I think about my life as one big dramedy, so when I sit down to write a post, I expect to tell you about something bizarre or unbelievable — and funny. Unfortunately, today I am in a somber mood, so I want to prepare you that this is one of those "deep thoughts" things that I have to just release, and that the issue is...sex.
If your child is under 8 or so, then you probably think this post is not for you, but I encourage you to keep reading. Since my new millennium debut as a blogger, I've had many opportunities to discuss issues close to my heart: women, children, education, and families. I am now the co-host of a local television show (it's in the pilot stage — pray we sell it to a cable network in the next 30 days) and a topic came up yesterday that sorta blew me away, and that was the topic of teenage sex and pregnancy.
There was a suggestion from a guest that after one year of a young woman starting her menstrual cycle, she should be put on birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Rarely am I shocked by what people say, but at this comment, I was floored. I understand the challenges facing our young people, but isn't this a case of treating the symptom, not the disease?
Okay, okay. This is blogging, right? This is not an editorial or commentary, right? So let me tell you what I was thinking as a mother: Wow! Has the role of parent, the role of nurturer/advisor been so watered down, so overwhelmed, that we are giving in to the times, to the trends?
The guests who were mothers became irate. The guests who were in their late teens and early twenties felt attacked. My thoughts instantly went back to my mother and my grandmother. I can't imagine the look on either of their faces if someone had come to them and said, "Well, now we have to put your daughter on the pill." I started my cycle when I was 9, so at 10 I would have been on a daily drug that I would have had to take at the same time every day — at an age when I couldn't even remember to bring my homework home every day. Not to mention I would have felt like my mother didn't trust me — or that she was condoning sex. Pretty confusing, huh?
After I left the taping, I couldn't get this discussion out of my mind. I understand that the times warrant changes in our parenting. I've had to talk to my eldest daughter about issues like sex and abortion because people at her school were saying things that she didn't understand — and our communication is open enough that she came to me for clarification.
My mother didn't have those kinds of conversations with me. I didn't have any brothers in the home, but I had male friends who were like my brothers. When we were teenagers, some parents gave them condoms and encouraged them to have sex early on. So then, does giving our daughters birth control pills help them be on equal footing with the boys?
I used to think of myself as being understanding about the demands of today's parents, but this issue is a bit much for me. Don't our children have enough to be involved in, enough to learn, to see, to experience? Why the big push to have sex?
I'm not going to reduce my standards or change my views to accommodate the times. I'm open and willing to discuss the issues, but I will stand my ground. I want my daughters to know themselves, to respect themselves, and to preserve their emotional and mental energies for their husbands. Yes, I believe they should wait until marriage to have sex. Oh, and did I mention I expect the same for my sons? Call me old-fashioned, stupid even.
When you are intimate with someone, you should be prepared to put the needs of others ahead of your own — because the fact is, you could become a parent; sex is a mature act, not to be taken lightly.
This is a blog, so let me add this disclaimer: My views are not the views of anyone else and shouldn't be used as to judge this website or the magazine.
Thanks for listening.