Need Help with Son hitting puberty

nondy2

New member
I think it impossible to gain the perspective of a parent until you are one.

SC -- you have some good points, but you seem to be coming from a parentED perspective rather than a parentING one. The only thing you said that stressed me out a little was the comment that sort of thought it was "human" for my ten year old to watch porn, and it was no big deal. It was a huge deal.

Luckily, we're all through it. I have asked him numerous times if he wants a magazine, and he just wants to put it all out of the picture. We put stuff on his computer that make it impossible to go there...he in fact wanted that! He found the entire thing stressful, but he also remained compelled - which I guess speaks to the strictness (which I am not). He WANTED restrictions and guidelines to help him.
 

amber34

New member
Just something to add

I am new here, and I guess this topic has been pretty well covered, but thought I would add my two cents.
As a poly woman and mom, I understand your worries about this, it can be nerve racking. I feel, just my opinion, that hiding such a huge part of your life from you kids can be very hard on parents as well as kind of impossible. It's likely kids will find out eventually. I'm not saying you have to spill all the beans at once, but it may be time to start sharing with him how you view sex as an adult so that when he does find out it is not a devastating shock to him,
 

Helo

New member
I think it impossible to gain the perspective of a parent until you are one.
I strongly disagree. I've been in a number of caretaker roles through my lifetime and I don't find empathizing with a parent that difficult.

As long as someone is familiar with what it means to be responsible for someone else's well-being for an extended period of time, they can extrapolate to the parental role. That's part of why we have a sense of empathy.
 

BrigidsDaughter

New member
SC is a step-parent. How does that disqualify her from understanding the parenting role? I very much doubt that she is any less of a parent to her step daughter just because she didn't birth her. I would caution you against drawing that conclusion.
 

nondy2

New member
Yes. BD that is a judgement that I made and should have- I am sorry. I didn't understand from SC that she felt she had parented her step-daughter, she only spoke about her lover parenting his daughter, who is older (20) not sure she grew up with SC.

Helo, I see your point. I am should not make the mistake and speak for others, sorry. My own experience is that I never knew how intensely I would feel about this particular relationship until I had an infant who was solely helpless and I had to raise. Do other people have similar feelings?

It is SC comments like this "I agree that 10 or 12 is too young for most people to have sex. But you know what? It's not your body, and it's not your choice. Is it the right choice? Probably not. But that's their mistake to make. You can't teach a kid anything by shielding them from reality. Life comes with difficult choices and is full of mistakes."

That make me feel misunderstood. I do not agree that a 10 year old in in charge of their body and that it is "their choice". Would you guys think smoking or doing coke is a ten-year-olds "choice". I think that for a parent to even allow that to happen is abuse. It's not that I believe I own my son's body, but that it is my responsibility to protect him. There is a long distance between 11 and say, even 14...
 

nondy2

New member
Amber,

Thank you! My problem is that I do not have my sexuality figured out yet! I am in an open relationship, but I don't consider myself poly per se nor am I "sex-positive." I think I am monogamous and in an open relationship becuae my husband and I have chemistry problems with sex and romance. I am selfish. I'm not willing to let go of our family life, but not willing to give up romance, nor do I want him to either. I have trouble with the concept of marriage and for me marriage and romance can not co-exist or I think they can't.

So, I'm not sure what to tell my son.
 

nondy2

New member
Also, SC wasn't speaking from experience about her life which her step-daughter, but rather experiences of her friends with their parents. That's all I meant.
 

ThatGirlInGray

New member
My own experience is that I never knew how intensely I would feel about this particular relationship until I had an infant who was solely helpless and I had to raise. Do other people have similar feelings?

Yes. Regardless of how much experience you have working with kids, taking care of kids, or taking care of adults who may be like kids, it is different when it is your OWN child. It just is. My mom understands this. My sister (who does not have kids) does not. It is unfortunately one of those things that, in my experience (as nanny, teacher, and then parent) you just can't fully understand until it happens to you, no matter how much empathy you have. However, it doesn't have to be your biological child. It can be, or a child who is adopted, or step, or part of a poly family. There is a difference between being a parent to that child and being a caretaker. Somehow, though the love and responsibility maybe be equal, it is different.

Interestingly, I read nondy's response to SC a little differently, apparently. I read it as saying that SC's perspective was one that was looking back on parenting experiences in the past, rather than being in the middle of them now. There is definitely a difference between looking back on decisions made when you now know the results, versus being in the middle of making decisions going, "I have no idea if what I'm doing is the right thing!!"
 

BrigidsDaughter

New member
Also, SC wasn't speaking from experience about her life which her step-daughter, but rather experiences of her friends with their parents. That's all I meant.

I think you are combining SC and Saintvlas22 into one person when they are not.

While I agree that parents should protect their children, I was your son's age when I had my first non-intercourse sexual experiences with my babysitter's son who is a year younger than me. Nothing my parents could have said or done would have "protected" me from that experience. We were kids, exploring our bodies and playing house. We'd pretend we were the parents and our younger brothers were our kids.

When I was 12, I was helping raise my sister who is 11 years younger than me. She called me mommy because I was her caretaker until our mother got home from work. My step dad's idea of parenting was yelling and he was more concerned with his bowling leagues than parenting his daughter. Yes she went to a babysitter while I was in school, but I was the one who picked her up at the babysitter and took her home, and cooked and fed her dinner while our mom worked late and had to take an hour long bus ride home each day to support the 6 of us. Yes, raising my son has been different, but I don't think it would have been that different, had I not left the state to go to college when she was 8.
 

Velvet

New member
Just the idea of it...

Since people have written about have sex early - would some of you share your first experiences? In retrospect, did you handle the relationships well? Did you have any problems socially, being critized by others? Did you have any trouble with STDS or pregnancy? Did you tell your parents? Where they healthy relationships? It would be great to have insight. I didn't have sex until 1st or second year in college. I wouldn't say I had my first "successful" sexual relationship until 24, and even that wasn't so great!
Since a lot of this thread postings is how parents involve/influence/intrude/whatever their children's lives I wanted to answer this. More so on when my parents thought I first started being sexual.

When I was 14 I was in a sort of long distance relationship. The guy I liked (who is actually one of my partners now BB) wrote letters back and forth to each other. It was the late 90s but I didn't use the internet yet, so old style pen pal writing is how we kept in touch. Last time we saw each other was shortly after my 14th birthday and we had kissed for the first time. That's all.

I didn't want my parents to know about our mutual feelings, so I was very prompt at getting the mail every morning. I knew they didn't like him at all so I knew they wouldn't approve. And even though I did that perfectly one day I left his most recent letter out in the open...I got distracted going to my bedroom or something...and my Mom found the letter. We just talked in the letters and it usually ended with some of "I love you", "miss you", wishing to see each other, i.e. nothing sexual or any kind deviance.

My parent's approach to things and people is almost always with ambivalence. they always tried to be logically and not get emotional. My Dad picked me up from school, and that ride home in the car and what occurred when I got home was one of the most terrorfying and humiliating experiences of my life. It started when my Dad very calmly explained the letter that was found and he asked me how long we had "been at it" (or some such wording). Since I was found out I said it had been about 6 months (of letters, not the romantic interest but I kept silent on that) and at the end of my explanation I told my Dad, "Dad, I love him."

My Dad had never hit me or really raised his voice to me in my whole life, and while we were still driving home he started freaking out. Screaming that I was a whore and a slut and should be ashamed. He didn't hit me but he was punching and throwing around anything in his car...I was cringing in fear because I thought he might hit me if he ran out of things to toss. His car was always messy so he didn't run out of things. The home welcome party was both my Mom and Dad yelling me with a rage I didn't know they could possess. "Slut" "Whore"

I knew they didn't like the guy BB, who is also my cousin, but I seriously underestimated how deeply it went. My Mom marched me up to room and made me watch as she went through everything in my room, tearing it apart to find every letter he had written to me, any picture I had of him, my personal address book, everything. While still yelling at me the whole time, obviously I was crying, sobbing, a complete mess.

In their minds they decided to assume the worst, my best guess. And to them the worst was having sex with him. From then on when it came to anything that could be construed as me liking a boy...or whatever thing they wanted to imagine they never missed the chance to remind me that I was a slut and a whore and needed to be controlled. A few days after finding the letter they made me get the pill and made sure I took it every day. Whenever I got a sore throat or cold my Mom would tell me I got Mono "the kissing disease" from being a slut and if I wasn't a whore I wouldn't get sick. If I wanted to go to a friend's house they asked me what guy I would be meeting there behind their backs....you get the picture?

I choose to first start having sex at 16. I think it went as well as it could. I only dated a few guys in High School, four total and I sex with two of them. Both of them eventually showed their dirtbag sides, but I don't regret my actions. I did the best I could do. I have never, ever, talked to my parents about my relationships or sex.

So, that's the story....well a story for sure.
 
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saintvlas22

New member
Velvet, I'm so sorry about what happened to you, and no offense, but your parents sound batshit insane.

That is NOT how normal, caring parents would react. The opinions expressed here have never been about viewing sex as inherently something bad - just the age at which it should be practiced is what is being debated.
 

Velvet

New member
Velvet, I'm so sorry about what happened to you, and no offense, but your parents sound batshit insane.

That is NOT how normal, caring parents would react. The opinions expressed here have never been about viewing sex as inherently something bad - just the age at which it should be practiced is what is being debated.
Thanks, but I'm ok.

My parents were always very controlling. But that is the highlight crazy moment in my experience. Usually my parents left me alone and didn't give me much attention. I knew it was weird then and now, but I've actually been able to get past that and have a fairly good adult relationship with them. From birth to 5, they were great. 6 to about 21 horrid, but after I was able to move out it slowly but surely got better.

My Dad had "the talk" with me when I was 12 and definitely already knew about sex so...at least my Dad tried at once. But no talk of age ever came up with them, they gave me no guidance in that area. I even asked, my Mom not my Dad, and at that point my Mom said it was normal to start having boyfriends in High School but preferably in college.

I don't think my parents view sex as bad. They just assumed my judgement was bad (at least that is the only thing which makes sense) like when one of boyfriends came from a family where no one was a college graduate they disapproved. And then they distrust BB because they actually dislike his mother and have problems with her. Stupid stupid reasoning out of normally smart people.
 

saintvlas22

New member
Velvet,

You're a better person than me! Systematic emotional abuse like that would have led me to cut out any person of my life as soon as I could, parents or not.
 

Emm

Stealth Mod
On the other side of the coin, my parents made sure I knew what sex was and how to do it as safely as possible long before I had any interest in it. As a result I waited until I was sure I was ready, whereas some of my friends with stricter parents let themselves be pressured into trying too early or had some really weird ideas about safety, STDs, and pregnancy avoidance.

Some people seem to think that by talking to their children about these things they're putting the idea into their heads. I disagree. As a parent you can hide your head in the sand or you can give your kids the tools they need to make sensible decisions. No amount of rule setting will prevent them from eventually doing what they choose to do, but teaching them to make decisions based on reality rather than fear may help them to make the right choice.
 

saintvlas22

New member
Emm,

Nobody here has ever opined that not talking to your kids or making them fear sex is the answer - we are all equally against that.

The issue is when do you start to talk to your kids about sex? When is it too early? That's the debate we've been having. Throwing some condoms to a 10 year old is what some people are uncomfortable with.
 

Emm

Stealth Mod
Factually answering their questions when they ask them is probably a good start. I'm told I asked "how do sheep mothers know not to have goat babies" at around 4 or 5, so my parents found a library book which allowed them to explain very basic genetics to me. Sure, they could have told me the stork knew to keep track of such things, but they chose to answer my questions with facts rather than feel-good stories.

Waiting until you think a child has passed some mystical age which makes them ready to receive factual answers means that they've probably filled the gaps in their knowledge with playground rumours and that you've missed your chance to give them accurate information.
 

nondy2

New member
Velvet,

I am so so sorry that happens. It shows you have come through a lot to be able to be forgiving to your parents. My parents were totally neglectful and although I am still working through it, I understand how hard it must have been for my mother to have three children (one with a disability) at age 24. Doh! Maybe that's why I'm so down on teenage sex. :) My mother didn't have an issue with my disability herself, it was society. Can you imagine being 19 and having a stranger come up to you and go "what's WRONG with your baby."

Saint: I just went for it with my son. He knew all about basic sex by the time he was 5. He knew about gay marriage and crossed dressing by 6. He always knew what 'gay" was. He now knows more details than I would like (blow jobs, all the dirty words, porn etc) He doesn't know about abortion. I am pro-choice, anti-abortion and that's painful for me to discuss.
 

BoringGuy

Banned
I guarantee your son knows about abortion.

I am prepared now for rebuttal about how i can't possibly know what someone else's child knows better than the parent does.

If your son can read and/or understand at least one spoken language, he knows about abortion. Anti-porn software does not apply to information about abortion.
 

nycindie

Active member
He doesn't know about abortion. I am pro-choice, anti-abortion and that's painful for me to discuss.
I'm sorry but that doesn't make sense to me. If you're pro-choice, you should be able to talk about it, since being pro-choice means that you want someone to know what their choices are so they can make an informed decision on their own.

Pro-choice is neither pro- nor anti-abortion; it's about acknowledging and supporting a woman's right to choose, no matter what the choice she ultimately makes. If you are anti-abortion and have all sorts of emotions tied up in being against it, then I guess I can understand why it's painful for you to discuss. However, I don't get how you can say you are pro-choice and it is painful -- if the fact that having a choice and being informed is most important, I believe that should override any sentiments for or against it, and motivate you to discuss it. In my opinion, explaining abortion shouldn't be more difficult than talking about any other medical procedure, if you really are pro-choice.

Besides, I highly doubt that a 10-year-old doesn't know what it is these days. It's in the news so often, I am sure he's either looked it up or talked about it with someone.
 
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