Parent Wonders How To Approach Teen Daughter About 'Lack Of Maturity & Responsibility' With Her Boyfriend

The parent is concerned that their daughter isn't taking responsibility for her own body.

teenage boy and girl sitting together Ron Lach / Pexels

A parent wrote to the r/Parenting subreddit asking for advice on how to open a conversation with her teenage daughter about having safe sex.

The parent explained they recently discovered that their 16-year-old is sexually active with her 18-year-old boyfriend; despite having discussed sex previously, the parent was concerned that their daughter isn’t engaging in safe sex.

The parent interpreted their teen daughter as having a ‘lack of maturity and responsibility’ with her boyfriend, now that they’re sexually active.

They explained, “They are using protection and she is on birth control for another medical issue. However, my daughter has been having some issues with sometimes forgetting to take her birth control pill. I understand this isn't shocking considering that teens forget things and still have developing brains. However, to me, this signals a lack of maturity and responsibility when it comes to being sexually active.”


mother wonders how to approach teen daughter about having safe sexPhoto: Savannah Dematteo / Pexels 

The parent expressed that they’d “prefer for her to wait until she is 18 and graduated high school, as I think that is best for her health and well-being, particularly when she isn't quite there maturity-wise to be consistent on following a birth control schedule.”


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They were bothered not only by the fact that their daughter consistently forgot to take her birth control, but also because they found out that “she has not shared with her boyfriend when she has missed a few pills. I also see this as being very irresponsible.”

The parent talked to their daughter about ‘how sex is an adult decision with possible adult consequences,’ because they were concerned she wasn’t practicing safe sex.

“This is new to me, as she is my first teen, and I don't have much guidance available from older or more experienced parents,” they ended their post.

Almost all of the comments emphasized that the daughter can’t be stopped from having sex, and recognized that the pill might not be the best option of birth control for her. As one person succinctly noted, “Teens are gonna have sex. Getting her a better form of birth control that doesn't require daily care is the best option.”


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Other people recommended alternate forms of birth control that she wouldn’t have to take every day, such as having an IUD inserted. One person recommended, “She can also set an alarm on her phone to take it, or what I used to do was keep my pills with my toothbrush so I would see them when I brushed my teeth to remember.”

mother wonders how to approach teen daughter about having safe sexPhoto: Ron Lach / Pexels


Another parent noted that while the issue about safe sex was rooted in trust and maturity, it was up to the parent themselves to “start having her take charge of her health.”

They noted, “Turning 18 doesn't unlock some new tutorial on adulting. You can walk her through it for a while, but she needs to learn to do it on her own. Have her look into different forms of birth control. Have her call the Gyno to make an appointment to discuss changing it. When you take her to the doc, let your daughter do the talking... Start giving her the independence she needs before it's too late.”

The parent expressed valid concerns about the repercussions of unsafe sex, and clearly hoped to establish an open line of communication with their daughter.

The answers offered by the Reddit parenting community illuminated various core issues at play, hingeing on a teenager’s right to decide what to do with their own body. The parent’s best options seem to be providing further sex education and different options of birth control, and centering the idea that their daughter is responsible for her body and the decisions she makes. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.