I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
I hate the damage that social media does to teen girls’ self-esteem, reputations and sense of self-worth.
But when social media allows me to change a 16-year-old girl’s mind about having sex, I have nothing but love for it!
And that’s what happened recently when I received the following direct message from a 16-year-old young lady on Instagram:
My name is _____. I’m 16 years old and I came across your videos on YouTube. As soon as I watched your videos, I knew you were the right person to talk to.
I’m dealing with a situation in my life with my parents where they are very strict on me and will not let me have a boyfriend. They also won’t let me have sleepovers. I have a close relationship with my parents. We do have fights here and there, but for the most part, we are okay.
I have been dating a guy for a year now without them knowing and I want to have sex with him. But I am not on birth control and I have told my parents plenty of times that I want to be on birth control because of pimples and hormones. And whenever I bring up the topic they yell at me. I want to have protected sex, but how am I supposed to if my parents are so strict and won’t put me on birth control. Thank you!
This was another opportunity for me to help a teen see her parents’ point of view.
That what she perceived as her parents being too strict, was simply them trying to safeguard their daughter’s physical and emotional well-being by setting healthy boundaries for her.
Hey ____, (Her name is omitted to protect her privacy).
Nice to “meet” you.
Let me warn you that my response is going to be rather long because there is a lot that needs to be addressed in your situation.
It sounds like you believe that the only thing you need to be concerned about when having sex at 16 is getting pregnant. There are many other things that you should consider before making that decision.
Are you aware that birth control is not disease control? You have a greater chance of contracting an STD from having sex than you do of getting pregnant. And no form of birth control prevents the emotional consequences that can come from you having sex.
Do you believe that you and your boyfriend will be together forever? The reality is that most teenagers are dating their future ex. So, how will you feel about your decision to have sex when the two of you are no longer dating?
I’m sure you and your boyfriend believe that you love each other. I think the best way to show someone that you love them is to always do what’s best for them and never do anything that could hurt them. Having sex as a teenager is never what’s best for you. So, if you both love each other, neither of you would want to have sex as a teen because it’s not what’s best for either of you.
And if your desire to have sex is to show your boyfriend how much you love him, the best thing you can do is to show yourself how much you love yourself. When you love YOU, you protect YOU. When you love YOU, you don’t make decisions that could ruin your health and jeopardize your chances of reaching your dreams and goals. And if the truth be told, if he loved you, he’d protect you. If he loved you, he wouldn’t make decisions that could ruin your health and jeopardize your chances of reaching your dreams and goals.
As a matter of fact, I’m sure if your boyfriend had a little sister who was 16, he wouldn’t want her to have sex at that age because he would love her and he wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her. Why wouldn’t you demand that he treat you with the same love and respect that he would want someone to show his little sister or future daughter?
Now, let me address the issue of you secretly dating your boyfriend for the past year. Is it worth destroying the trust you have with the two people who will always be there for you (your parents), in order to be with someone who is most likely temporary in your life?
Also, you say that you’ve told your parents that you want to be on birth control because of pimples and hormones. Yet it sounds like the REAL reason you want to be on birth control is so you can have sex. If so, then you have lied to your parents and again, have risked losing their trust.
Put yourself in your parents’ shoes and ask yourself whether you would want your daughter to lie to you, as well as date someone behind your back.
Finally, I hope you know that any rules that your parents have set for you are to protect you, not to ruin your life. No one will ever love you more than your parents (other than God). So, even when you don’t understand your parents’ actions, at least trust their heart.
I certainly hope that you will consider the above advice before making a decision that could literally cost you your life—a decision that you have the rest of your life to make. Enjoy your teen years as much as you can without having to deal with consequences that come with adult choices.
I wish I could respond to every teen who reaches out to me via social media and share the Cliff Notes version of my classroom presentation as I did with this young lady. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the capacity to do so.
However, I can’t deny that social media does make it easier to respond to them as my time will allow.
And the best part is, somehow, they still “get it.” Even with the Cliff Notes version.
Thank you so much, Jackie. You have taught me to respect myself and understand why my parents protect me so much. I am going to tell them about my boyfriend. I’m also going to tell them about birth control. I am tired of hiding and lying to them.
I felt like that was the only option cause my boyfriend made me happy and my parents didn’t believe in boyfriends. I think it would be great if you came to Missouri to talk to the students at our school. I don’t want people to make the same mistake I almost did until talking to you today. You definitely have made me realize that I can show my boyfriend love in other ways. It it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have made that great decision.
As adults, we may not ever fully grasp and/or appreciate young people’s preoccupation with social media.
And I still believe there’s a lot we should be leery of.
That being said, I am both humbled and thankful that there’s a platform that will allow students as far away as Missouri, to be able to hear my message even when it’s not physically possible for them to hear me in person.
Which is why I am committed to developing more e-courses like Dating Boundaries 101 for teen girls.
It gives your daughter the opportunity to receive the same type of guidance that girls in my classes benefit from.
Much more than what I was able to share with the young lady above.
PLUS your daughter will walk away with a Game Plan to help her navigate the pressures of teen dating by establishing her own healthy relationship boundaries that will honor who she is now and hopes to become in the future.
Go here to enroll your daughter in Dating Boundaries 101 today!
Think about it:
The young lady who reached out to me on Instagram said she had a great relationship with her parents.
But that didn’t stop her from dating a guy behind their backs.
Or wanting to get on birth control.
Or planning to have sex with him.
What DID stop her was understanding why her parents were “so strict,” and that setting boundaries in her relationships was actually a good thing.
I was able to change her mind about having sex just by sharing my message with her via an Instagram direct message.
Imagine what could happen if you signed your daughter up for Dating Boundaries 101.
The decision is up to you Mom.
Click the picture below for more information to enroll your daughter today!
P.S. While the young lady’s parents meant well by forbidding her to date, I believe parents who want to protect their daughters would be better served by preparing them to resist the pressures of teen dating. And the best way to do that is to not only give your daughter boundaries but equip her to set her own. And that’s why I created Dating Boundaries 101.