Let me start out by saying...I have a 13 (almost 14) year old son, he gets good grades, well mannered, loves sports..etc...but he has a problem I think. Yesterday my DH found a piece of paper wadded up underneath the couch (Im starting to cry AGAIN), when he opened it up ...it had a bunch of sex talk on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With a stick picture of a girl (his little gf ). He stayed with his Grandmother last night so as I didn't want to KILL him ... I want to hold my composure at our talk today....What I want to know is how to talk to him, what to say....and what should his punishment be ( I DO believe he needs to be punished) and if ANYBODY has any kind of experience with this same problem with their son...PLEASE somebody tell me Im not alone!!! HELP ME
Thank you for listening..now Im gonna go cry again!
right now is the time their hormones are all over the place. i have been talking to my girls since they were old enough to listen. (not judging by any means) as far as punishing are you sure thats what you want to do. it may close the line of communication. you know your son better then anyone. and i am sure you will find a way to handle this. but don't do it while you are angry. that hope help
This is were this gets tricky, my son is adopted by my now DH...he didn't know his father but remembers a little. My DH really has a hard time talking about this and I am scared if I do it will embarrass him. I know he isn't a bad kid and maybe punishing him is not what he needs but...what should I do to show him this is not exceptable behavior?
Hey wgoat5, This may be easier to handle than you think!!! Though I don't know what you son wrote, and you are the only one who really knows the best way to handle him, Maybe punishment isn't the best way to handle this! You may not even have to tell him that you found that paper, which would save you both some embarrassment.
I think if you sit down in a calm manor and take a positive direction might be better....for instance talk to him about girls, how they like to be respected, how they like to be treated and how girls really feel about boys who treat girls like sex objects..... Remember you are a woman and he knows you were once a girl so you have a perspective he will never have about girls....even use examples of how boys treated you when you were his age, what boys did that you liked and what boys did that you didn't.....Make stuff up if you have to!!!
I think if you have a positive talk with him (more flies with honey as they say) Not only will he listen better than if you yelled at him, but he will look for that paper and when he doesn't find it he will know that you did and that you know about it, He will be ashamed of himself and all with out an ugly confrontation.
I may be wrong and I have handled things wrong with my kids in the past, but from experience when we yell and embarrass them all they can focus on is that YOU made them angry and embarrassed, instead of the real issue!
The only thing I would add is that unfortunatly this is the time in our childrens lives when they start hiding things from us so this is the time we as parents MUST start snooping....
I totally agree with you Jackie..I don't want to embarrass him at all..And I think if he understood that saying OR writing that stuff is unrespectful..Not only does it make him look unrespectful but it makes him look irresponsable! I want to be able to trust him and I know that when he gets home I will have to hold my composure (he is on his way right now). I will have "the talk" with him and talk to him about being respectful to girls. I KNOW he is a respectful boy...BUT I think if he gets the jist of this now then when he does (and I hope he becomes a Priest!! LOL) make the decision to become a man that he does this at the right time and not at a time of lust....I don't want him to make the same mistakes as myself. I had babies at a young age and although I love my kids WISH I would of waited till...MY better time...ya know? I am calm, cool and collected right now..I just hope I can stay that way...because you know how they can get. He already knows that we know...My DH blew his top when he walked into grandmas house (I was in the car and didn't know and grandma was gone still). But this will be taken as a serious matter, not so much to punish but to tell him the consequences of talking, acting or ACTING ON his notions. I know how bad peer pressure is right now I just hope it doesn't get my son
Has your son threatened someone or done anything to someone or was he just doodling and thinking about it? If he hasn't done anything what's the big deal? Boys think about this stuff all the time at his age.
He's probably as embarrassed as you are, just like if you had walked in on him in a private moment. I can understand you not wanting to talk about it, my oldest is getting close to the age when someone needs to and since he's a boy I think it would be far easier if his father does it.
If you haven't already talked about birth control, respecting the word no, and diseases it should be done. No matter how you stress waiting you can't prevent your children from doing stuff that you may not want them too and if he makes the choice to be with someone it's best if he does it in the safest manner possible.
He's 13. It's normal. Don't go out on a tangent. He's at a very formative stage. The worse thing you can do is make him feel ashamed or guilty.
(I shared this story with my hubby and he said "That mom needs to be kicked right in the a$$.")
Oh man...I didn't know I needed a good smacking...But I guess I really do...I guess what it boils down to is that I dont want to know that my son thinks about this....Do any of us really want to see something on paper like this?
No he hasn't hurt anybody
No I am sure he doesn't even know what he is talking about
Maybe Im the one with mommy syndrome
I hate that somebody thinks I need to be kicked in the butt lol
What you are facing is very normal and all of us are faced with it at some point with our children. It can be a very uncomfortable and embarassing situation for everyone. I am very comfortable when dealing with issues of sex with my children (14 yr old son and 16 yr old daughter) I try to be open and approachable on the subject so that they will be comfortable coming to me with any questions or concerns that they may have. I have also let them know that although I feel that their dad and I will give them the true and straight answers that they are looking for (as we won't embellish as friends etc. may) I realize that they may not always be comfortable talking to us, that there are other they can turn to for help as well, such as an aunt or uncle they may be close to, our family doctor, the school nurse, etc. Remember that sexual curiosity is very natural, we all start to have "feelings" and at this age your son is experiencing many emotional and physical changes. (Not to mention peer and societal influences)
When my son was about 12 years old we (he and I) were cleaning out his bedroom closet to get rid of clothes that didn't fit etc. when I found his "board of hot chic's". He had taken a piece of cardboard, cut out pictures of women in skimpy bikini's and glued them on, then he took scotch tape and "laminated" it and titled it his board of hot chic's. Although surprised to find it I didn't panic, I gave it to him and simply asked him when and where he had made it, found out on the school bus going to and from school, one of his friends brought the magazines and a few of them each made a collage and he made one because the other guys were making one. So it allowed me to open a discussion with him about how you don't need to do something because others are doing it, that being curious about sex and the female body is natural and that there is more important things about a girl to like than her physical features. The discussion only lasted as long as he was comfortable talking about it.
For me the key has been about not being embarrassed myself to talk about sex. I lived with my father and sex was not a taboo subject in our house and I was able to turn to my dad when needed so I have tried to follow this lead with my kids.
After re-reading your post I guess my question is what is the unacceptable behaviour?
I guess now that I have read what you all have to say it really isn't "unexceptable behaviour" . But behaviour I MYSELF aren't used to YET lol. Please don't look bad at me because I am just a worried mommy who just doesn't know what to do or maybe not really what to do but what I needed to say ...if anything at all...I just don't like seeing my son write filthy cuss words on paper...I guess better on paper then coming out of his mouth.
...I guess what it boils down to is that I dont want to know that my son thinks about this....
I think it's normal to feel that way. It's kind of like Santa, I'm pretty sure both my kids know he's not real (my 4 year old said something last year) but they pretend and I really WANT them to believe so I'm not saying anything. We want them to remain innocent but it isn't always good for them.
SInce you've already freaked out (or at least Dad has) just make sure he knows not to leave private stuff laying around. He's probably already figured it out from the reaction he got and you won't find any more papers like that because he'll hide them.
Just be glad that you didn't walk in on him writing that, it probably would have been far more embarassing for everyone.
And he probably knows exactly what the things he wrote mean, even kids who don't get any info from the parents figure that stuff out pretty quickly (I know because my aunt figured if they didn't talk about it her kids wouldn't do anything).
wgoat5, I was updating my hubby on this thread and he asked me to tell you that he is impressed how you've taken these comments and 'calmed down'. He says he believes many people would get all defensive and put the best interests of the son on the back burner and you didn't do that.
Once you get over the initial shock that your baby is growing up, it will get easier on you!
i haven't read everyone's responses...but unless what he wrote was violent or obsene i believe this is PERFECTLY NORMAL for a boy of that age! don't make a big deal out of it, i suspect you're just a bit creeped out to know what your "baby" is thinking, lol!
Thank you Debbi I do appreciate your points and others...and I believe I can handle all of this better. I no longer think of this as being a BAD thing...just means he is growing up...and Im sure he is just being a "boy" I love him and never would want to hurt any kind of relationship with him as I know down the road we will have challenges as many parents do...and this was just a hill we have to go over...together...or him alone and us standing by him ....I think the only thing I want to say to ALL of my kids is how they need to be respectful to all people of all ages, races ..etc... I have never heard anything unrespectful come out of his mouth..never a comment about someone bigger, of another race...etc...nothing..so I should be proud of that much..I know he is a good boy and will be...with some parental guidence I think he will become a even finer young man as he gets older.
Thanks again to my CC family I appreciate your comments and guidance...and yes I have calmed down Thank goodness as he will be here any minute, the day will be good and nothing will be said of this.
Hi Christi. It must have come as a big shock to find out that your "baby' has been thinking these thoughts. Rest assured that it is very normal behaviour for kids at his age. Use this as an opportunity to open up discussions with him on how girls should be treated and respected. Whatever you do, do not make him feel ashamed or embaressed at what he did. You said that the note did not have any violence, etc on it so it was probably just his normal thoughts. You mentioned that your DH blew up at him. However, if your DH thought back to when he was a teenage boy, he would probably remember having these same kind of thoughts.
Maybe you could use the fact that he has two younger sisters and ask if he felt that they were being respected if one of his friends wrote such things about them.
You must be aware that if you do not teach your children how to respect people, they will learn from what they see in magazines, on tv, etc. and we all know that there are some very bad examples out there in the world. Wishing you good thoughts in dealing with this.
He got home and we had a "talk" the talk consisted of that we weren't upset with him...what was upseting was that the note was placed somewhere where one of the girls could of easily gotten a hold of it.....Also we had the talk about respecting girls and my DH told him if he ever needed to talk to him he was more than welcome to come to him and it would be in complete secrecy. He wouldn't tell me a thing and I vice versa. He was a little embarrassed but assured us that he in no way was going to act out on this thought...then my DH took over and apologized for blowing up...it was a shock to him as well... DS accepted his apology and also apologized to us for writing the stuff on paper and to make me worry about him....it seems like we have a better understanding
Thanks to everybody who helped me with this dilema
ohhhhhh da widdy baby boy is becoming a MAN.
let's just be sure (pause) it's a GENTLEman.
yep, there thoughts are perfectly (pause) normal...
they happen all the time, very often in fact (pause)!
Some study once claimed that your average healthy man (pause) was probably going to thinks about sex at least once a (pause) minute or so!
yep, 14 and the hormones flowing can make for a roller coaster ride.
yes, proper to lay down the "law" that certain words (spoken or written) and behaviors are just NOT acceptable -- not the sign of a gentleman.
so it's time to be sure he is a gentleman. And that takes both parents -- you doing as others have suggested sharing what makes you feel special and respected by a man.
Dad DOING what a gentleman is supposed to do toward a woman and gently reminding this is how a gentleman treats a woman.
::cue background music -- R E S P E C T ::
AND if I might add ---
this is time for you to show you not only recognize (hide the fear!!!) he's becoming a man but help celebrate it!
time now to head to the store and do the quest for the perfect antiperspirant, shampoo, and all that other "guy stuff" -- let him choose (and don't be surprised when he wants it all different than dad -- i rejected dad's old spice -- and just had to shave w/ real blade and shaving cream -- as in cake in a mug w/ a brush! just to be different from dad and his electric razor -- LOL as now, gee guess what got tired of bleeding every day and went w/ electric, of course different brand than dad's was.
Start doing "future" talk -- about how you are looking forward to his first date, his first girlfriend, his finding his soul mate, his marriage, your grandchildren -- a future in which you are proud of him for being such a gentleman, a kind and loving boyfriend/husband/father.
yep -- perfectly normal.
let the INSANITY begin.
LOL Doug he does all his picking out of the bathroom" condiments" ......I know he knows what respect is he does it every day with me. And he was asked to NOT put those thoughts down on paper..the naughty RAUNCHY words that were down on that what I think is his first piece of paper are NOT acceptable and he knows that.... I'm glad you commented...gives a great new outlook
Insanity began a LONG time ago!! LOL
Christi, it sounds to me that you and your husband are doing a wonderful job with your son. It's not easy being a parent sometimes and it's also not easy being a child (young adult). You will make it through it just fine. I know this was initially a shock for you and it threw you for a loop. At the end of the day, you handled it very well and it appears that the line of communication will remain open. I'm proud of you for taking the time to think things through before approaching him. Job well done!!!!!
I am a teacher at a boy's juvenile boot camp. I teach boys (14-1 who have been court ordered to our facility for a variety of violations. I want to say first of all that although you may have first over-reacted, your son is lucky to have parents who care about him enough to monitor his behavior. I have so many students who do drugs and who father multiple children by the age of 15. Yet, believe it or not, their parent choose to block out reality and insist that their children are wrongly accused perfect little angel babies.... They don't function as parents to their children; they want to be friends. Really in the long run it is the kids' who suffer the consequences of this lack of boundaries.
I do want to say though that it is so important to keep the lines of communication open with your son. Do not make him feel wrong about feeling the way he has. If he is still making drawings and doodles, then at least he probably hasn't gotten around to the real thing yet! Be sure to provide an honest open way for him to communicate. If he is too embarassed to speak with you, you may even need to provide another trusted adult for him to talk to about these things. You just need to make sure that he gets the REAL information about being a gentleman, but also some of the gritty details about STDS and pregnancy too (just in case).
Wow, Christi, what a day you've had! ((hugz)) You sounded like you needed that!
I gotta tell you, I'm VERY impressed with the way you came down from the early freak out to calm and understanding when he got home!! Kudos to you! You have no idea how much difference your response will make in your relationship with him (and how much he will appreciate having a rational and caring mom!)
I have a 14 year old son also so I know exactly what went through your head when you saw what your baby boy had written - and I HATEHATEHATE the fact that mine isn't still the baby he used to be! This one is my third, though, so I was much more prepared this time than I was at first (I didn't know whether to kill them or me!!). My older son came home from school at 14 to tell me he had a Saturday session for having 'lascivious' pictures in his posession! Come to find out, he had Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders pictures (in their little uniforms) taped to his folder, like some of his friends had done. *sigh* We both managed to live through it
You just have to remember what Doug said so well, it's all part of growing up - and like it or not, we have to let them
Again, kudos to you, and I hope he realizes how lucky he is to have you for a mom!
Aww thank you so much .... I think all it took was a few to tell me.. WHAT ARE YOU DOING GETTING SO ANGRYYYYY!! LOL I really don't think I was as angry as I was just scared. And to look back at yesterday well...yesterday morning I was just a idiot. Yep my baby is no longer my baby....Yep he is going to start exploring his age....And YEP I am still going to worry, but now I know it's normal for him to go through these things...
You know Novacaine he is always saying how he doesn't like ANYBODY at school....he said that all year last year...come to find out he was "GOING OUT" lol with 2 girls ....I guess he didn't want dad and I to find out...course you know what a 13 year olds version of going out consists...well in my day we held hands at 13 now in school they can't do that so Im sure it consists of notes and such....I do believe now I am going to have to be a little more sneaky...like kinda just to check up on him...his phone etc but not so much Im that Im TOTALLY invading his privacy, just want to make sure he is heading down the right path ...he has so much going for him and I want him to experience it all!!!
So thank you for the kind words and encouragement It makes these kinds of problems just kinda seem normal and easier to deal with...I just luv ya all!!!
It's SO difficult to realize that our children are becoming separate people who hide things from us. It's VERY hard to see them becoming sexual beings! It's tortuous to see what's coming down the road for them in their dealings with the opposite sex....broken hearts, hurt feelings and disappointment. But, it is all part of growing up....all those life lessons. We want to keep those sweet babies and protect them, and panic sets in when you realize that they aren't babies and you CAN'T always protect them. In reality, I think that parents generally want their kids to have great, healthy sex lives, we just want them to be 30 and we don't want to hear anything about it!!!!
I found out that my daughter had sex at 13 (almost 14, not that it's much better), because she left her journal out on the dining room table with that page open (guess she wanted me to know, eh?). I was so shocked, angry and disappointed. I wanted to KILL the boy! I had to give myself hours to cry and think and calm down before I talked to her. I managed to be pretty calm and found out that her BF (I had thought it was kindof cute she had a sweetheart....duh) had done the full pressure thing "if you love me, you would", etc.... Don't think I hadn't had LONG talks with her about peer pressure and respecting herself enough to wait. Anyway, she caved in, but the next time he asked her she told him she really wasn't ready and it wasn't going to happen again. He dumped her immediately. I immediately made her an appt. with my gynecologist. She cried and cried that she didin't want to see THAT kind of Dr. Even though it was hard on me, I still insisted that she get examined. I told her that if she thought she was old enough to have sex she was old enough to take care of herself physically in that area. So, my very young wonderful daughter learned a VERY hard lesson that has served her well since then. I still absolutely HATE it that she went through that. It was the first experience I had as a parent when I felt totally helpless. But we both learned from it.
We're foolish if we think our kids aren't sexual beings. We have to get over our qualms and talk to them honestly about treating others with respect and treating their own bodies with respect.
I think you ended up handling the situation very well. Congratulations on surviving this first major sexual emotional hurdle!
Please be very careful with things like checking his phone... My Mum read my diary when I was about 13 and went crazy about something I'd written in it, came to school, dragged me home early and yelled at me. I never ever ever trusted her again and I still don't (I'm 31) It was a massive invasion of my privacy. You know what I wrote? I wrote that I 'hated' my sister.
I teache 11 year olds and can assure you that they have a very very good idea about what goes on between a couple. They have some very elaborate and graphic ideas about sex - most of which are just amusing to be honest. We have very frank and open discussions about sex during our sex education week at school. They start off sounding pretty foul mouthed but as the week progresses it becomes clear they just don't know much yet and are SO grateful of the opportunity to ask me questions and get real honest answers.
A lot of the questions were like 'Is it ok that....?' 'Is this normal...?' 'What would you do if...?' One child asked me 'How come I can ask you these things and you don't get embarrased but when I ask my Mum she changes the subject/tells me to ask Dad/gets embarrassed.' PLEASE be the Mum that is really cool about these things so that your children can really come to you.
As for inappropriate language - it's just words, they only have power because people give them power. He wasn't saying the words, he was writing them - he was trying out what it would be like to use these words because he knows it's unacceptable. He wasn't speaking them.
Be aware also, please, that children do have sex. Children as young as 11. If he has a girlfriend you need to take it more seriously that his 'little girlfriend.' She has more than likely started her periods. They are both hormonal. If they really like each other, or perhaps even if they don't, the chances that they are experimenting are pretty high. Your boy/young man needs to know about condoms. He need to know:
Where to get them from (maybe you leave some in the bathroom cabinet)
How to put them on (most young people think you put them on while the penis is still flaccid)
When to take them off (most young people don't realise you have to take them off while the penis is still firm)
What the point of them is
If you feel at all able try to make this into a jokey discussion - get different types of condoms and fill them with water to show they don't leak, put them on broom handles, get a glo-in-the-dark one. I had great fun showing some girls how much 'blood' (red food dye) you could pour into a towel before it leaked.
You could set up a questions box where he can put all kinds of questions in for you to answer together. He could even write down things he;s overhead/what his mates are saying so he can chcek the truth with you.
Also you need to not be wishy-washy about this 'respect' stuff. It's all nice saying to respect women but what does this mean? How do you know when a girl wants to sleep with a man? What do you do when you do but they don't? What do you do if they do but you don't? etc. etc.
I wish you great luck in this. How you handle him maturing sexually will change the path your relationship takes in the future. Let him lead the pace and try ?(even if you're totally faking it) to be as relaxed as you can.
I raised two boys by myself as I divorced their dad while they're 16 and 7 years old. Many times I had to talk to my kids about sexual issues such as protection, what to do and what not, what was acceptable to society vs. what was not, what was acceptable at home vs. what was not and so on. Always tried to do it in a normal way so they would have knowledge of what is considered normal behavior and what is considered unacceptable. Sex is a broad issue to deal about and children must be aware of all pros and cons. Mothers have the tendency to forever look at our children as if they are still our "babies" even when they're not so anymore. Kids develop their sexual interest at different ages. Your son has already shown sexual interest and needs advise so that he would not get into trouble in the future. He needs to know that sex is part of our lives, but also is a serious issue that has ruined hundreds of lives. I think if you and your spouse wouild be embarrased by talking to him about this issue, then you should look for professional advise. Good luck!
We had a great talk yesterday and he know's he can come to his dad with questions. He promises he hasn't had sex, and so far we have no reason not to believe him. He doesn't have a gf right now and his sister confirmed that with me this morning when she was making fun of him (you know how kids do). We talked A LOT about respect....not only girls but respecting everybody and everything...that is a big thing nowadays kids don't seem to respect anything! (lots of kids anyways)
I had situation arise with my stepdaughter a few years ago. She was 15 and had attempted to talk to her mother about sex and was told. . ."YOU AREN'T HAVING SEX UNTIL YOU ARE 18, END OF DISCUSSION!" (Yeah Right) It wasn't that she was wanting to have sex at that moment but was becoming very curious about it and had questions. She had to call my DH and I to ask questions or wait til her next visit (She lives in England we live in Texas). I felt so badly for her that she had no where to go! The only conversation her mother has ever given her as far as sex is concerned is, "Sex is nasty, I don't wan't to talk about it." I have always talked to her about whatever she wanted to know. I just let her know that when she did have sex that I didn't want details. No one wants to have the vision of their child having sex or to read or hear raunchy stuff. All we can do is arm them with knowledge. You did a great job Christi! Keep it open and keep it okay.
I had situation arise with my stepdaughter a few years ago. She was 15 and had attempted to talk to her mother about sex and was told. . ."YOU AREN'T HAVING SEX UNTIL YOU ARE 18, END OF DISCUSSION!" (Yeah Right)
That sounds like my aunt, she felt that if she told them nothing they wouldn't do anything, she didn't even tell the girls about getting their periods. She told everyone who would listen that her kids were going to save it until marriage, well one of them did (out of 9).
No kidding! Her Mother didn't bother telling her about her cycle either. She said. . ."Ask your dad, he's a nurse and knows more bout it than I do." (Show me a man , just one, who knows more about a menstrual cycle than us girls and I will shake his hand!) Even though I was close with my Dad, I would have much rather discuss such with my Mom.
Good points, Emma! I work in a Pediatric ICU and we test every female 12 and over for pregnancy. This isn't a random number pulled from a hat.
Being open about sex is crucial to our kids' well-being. So many people assume that the school is "handling it." I let my daughter participate in the sex education, and I would ask her questions periodically throughout that week to see what she was being taught/taking away from the lessons. I was disappointed. I asked her what was the ONE way to be sure that you would NOT get pregnant. She answered, "use condoms when you have sex." Ummmmmm, no.
Needless to say we discussed abstinence, self-respect, and STD's all over again that day.
I ran this bit of info across her and she didn't remember hearing this statistic:
In one year with perfect use (meaning couples use condoms consistently and correctly at every act of sex), 98 percent of women relying on male condoms will remain pregnancy free. With typical use, 85 percent relying on male condoms will remain pregnancy free. - Hatcher RA et al. Contraceptive Technology, 18th rev. ed. New York: Ardent Media, 2004.
And I'm thinking that overexcited teens and preteens are running a little bit less than that average...
Christi, you did a great job calming down and speaking with your son matter-of-factly!!
It's very hard to watch our babies grow up, but at the same time, it can make us so proud knowing that we helped them get there.