Is this okay? Are we just accepting now that 12-year-olds have sex? I’m having a hard time believing it, even though I consider myself to be pretty open about most things.
If one of my kids came to me and say, “Mom, I’m ready to have sex,” and they are 12, 13, I’m gonna seriously have to sit down and figure out WHERE I WENT WRONG. That’s not okay to me. I can’t see myself giving my 12-year-old son a condom and letting him go. Condoms break. Birth control fails. Then what? He’s either a daddy at 13? The girl has an abortion? Someone else raises the kid through adoption? Those options are not appealing in any way to me.
Maybe this is splitting hairs (and feel free to call me out on this) but I think there is a big difference between having sex at 12 versus having sex at 17. At 17, I can somewhat embrace the whole “teens will be teens” bit. But at 12, I can’t. At 12, there is no way for them to handle the consequences of sex. If they get pregnant (or get someone else pregnant) how will they provide for the child? They can’t quit school and get a job at 12. It’s hard enough to do it at 25. If my daughter got pregnant at 12, who is raising the kid? Me. And I’m not going there.
We need to understand that 12-year-olds are not emotionally ready for sex and shouldn’t be expected to. They are still children. Some might say, “Yes, Tara, 12-year-olds have sex.” But does that make it right? We need to stress the consequences of sex more than the act itself. Having sex is easy. Wham, bam, you’re done. That’s what teens see. But it’s what comes next that can knock you on your bum. Heck, even I didn’t fully understand that “sex = babies” until I had a newborn on my lap and a throbbing Cesarean scar and I was 20.
I will talk to my child about all the different birth control options, but I will encourage them to wait. Not necessarily until marriage, but until they get to a place of stability with that person they’re thinking about laying down with. I can’t stress enough the importance of really getting to know someone before you have sex with them. Because when you have sex with someone there is always a chance you will be “stuck” with them for the rest of your life. So choose wisely.
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