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What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?

What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?


Re: What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?

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Hi @taziness - are you doing OK? Let me see if I understand the issues troubling you.


Issue Your daughter You
Issue 1: Privacy Keeps a no-holds-barred diary Read her diary without permission. Feel guilty about that. Found out some things which alarm you
Issue 2: Safe sex Had a threesome including some or all unsafe vaginal/anal/oral sex Believe her sexual activity to be both unsafe and disrespectful to her
Issue 3: Perspective Wants to be liked. Has 2 young males who like her. Sees nothing wrong with having sex Feel your daughter is being used and treated shabbily
Issue 4: Mental health Suffers from anxiety/depression, low self-esteem, possibly self-harming Are afraid for your daughter and fighting to get her the appropriate guidance


With the diary, she is entitled to her privacy and you will have to rebuild the trust there. But you wouldn't be the first and won't be the last parent to do some snooping. It's done now, apologise, reassure her it won't happen again and don't beat yourself up any more.


With safe sex you are right, but that doesn't mean she will listen to you. She lives away from home during the week so the best you can do is explain that STIs happen to "nice" people as well and they can be deadly.


With your perspective I have to say that unfortunately, the attitudes your daughter is describing are quite prevalent. And I say that as the mother of a teenage son who is, I believe, respectful of women. He has told me what his peers engage in, the best I can do is drill the values I believe in and hope they have rubbed off. There are some good articles on ReachOut's under-25 site which you could show her here.


As far as her mental health, yes it's tedious have to tell her life story all over again to a new counsellor, but isn't it worth it if it can improve her life? She's over 18 (I'm assuming) so your job as a parent is to let her know how much you love her, how important her happiness is to you, and to tell her - honestly - that you are afraid for her.



Best wishes!


Prolific scribe

Re: What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?

Thanks again for this forum, it's been really helpful to have support and input on this.

I've been really working on the issues at hand.

1. Privacy - Yep, definitely time to put this aside and let time do it's work.

2. Unsafe sex - Talked to several STI clinic providers after thinking that our somewhat casual and male doctor in the local community would probably not be the best time or place to suggest. Will wait until communication is open again and then be taking her to a women's clinic where the health nurse is happy to have a bit of an in depth chat with her. She feels that 'she knows everything that she needs to know about the subject. And so to

3. Perspective - oh dear indeed it is a prevailing youth culture. We will seek another therapist but meanwhile I have been looking to community groups and resources that might provide and opportunity for her to meet some new people and gain some tools and encouragement. After feeling a bit let down in my searches (there is such a move towards self -help and one on one counselling (which still requires great individual motivation to work) and online resources that there is actually very little on the ground. I have found a couple of NFPs at long last though that a running some teen camps in the new year (Meditation and Adventure Bush Therapy - yaaay!) so things are looking a bit more hopeful this week. 


So I think we're going to get through this! Even if she goes off the path for a while, I can only hope that she will come back. I can bravely let my daughter make her own choices from here, as I feel that I have at least pointed her in the right direction. It's all we can do really as parents isn't it?


Again, thanks so much for your support everyone!


eyintas/Empowering Youth in Tasmania
Prolific scribe

Re: What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?

@taziness so glad to hear that things are looking a bit better this week. Will you stop back in and keep us posted on how things are going? I'd particularly love to hear how you all go on the meditation and bush therapy teen camps, they sound great.

Active scribe

Re: What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?

Hi, not quite on the subject of the safe sex, but onthe therapist point, have you thought about a coach, as coaches do not need you to go all the way through your life story, they have a way of asking questions to bring out deeper hidden thoughts and they have tools to help improve the thoughts and change patterns that are not working, so that a person can feel renewed energised and positive about life

Community Manager

Re: What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?

Please also keep us posted on what you and your daughters think of Embrace @taziness, I'm really keen to see it!

Super contributor

Re: What do you do when you've learned that your teen is having unsafe sex?

Hi @taziness


How did it go? Did you and your daughter get through this ok?


Prolific scribe

So much more than unsafe sex! Thanks everyone x

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Hopefully this reaches all of you wonderful women who responded to my call for help! I've certainly been very busy working things out and would love to share the incredible journey Smiley Wink I hope you have a glass of red (or champas!) on hand!


Firstly, really excited about the upcoming (mindfulness) teen camp for both my girls in January - took a bit of motherly tigerness to get my eldest to go, but I managed it Smiley Wink Now, they are both looking forward to it as they renew the year. You can check out the inspiration here as we hope this will become offered in each state! I'ME We'll also be joing the local Lions and Rotary clubs to access other youth camps and some community service opportunities Smiley Happy Creating greater opportunities for growth of perspective Smiley Wink Vital - especially to me in terms of my job as a parent - it is soooooo about the BIGGER picture!


After many (gently forced!) discussions with my daughter, I learned that she actually thought that oral sex was 'safe'! Boy did that get me (well my internals - I had to REALLY keep it on the inside at that crucial moment!!) going! I then learned that this was 'normal' behaviour amongst most teens - OMG to find that we have/had become a statistic. After confirming this with local health clinics (and then sadly but surely by scholarly reports - it isn't just an internet rumour - overseas!!) I became rather enraged to think that our sex education at school at failed so miserably. To be clear, I mean oral sex that boys/men are "receiving" - this is not a two way street.


Meanwhile, I had to juggle re-educating my daughter whilst not appearing to be controlling or self opinionated. I surprised myself. I took her on a personal journey of gaining information - "no, you can't just take it from me" - and seeking help and how to do it! I'm still holding her hand Smiley Happy we finally got to Headspace today and have a psych booked in for the new year. On the same day, though we organised her own medicare card and shared a nice lunch and had a wee (unxmas) shop.


We will also look into some direct career coaching in the new year with a local organisation (thanks for the suggestion). 


I guess where I ended up was to guide her (and my other two - **bleep** doing this three times!!) through exploring all the different services, activities and opportunities as a diversion to self absorption and destruction! It seems to be working and with some other mentor support (psychology, teen camps and community activity), I think we are definitely on a much better path!


Oh yes, and as far as Embrace  went, wow what an impact! Just what she needed! I've actually arranged for another screening in the new year, as not only should this be watched - but it should be shared in room full of women (and their cohorts)!


Thanks again for creating the space everyone, and a very merry unxmas and new year to you all!


Ness x




eyintas/Empowering Youth in Tasmania
Super contributor

Re: So much more than unsafe sex! Thanks everyone x

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Hi @taziness


That is amazing news!! You have really managed to turn this situation into an opportunity for learning and connection for you all. That's a huge win.

I believe it's what all parents are working really hard for in crisis, to find a solution and support everyone in getting there. And when it happens without taking years, it's an amazing feeling.

Make sure you take a moment to pat yourself on the back.



It sounds like you've got lots of great things planned for your daugters to attend. The Mindfullness camp sounds incredible. Don't forget to let us know how it goes for them.


It also sounds like you have some coaching lined up. I wasn't sure if that was for you or your girls. 

If you're open to something for you, then the ReachOut Parents' Coaching could be perfect.


Thanks so much for coming back and updating everyone. Looking forward to seeing you again in the forums. Smiley Happy 

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