Our expert says:
Dad, at 14, I don't think it's the girl's bad background that is the problem. And in the age of HIV/AIDS, some pages can't be turned over " does he understand that from the point of view of the virus, when he has sex with her, he is also having sex with everyone else she ever had sex with ? Does he understand the risk of HIV/AIDS and other STD, and that this can be lethal ? There is no value in being very harsh towards him, though he needs to know that life itself can be very harsh in these situations, and that you care enough to want him NOT to meet life at its harshest.
I think one has to try to keep a reasonably level head here. I don't think one should just give up, consider the under-age sex to be inevitable and uncontrollable ( after all, SOME of us managed to get beyond 14 ! ). On the other hand, raging and coming down on him too heavily will, as some readers have said, have a high risk of driving hi further away from you, and more out of reach. OK, you plan to have the birds-and-bees discussion ; presumably the boys and girls one, as kids don't see the relevance of birds or bees. Yes, it's not easy to explain why there are so many reasons for it to be a bad idea to start an active sex-life at 14 --- it's like trying to tell a kid who has just discovered computer games, that he shouldn't play before he's 21. However, he needs to know of the very real and serious risks involved ; and that one of the reasons caring adults are bothered, is because he's young and inexperienced about such skills as being able to assess the girl, for instance, and whether she's really as changed as she says she is, or to assess the risks and problems that could arise. Does he realize, not just how contraception works, but that it's imperfect ? Has he thought of how he would cope if she got pregnant ? has he thought that though she might be the first girl who has shown this sort of interest in him, there could be far nicer girls he would meet before long, bringing less problems and risks along with them, but who wouldn't be impressed to learn of his earlier exploits. And so on --- one could keep the discussion on realistic and factual lines for much of the time. But you need to talk about love as well as sex, an that, though he probably does feel strongly about and for this girl, one's capacity for love that can be far deeper and more satisfying than anything he's felt yet, developes as one gets a bit older than he is now, and that plunging into this more adult form of relatonship now may actually slow down his development towards more complex and significant relatonships later.
It sounds as if there are background problems here, as there often are. His mother doesn't sound like an excellent example of continence and forward planning. And as Nina says, the blame doesn't lie fully with the girl, as your son has presumably been a willing participant throughout.
You can't prevent him from having sex if he insists on doing so behind your back, but you can at least make sure that he understands why it's a bad idea ( and that you're not just being a spoilsport ) ; that he understands the risks involved, and at least takes all the precautions he can. He needs to understand, too, that trnating from school is a really bad idea on its own ( without educatonal qualifications, he'd be such a loser that girls would soon lose interest in him ) ; and that it isn't necessary, whatever his relationship with this girl might be.
And have you discussed this with your Ex, his mother ? She may not have been the best of examples to him, but she may not know about this, and may not approve of it, either. She's likely to find out if she doesn't already know, and a cooerinated approach between the two of you is likely to be more effective and helpful than if you're both talking at cross purposes.
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