age 16. End of discussion. This is not open for debate.

4) No computers in the bedroom. (This is also a good rule for adults; if anyone can see what is on the screen when walking past, you are less likely to view things you would be better off to avoid.) Install protective firewalls.

You SHOULD have been teaching your children this from the time they were small, so it would have been a natural understanding. Implementing it now will meet with anger, and lots of "Dad, that's so old-fashioned!" or "Johnny gets to do it."

Your answers: There is nothing new under the sun and I don't care what Johnny's family does; our rules are these.

As far as "protection" well, that's how we got our third child.

Ask yourself if talking about it will imply permission? You need to decide this one on your own. If he is honest with you, is sexually active and likely to stay that way, then, yes...but I feel very sorry for him. Sex is something you do for eighty years or more. Children who jump into it at early ages miss something so much more imaginative, rich and enjoyable for them. They miss childhood.

Good luck to you and your family, Steve. Hopefully, your son knows he is in over his head, and is hoping for a rope from you to climb out of this pit he has entered.  

Parenting --Teens

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My own dysfunctional youth in an alcoholic family helped me decide to raise my children with love, acceptance, and honesty. It must have worked. We`ve got terrific kids. Those I've answered on this site usually feel I've been helpful in their unique situations. Our world is so much better when we lift instead of crushing. Every child is worth more than any bank can hold. If I can help at all, it will be in teaching both parent and child of their own personal value to humanity, and how to punch through the noise of the moment to find their greater purpose. Together, we can all make a better world.


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