Opinion

Caught in aisle of dilemma over buying condoms for teen

I HAVE a confession…..I buy condoms for my 16-year-old daughter and her boyfriend.

Is that right or wrong? I'm still not sure I know the answer to that, so I'll let you be the judge.

The first time I did it, it was nerve wracking - it had been years since I had found myself stopping at this particular section of the supermarket and I was surprised to see that, just like milk isn't milk anymore, condoms are not condoms anymore - the choice is ridiculous.

So how did I end up red faced in the health and beauty aisle of Coles? I guess it's because I try to be a good mum, the kind of mum who will do the right thing for my kids and support them in whatever decision they make, even if it makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

When my girl started dating a boy who was a little older than her we had "the talk" - you know the one where the experts, whose names are splashed all over those parenting books, advise you to say "come and talk to me if you think you are ready to have sex".

Well, a few months later she came to me saying it was time. Of course I forgot what the book told me  to say next so I had to wing it.

Miss 16 and I have always had a pretty good relationship so the following discussion was not that awkward, although I was a little sad that my baby was growing up so fast.

We covered all the basics about not being pressured into anything, about feeling comfortable with her decision and that she wasn't doing it just because everyone else was.

There may or may not have been some eye-rolling going on - I can't say for sure because I was too busy trying to sound all casual and cool, which is not quite how I was feeling on the inside.

 

I might be hurtling towards middle age but I can still remember being a teenager "in love" so I understood feelings. And they are a cute couple, he adores her and she is so happy when he is around. Best off all they are happy to spend time just hanging out at our place, which makes me very happy.

The other reality is that I can't control her every move - he has a licence and if my memory serves correctly plenty of my friends lost their virginity in the back seat of their boyfriend's car. And despite the generation gap there are some things that never change. So, in no time at all she was on the pill.

But guarding against pregnancy is not enough is it? So that's how I came to be standing in front of row upon row of condoms, considering my options and feeling just a little hypocritical for having once judged another parent who admitted to me that she was buying condoms for her son.

"Ribbed for increased pleasure"…I think not. No way was I picking the variety boxes of rainbow and fruit flavours because THIS IS NOT A GAME PEOPLE.

This is real life and this is serious.

The conversation going on in my head was enough to make me blush and think about walking away.

But this is not a time to chicken out, so a decision had to be made - sensible and basic it was. And even better, they were on special (Score ....hmm maybe that's not best word I could have thought of). In the trolley they went, well and truly hidden under the loaves of bread and bags of fruit.

That night I handed them over to Miss 16 with a lecture about how protection was not just her responsibility but something they both had to take care of.

I also told her that part of my role as her mum was to make sure she was in a position to protect herself from sexually transmitted diseases as well as pregnancy and that was why I would buy the condoms for them.

I didn't want there to be any excuse for them not having protection whenever and wherever they needed it.

Sometimes I worry that my decision is wrong and that I'm encouraging them to have sex, but then I think that if they wanted to have sex they would do it with or without my blessing, just as teenagers (excluding me, of course) have been doing for generations past.

So, now it's over to you: What do you think of my decision and have you ever bought condoms for your teenagers?

* Life with teenagers can be like an out of control roller coaster ride and when there's no one else to turn to for support or a second opinion, I go undercover to blog about the everyday dramas of raising my otherwise perfect teens.

Topics:  editors picks, opinion, parenting



Saving green spaces

ECO WARRIORS: Nicole McLachlan, Andrew Cairncross and Oliver McLachlan plan to protect the land.

A Fingal environmental group need your help.

Top chefs help feed the needy

CREATIVE KITCHEN: Helpers providing the good food at Halcyon House's community dinner.

Top chefs raise money for needy: socials

From little things, big things grow

Diana Abraham, with help from Chris Watt, cutting the cake at the Meals on Wheels 30th birthday.

Meals on Wheels mark 30th anniversary on Tweed Coast

Latest deals and offers

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Tyalgum kicks off musical season

Flutterbies' Solar Chapel and operatic soprano Jenna Dearness-Dark prepare for the Opera and Piano concert in Tyalgum on September 3.

Intimate concert awaits.

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m