Debate This: Should Parents Encourage Teens To Have Sex At Home?
North Carolina mom Patty Skudlarek says she would prefer her 18-year-old son have sex in her home. Why? Because she thinks its “safer” there. “With the kids having sex at home, it’s a safer environment, because, you know, it’s clean. And usually the place they keep the condoms are in their bedroom. So then they’re close by. And it’s just an environment they’re familiar with, as opposed to a motel, a car or a park, or wherever they’re doing it, these days.” Um, safer in what way? Safer in the way that there’s less risk of her son contracting bed bugs at two-star motel? Or safer in the sense that he’s more likely to use a condom if he’s doing it in his own bedroom? I’m sorry, but this is the kind of ignorant logic that encourages unsafe sex. It doesn’t matter where a teenager has sex, it matters how educated they are about it. Not once in this segment does Patty mention the more serious consequences of her son being sexually active — risk of pregnancy or contraction of STIs.
I think parenting is about setting boundaries. It’s not about enabling your teens to do stuff you’d prefer that they’d not. The same goes for drinking or drug use in the home. Some parents have the “I’d rather them do it here” mentality. This seems like a defeatist parenting tactic. Wouldn’t you rather them not do it at all? Or at least know the consequences if they choose to do it?
As a former high school teacher, I know first hand that part of being a teenager is rebelling and testing boundaries. But believe it or not, in my experience, teenagers want and need these boundaries, even if they don’t act like it. It’s how they help develop their own moral and ethical compass. I don’t think sanctioning teenage sex in the house sends quite the right message. I’m not saying that parents should pretend their teens aren’t going to have sex. Quite the opposite. I think teens need parental guidance in that area in the form of having an open dialogue about sex and its consequences.
But I know that other parents agree with Patty’s view point. At least it seems like the teens they interviewed have their heads on straight. I want to hear what you think. Sound off in the comments. [WFMY News]