teens

Talking to your daughter about the pill.

As a dad, there are some things you never want to have to say to your teenage daughter, especially when she’s just started dating her first boyfriend.

Things like: “I think you should go on the pill”.

It’s not that you want her to get pregnant – hell no – it’s just you’d prefer thinking sex wasn’t in the equation. After all, she’s still your baby girl. Just look at that (fading) photo of her blowing out the candles at her ninth birthday party. Seems like only yesterday.

Only it isn’t. And you don’t want to be watching your nine-year-old grandchild blowing out his/her candles in nine years’ time. So you have to have the talk. You know you do. Putting it off is irresponsible. You know what you were like at her age — and that’s what’s scaring you.
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“… it’s just that you’d prefer thinking sex wasn’t in the equation. After all, she’s still your baby girl.” Image: iStock

Normally, you’d get her mother to have the chat knowing she’d find the right words and tone. Knowing she’d probably give her that “oh look at you now, you’re so grown up!” look and warm smile as opposed to your “over my dead body” scowl.

But mum won’t be here for this chat, just as she wasn’t here for the tampon chat. It’s not her fault (but we won’t go into that just now). So it’s down to you.

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You’ve known for some time that this talk was coming and, thinking back, the “tampon talk” was a walk in the park compared to what confronts you now. This is sex. This is the realisation your daughter is probably having sex. With that pimply-faced kid she’s seeing.

For the past couple of weeks you’ve been trying to find the right words. You’ve been visualising the setting, reminding yourself to hug her, rehearsing the script you’ve mentally written. It feels like the build-up to the impending moment is bigger than your wedding day: you sure as hell didn’t spend this much time working on your wedding night speech.

“You’ve known for some time that this talk was coming”

Then you pause and try to pull yourself together. You remind yourself she’s 17. You block out any and all thoughts of you at 17. What exactly are you afraid of?

And then it hits you. What you can’t come to grips with, what you can’t bear to accept, is the idea your daughter is having sex.

If it was someone else’s daughter you wouldn’t have a problem with it but… but… did you see that photo of her on her ninth birthday? Look at those pigtails!

Thing is, you’ve asked your daughter if she’s having sex – not quite as directly as that, but still the question was raised – and she’s assured you she hasn’t.

Watch: Dear Daddy: An unborn daughter asks her father for a favour. Post continues after video.

Video via “CARE

Your friends – men and women — have told you she would be having sex and you’ve told them she isn’t and they’ve asked you how do you know for sure and you’ve told them you’ve asked her and she’s told you she hasn’t and they’ve told you she’s lying to you and you’ve told them she isn’t and now you’re just rambling because if you keep talking to them then you won’t have to talk to her.

But you know you have to.

So you do. You tell her this isn’t a James Bond moment, this isn’t a License To Kill, so to speak. This is recognising she’s a young woman, recognising she’s your daughter and you want to look after her, recognising if she is lying to you and having you-know-what then she needs to protect herself from an unwanted pregnancy, recognising that she still must insist he wears a condom, recognising that you’ve managed to have THE CHAT.

And lived to tell the tale.

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