I want to preface this by saying, I love my mom. She raised me the best way she knew how. I think we all try not to repeat mistakes we saw our parents make, and in the process, we make mistakes of our own.
My three girls and I went to visit my parents after my divorce in the late 1990’s. My daughters were ages 14, 16 and 19. Somehow, Mom found out my middle daughter was on birth control pills. Maybe the girls had been talking together about boys and sex and she overheard? She gave me hell for allowing my girls to have sex.
I let her rant until she was through before I spoke.
“Mom, the girls are old enough to know about boys and sex. I prefer to have frank discussions with them, rather than find out the hard way that they are having sex. Since my girls were home schooled, I took them to a private lecture at the health department to learn about STD’s so they would know about the possible risks they could run into having sex. I hoped it would be enough to scare them away from having sex, or at the very least, they would know how to protect themselves. The man who gave the lecture showed them graphic pictures of various STD’s, so they would know what those diseases looked like, with a thorough explanation of symptoms and how they manifest. Even I learned something that day. The girls and I talked again about safe sex and contraceptive alternatives the next day to make sure the lessons were learned. I asked them to let me when they were thinking about having sex and I would make sure they were prepared and had items for protection. I also let them know that I would not be raising their child should they become pregnant.”
Mom was still indignant, so I added, “do you remember taking me to the drug store the night before my first wedding when I was nineteen and showing me the various contraception alternatives?” She nodded. “I had already been on the pill for two years and having sex with my future husband.”
All Mom could do was sputter.
“Mom, just because you never talked about sex didn’t mean I wasn’t having sex. I prefer to educate my children and keep an open communication with them. I don’t want to learn the hard way what’s going on in my children’s lives or ignore what’s happening.”
I think I threw her into shock.