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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Help...need advice- our 14 yr olds having sex

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Author Topic: Help...need advice- our 14 yr olds having sex
Member # 40021

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I am 26 years old and my step daughter is 14 (yes I know the age difference isn't much). We have a great relationship and talk about most things very openly. I would consider her and I to be very close and have felt that her father and I have done a great job about informing her about sex.

She started on birth control a couple years ago for medical reasons and she has had the same boyfriend for a year.

Recently we found out that she has been lying to us about the nature of their relationship and that she is no longer a virgin.

Help! We are at a total loss...we are angry about the lying and sad about the decision she has made. We knew that she wasn't going to be a virgin forever...but she isn't even old enough to drive! Ahh. It breaks our heart and we want to make informed decisions on how to handle the situation.

Posts: 1 | From: Boise, ID | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Well, I'd certainly suggest talking to her. You want to keep those channels of communication open.

I don't know that I'd advise saying you are sad about the decision she made. Not only is her sexual life hers, but it's one she's already made, so expressing that is just going to leave her in a place where she feels your disappointment or disapproval over something she can't take back.

What I would talk about is how you feel disappointed that she didn't feel she could be honest with you, and make clear that lying isn't okay with you. You can make clear you understand that our sex lives are private, but that there's a line to be walked when it comes to privacy and dishonesty.

I'd also say that you CAN say you're concerned about her decision and worry that she's not ready for this. You're right, 14 certainly is on the young end when it comes to being fully sexually active and taking all of the risks involved. I'd talk about safer sex with her (particularly if she is on OCPs, and thus, may not have been insisting on condoms), and I'd just ask her how SHE is feeling about being sexually active, including how ready she is to manage any negative consequences. Remember, too, that sex isn't a Pandora's box: she isn't obligated to KEEP having sex because she started, so giving her support and listening to how she is feeling now, and reminding her that she isn't obligated to keep having it if she doesn't want to, if it's not feeling great for her on all levels, if she's not really ready for those risks.

I don't know the rules and regs of your house, nor the dynamics there, so you two are going to be the expert about if one or both of you should talk with her, and also on what rules you're going to impose now for her, or extra responsibilities you're going to ask her to take on to manage a sex life she now has.

It might help when you talk about these issues to have this printed out: Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist.

What are you and her father hoping to come out of this? What's the boyfriend like? How do you feel about her emotional maturity and her ability to handle this?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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