college · daughter · doctor · health · Lesli · mami · safety · sex · teenager · television · week

Parenting, Teens and Sex – Seriously!

I have this thing where saying the words teen and sex in the same sentence gives me agida. So why exactly am I writing a blog post that mentions those things together and in the title no less? We should start at the beginning. Last week I got an e-mail, which said in part: Do you have a teen daughter? We’re trying to help for television show segment and I thought of you. I asked for more information, and found out the segment topic would be “parents, teens and birth control pills”. Not necessarily sex. Still, mention birth control pills to the average person, and the next thought is SEX! I explained the topic, as I understood it, to Lesli. She was willing to sit with other teenagers and a journalist to discuss the topic. I joined the mothers group for a separate session.

When we arrived at the television studio the mothers spent about two hours discussing our feelings on the topic. Among other things, would we allow, or encourage, our teenagers to take birth control pills if recommended for a reason other than contraception? I was relieved to find other mothers who shared my view: my daughter is not a test tube. If Lesli’s doctor suggests that [ insert condition here ] can be resolved by taking a daily dose of synthetic hormones, I would follow that recommendation only after exhausting every other possible treatment.

My logic is as follows: Exhibit A- teenage hormone fluctuations, Exhibit B- studies proving and then disproving possible side effects of birth control pills, Exhibit C- studies suggesting natural, holistic and homeopathic remedies to manage various conditions. Leaving aside the practical logistics – some adult women admit to forgetting their birth control pills – and my conversations with Lesli regarding abstinence (the only 100% reliable way to avoid pregnancy, diseases and that “what have I done” moment), there is my personal experience with medical prescriptions.

I am highly sensitive to several different medications. If Lesli’s doctor ever prescribed any of the medications on my “list”, I would request an alternate or substitute, to spare her the side effects. To me, this is a cornerstone of parenting. I tell Lesli about the road ahead, teach her to look out for warning signs and when necessary, occasionally comfort her. When she moves out for college, or to her own apartment, I will still worry about Lesli’s safety and health. Until then, it will be my duty and privilege as her mami, to guide her as she learns to take responsibility for herself.

Watch ABC’s Good Morning America this week, as Elisabeth Hasselbeck explores parenting, teens and birth control pills. From the program description, the segment will be shown on Thursday, but the show has something good on every day, so I set my DVR to record for the whole week 😉 If you want to check out one of Elisabeth’s past segments on parenting, teens and sex, click here and ask yourself, would you let your teen bring a partner to your house for sex?


10 thoughts on “Parenting, Teens and Sex – Seriously!

  1. How exciting that you will be on Good Morning America 🙂

    I am not looking forward to the teen years and having to worry about dealing with this (my daughter is only 2 so I still have a ways away yet) but I will try my best to teach her what’s best.
    I don’t think I would like the idea of taking hormones for a condition and would also use it as a last resort. I get alot of breakouts especially during my menstrual period so taking birth control pills had been recommended to me but I decided against it. I would much rather use a more natural and holistic approach.

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing your segment!

    I was prescribed birth control pills as a youth for medical reasons and it def. caused havoc in my Papi’s home! In the end, I wasn’t allowed to take them and we found an alternative. It was his persistance, and perhaps fear of what I woul do once I had birth control pills, that pushed the Doctor to look elsewhere. I also think living in Puerto Rico, which is more conservative than the US, also helped goad the Doctor.

    As for the last question, No. It goes against everything I’ve taught my sons and what I stand for.

  3. Great article. Coming from radio – I’ve spoken to a lot of teens…worked with Planned Parenthood in the Rio Grand Valley and I must say…the pills…I think are great. Better safe than sorry in my opinion. When I talk to the younger generation from time to time – I also focus on the ‘stuff’ you can catch!! I see how these new generation of kids are acting…I work a teen night. Kids are crazy these days and have a lot of influence around them.

  4. As a mother of both a son, and a daughter, I hope that I can successfully impress upon them the importance of respecting themselves emotionally, as well as physically. My mother always kept the lines of communication open, and although my kids are still quite young, I am already laying the foundation for such talks. As for the question posed at the closing, I am with Ms. Latina on this one. My mother was never of the mindset that we could smoke, or have sex in the house because it was somehow safer than doing it out “en la calle” or ” out in the street”; and neither am I. A close childhood friend of mines mother was of such thinking, and all I will say is that she became a teen mom, and did not realize any of her goals. Needless to say we weren’t close friends for very long, my mami was not having any of that! Great, thought-provoking post Ofelia 🙂
    Ciao, Barbara

  5. Bravo to you for facing your initial fear and opening the lines of communication with your daughter as well as with your community. Since what we fear seems to finds it’s way into our lives in greater dosages the more we run, it’s a good thing to jump in with an open mind. I also commend you for standing up for your daughters health. I may not have a degree to “practice” medicine but I’m a professional mom!

  6. As a Tia and Madrina, these issues are going to be faced directly by their parents, and not me (gracias a dios) but hormonal therapy at such a young age should most certainly be a last resort, and that’s aside from the other issues surrounding teens having access to birth control.

    As for the sex in the house thing, when I was coming up the thought would get you a chancletazo, nevertheless actually carrying it out! 🙂

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