Caught in aisle of dilemma over buying condoms for teen

I HAVE a confession…..I buy condoms for my 16-year-old daughter and her boyfriend.

Is that right or wrong? I'm still not sure I know the answer to that, so I'll let you be the judge.

The first time I did it, it was nerve wracking - it had been years since I had found myself stopping at this particular section of the supermarket and I was surprised to see that, just like milk isn't milk anymore, condoms are not condoms anymore - the choice is ridiculous.

So how did I end up red faced in the health and beauty aisle of Coles? I guess it's because I try to be a good mum, the kind of mum who will do the right thing for my kids and support them in whatever decision they make, even if it makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

When my girl started dating a boy who was a little older than her we had "the talk" - you know the one where the experts, whose names are splashed all over those parenting books, advise you to say "come and talk to me if you think you are ready to have sex".

Well, a few months later she came to me saying it was time. Of course I forgot what the book told me  to say next so I had to wing it.

Miss 16 and I have always had a pretty good relationship so the following discussion was not that awkward, although I was a little sad that my baby was growing up so fast.

We covered all the basics about not being pressured into anything, about feeling comfortable with her decision and that she wasn't doing it just because everyone else was.

There may or may not have been some eye-rolling going on - I can't say for sure because I was too busy trying to sound all casual and cool, which is not quite how I was feeling on the inside.


What would you do if your teen was contemplating having sex?

This poll ended on 30 December 2012.

Buy them contraceptives - 64%

Tell them to buy contraceptives - 19%

Encourage them to change their mind - 15%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

I might be hurtling towards middle age but I can still remember being a teenager "in love" so I understood feelings. And they are a cute couple, he adores her and she is so happy when he is around. Best off all they are happy to spend time just hanging out at our place, which makes me very happy.

The other reality is that I can't control her every move - he has a licence and if my memory serves correctly plenty of my friends lost their virginity in the back seat of their boyfriend's car. And despite the generation gap there are some things that never change. So, in no time at all she was on the pill.

But guarding against pregnancy is not enough is it? So that's how I came to be standing in front of row upon row of condoms, considering my options and feeling just a little hypocritical for having once judged another parent who admitted to me that she was buying condoms for her son.

"Ribbed for increased pleasure"…I think not. No way was I picking the variety boxes of rainbow and fruit flavours because THIS IS NOT A GAME PEOPLE.

This is real life and this is serious.

The conversation going on in my head was enough to make me blush and think about walking away.

But this is not a time to chicken out, so a decision had to be made - sensible and basic it was. And even better, they were on special (Score ....hmm maybe that's not best word I could have thought of). In the trolley they went, well and truly hidden under the loaves of bread and bags of fruit.

That night I handed them over to Miss 16 with a lecture about how protection was not just her responsibility but something they both had to take care of.

I also told her that part of my role as her mum was to make sure she was in a position to protect herself from sexually transmitted diseases as well as pregnancy and that was why I would buy the condoms for them.

I didn't want there to be any excuse for them not having protection whenever and wherever they needed it.

Sometimes I worry that my decision is wrong and that I'm encouraging them to have sex, but then I think that if they wanted to have sex they would do it with or without my blessing, just as teenagers (excluding me, of course) have been doing for generations past.

So, now it's over to you: What do you think of my decision and have you ever bought condoms for your teenagers?

* Life with teenagers can be like an out of control roller coaster ride and when there's no one else to turn to for support or a second opinion, I go undercover to blog about the everyday dramas of raising my otherwise perfect teens.

Topics:  editors picks opinion parenting

Turnbull! It's time to stand up for regional Australia

We're hoping this cartoon gets your attention Mr Turnbull! Artwork: Peter Broelman

It's time for Turnbull to prove he'll stand for regional Australia

Daughters break down in nursing home murder trial

Outside Sydney Supreme Court for the trial of accused murderer Megan Jean Haines are (from left) Shannon Parkinson (granddaughter of suspected murder victim and St Andrew's aged care centre resident Marie Darragh) and Janet Parkinson and Charli Darragh (daughters).

Account of mother's autopsy drives daughters to tears

Fisher who exploited Indonesian fishing crew fined $48,000

An Indonesian fishing crew has been underpaid almost $50,000.

Tuna fishing company fined almost $50,000 for underpaying crew

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Survive and support this Pink Ribbon Day

Denise Bass, Kathy Clough and cancer survivor Dorothy Lockart at Pink Ribbon Day stall in the mall.

Cancer survivors often say the diagnosis is the toughest part.

Blooming Woolgoolga

Handmade flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

HANDMADE flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Trump 'worked like hell' to pick up John Travolta's wife

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Trump wrote comments in tribute to Travolta's son Jett

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Politicians promise homebuyers a helping hand

PROMISE: Canberra has plans to address housing affordability.

How Coffs can help fix housing affordability

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June