Mother/Daughter Dilemma

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hello Ellen.  I really enjoy your blog!  I have a 16 year old daughter, that I recently overheard on the phone with her friend.  The only thing I heard her say was that she wished she could go on birth control.  Am I horrible mother if I don’t put her on it? What if I do put her on it?
I know that there are a lot of girls in her grade at school that lie to their parents about what they do on weekends.  I don’t want her to have to hide stuff from me now.  Help!

Hi Terry,
You sound a lot like my mom. J  If she wants to go on birth control, please put her on it.  My mother was always very supportive of me, and contrary to “popular belief” putting her on birth control isn’t going to make her go have sex.  What it will do is make her realize she can trust you and come to your with any concerns she might have.  As a teenage girl, that will be so comforting for her.   I never had to lie to my mom. We established a really good trust system.  If I was going to a party, I told her.  I took my phone and I told her she can call me whenever she wants and we set up a time for me to be at home.  All of my friends at the time were sneaking around behind their parent’s backs.  My mom said she never wanted to be the parent that was out of the loop.  She never wanted to be the parent that said “My daughter wasn’t at that party; she was at a friend’s studying I thought”.   This would also be a good time to sit down with her and talk about whatever she wants to talk about. Make sure you tell her you won’t judge her or attack her.  Give her advice from a female to female sometimes.  That’s all we need.  I think you are a great mom for reaching out for help about your little dilemma, and hey, if you ever have any other questions about that kind of stuff along the way, I’m always here!
Good luck Terry!


  1. Good advice Ellen.

    As a mother I'd like to give my view.

    Oh how I dread this coming up in my life one day...

    I think it's VERY important to have an open and honest line of communication with your daughter. Let her know she can come to you with ANYTHING. Let her know that yes, you may be upset or disappointed in what she tells you but but you will be supportive and work on whatever the situation is together. You'd rather have her to come you and be honest with you than do things behind your back. This does not mean you are giving her permission to do something you don't agree with, just that you will agree to discuss it with her and try to work together on when it comes to decisions she knows you don't agree with.

    Remember at that age, children always think they know better than their parents. Or that the parents don't understand. Just saying you don't want them to have sex and giving them reasons such as they are too young, they can get pregnant, they can get a STD or they aren't really in "love" etc will not be enough to stop them if it's something they want to do. Again, children always think they know better or that the parents just don't understand.

    If you disapprove of your daughter having sex for any of those reasons there's probably not much you can do to stop them. If you feel that having sex before marriage is "morally wrong" and your child is taught that as well as why it is wrong you have a better chance at her waiting.

    Example: Stealing. If a child doesn't steal because they are afraid of getting caught that won't stop them in an instance where they know they won't get caught. If they understand that it's wrong to steal and why.

    Unfortunately abstinence is not very realistic with most teens and even pre-teens today.

    All that being said I think if you are pretty sure that your daughter is going to have sex regardless of how you feel you should look into birth control. However, birth control does not prevent STDs! You will need to have a conversation about that too. Unfortunately only abstinance can prevent pregnancy and STDs 100%. Condoms are the next best thing for STDs.

    I don't envy you right now and I wish you the best!!!

  2. yep and the most important thing is that most of the time - even if u tell a kid not to do something - they will find a way to do it anyways - i know this firsthand from my friends. so if u can be a "friend" to her and talk with her to prevent it rather than just be like "DONT DO IT" itll go a lot further for the both of you!

  3. ohhh. and.. i knew of three different girls that got pregnant and when i asked why they werent on birth control, they said because my mom wont allow me to be. :(

  4. My daughter is 20 and came to me about birth control two years ago. I had always told her that I would respect her privacy until I caught her in a lie. When she gives me reason to suspect her; I will!

    Many of her high school friends have babies now and no spouse. She is an honours student in college.

    Sometimes we have to go against what we really want and go with the reality of their lives.

  5. As a therapist I used to see teens who were pregnant, who didn't have close relationships with their mothers, or whose mothers were so terrified of their daughters engaging in sex that they refused to even discuss birth control.They were often overwhelmed and confused by their new responsibilities.

    From a health standpoint,teens need to know all about human sexuality, STD's,pregnancy and childbirth, so that they can make an informed decision about whether to become sexually active. A teenager is not developmentally ready to become a parent.

    It sounds like you want to be a close and caring parent to your teen. She is a lucky girl.Ellen is giving you great advice.

  6. What Ellen and everyone else said - all great advice. And this advice goes for parents of boys too. Boys need to hear about pregnancy and STDs, and dads need to be active in these discussions too. It's also important to discuss emotional responsibility - not using others just to have sex, not taking advantage of people who are crushing on you, not having sex to try to make someone like you, etc. Your daughter will appreciate your caring if you discuss all these things with her calmly and woman to woman.


I love reading and responding to comments but in order to get my reply you must ensure you are NOT a no-reply blogger. If you are, here are some quick steps to change that!

1. Go to the home page of your Blogger account.
2. Select the drop down beside your name on the top right corner and choose Blogger Profile.
3. Select Edit Profile at the top right.
4. Select the Show My Email Address box.
5. Hit Save Profile.