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Thread: Teens, sex, and privacy

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Teens, sex, and privacy

    A family member was telling me about about problems he was having with his 16 year old daughter and how he thought she was sexually active. I asked him why he thought that and he proceeded to recite this litany of evidence and it became clear to me this 'evidence' was the product of extensive spying. When I say 'spying', I'm not talking about accidently overhearing her say something over the phone or finding a condom wrapper, I'm talking about actively and deliberately listening in on all her phone conversations, trying to surreptiously follow her around while on dates. Trying to arrange 'set-ups' where he would advertise he'd be gone at a certain time from the home and try to walk in on them during that time. I told him he needed to see a shrink. He says because I dont have a teen daughter I just don't understand how he's doing this for her benefit.
    I can think of no better way of driving his daughter away from him than doing what he's doing.
    So, Throbbing Brain, what do YOU think is the appropriate amount of surveillance/observation for a parent to track their teenager?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    I check my son's computer every now and then. I also told him when I got it for him to expect no privacy. Tha goes for his room as well. I don't purposly search for stuff, but if I have to go in to retreive something anything else is fair game. I don't spy on him like your example and I wouldn't if he were a she. He has a 4 year old brother that does a fine job of that.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Don't go out of your way to spy on them. All that will do is piss them off when you get caught--and you will get caught eventually. Listening in on phone calls and "setting-up" a time for them to be alone... it sounds like he wants his daughter to have sex just so he can catch her.

    There's nothing wrong with finding something when you straighten up a bathroom or bedroom (if you actually do that for your teen), but DO NOT go out of your way to find something. He obviously has problems communicating with the daughter if he feels that he has to spy.

    Note: I am not saying that teenagers have a right to privacy, because they don't. I'm just saying that for the good of the relationship between parent and daughter, your need to respect their privacy.

    Off-topic:

    My now fiance's dad used to follow us around on dates, but just as a joke. All of us liked pretty-much the same restaurants, so once and a while we would show up at the same one. He has a really good sense of humor and a good relationship with his daughter. He would jokingly try to intimidate me when we would make eye contact.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Having been the mother of teen daughters.

    I would expect that they are going to have sex. I would talk with them about birth control and safer sex. If they are old enough to do it they better be willing to talk about being responsible. I would not for a moment hesitate to bring in the young man and talk to him to. Taking that approach cuts off the whole need to sneak around. I don't believe in going through childrens things. If you feel the need to sneak around and look for ways your children are misbehaving then they probably are and you have a bigger problem than anything you will find.
    Lack of communication.

    And yes the parent is always going to be the most stupid person that walks the earth to the child but they grow out of that. Just gotta do it!
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The parents' distrust of their daughter is only going to result in resentment, and is more liely to prompt her to engage in sex in retaliation. Parents need to raise their children well and then trust them to do the right thing. That does not mean that they should ignore what may be going on in their kids' lives, but spying like this is not healthy.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Just cut off her goddamn cell-phone. It won't solve everything, but it will curtail 90% of the bull$hit that is going on.

  7. #7

    Proper Use of Parts

    Hey, he's not doing anything wrong. Everyone knows that the sole purpose of a vagina is for peeing.

  8. #8
    My little girl is just five, so I've got plenty of time to devise my strategy. My current thinking is that this will consist basically of two parts: Part 1 -- raise her to do the right thing and Part 2 -- scare the holy bejeezus out of any guy who thinks he might want to ask her for a date, let alone try to get to second base.

    Didn't Cosby do a gig about how cute his little girl looked in a bathing suit, but when she matured he was going to make her wear a concrete bikini?
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
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  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    Just cut off her goddamn cell-phone. It won't solve everything, but it will curtail 90% of the bull$hit that is going on.
    SAC, you need to be hosting your own daytime talk show. No two ways about it. I'm thinking right after Dr. Phil....
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    His spying will most certainly "chase" her into doing something he doesn't approve. The daughter will give him exactly what he expects from her, and maybe a grandchild, too. Does this girl's mother approve of those tactics? Frankly, he sounds like a control freak and at the very least is contributing to a disfunctional atmosphere.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    My little girl is just five, so I've got plenty of time to devise my strategy. My current thinking is that this will consist basically of two parts: Part 1 -- raise her to do the right thing and Part 2 -- scare the holy bejeezus out of any guy who thinks he might want to ask her for a date, let alone try to get to second base.

    Didn't Cosby do a gig about how cute his little girl looked in a bathing suit, but when she matured he was going to make her wear a concrete bikini?
    As far as scarying the holy bejeezus. I heard a good one the other day.
    Teen Dad : I like having the boys fear me when they come to my door with their hat in their hand.
    Teen Daughter: Dad, they don't come to your door with their hat in their hand, they come with their balls in their throat.
    Teen Dad: ( Smiling ) Good!
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    SOrry Maister but your friend is acting creepy, stalking his daughter, convinced in his mind she has already slipped into slutdom!? Next he's going for samples?

    Yeah he needs to chill, follow the Queen's advice and have a serious grownup discussion with the adult minded teenagers. Rehearse the meeting with Mom and a professional if neccessary. Stick to the script - cause if he hears something outrageous he needs to remember the goal is to SLow down the passion, not alienation.

    It's a fact some kids are relentless in their pursuit of thrills, damn the consequences but restricting their freedom won't redirect that.

    my own kids are nearing the tweendom ages, they change faster than I can adjust sometimes too! hooboy.

  13. #13
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jen
    SOrry Maister but your friend is acting creepy, stalking his daughter, convinced in his mind she has already slipped into slutdom!? Next he's going for samples?...
    The Dude's a kook, there can be no doubt on that. The question is, though, at what point does one cross the line (privacy vs. protection) as a parent? I'm not really fishing for advice, just trying to get some idea of a norm. I think most people would agree with Queen B, that the first line defense is to have as much open communication as possible with ones' kids and it stands to reason this establishes the best type of rapport/relationship one can have with the ol' offspring. That said, it probably wouldn't be stretching a point to suggest that some teens might still seek to conceal certain activities from their parents anyways - how cool do y'all think it is to 'snoop' in these cases?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Maister, just tell your friend to put some cameras in her room and charge for all access to the website
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    You have to build trust and open communication while they are still little. If you don't have it by the time they are teens, you have a serious problem -- and not because they "will" have sex or whatever. Teens need a certain amount of privacy in order to develop a healthy sexuality. I do not think it is the parents job to control a child in some absolute way while they are still at home. I think a parent's job is to raise that child to be a healthy adult and healthy adults do have sex. So the goal shouldn't be to stop them from having sex. It should be to raise them to have healthy relationships. If your own father is stalking you, spying on you like some perp/perv, etc. -- god, what kind of boys will this poor girl date? She will think that total psychos who want to control her every move are 'normal' and may buy their BS about how it is "for her own good" and an attempt to "protect her". You don't need to be protected BY a man like that. You need to be protected FROM a man like that.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B
    Having been the mother of teen daughters.

    I would expect that they are going to have sex. I would talk with them about birth control and safer sex. If they are old enough to do it they better be willing to talk about being responsible. I would not for a moment hesitate to bring in the young man and talk to him to. Taking that approach cuts off the whole need to sneak around. I don't believe in going through childrens things. If you feel the need to sneak around and look for ways your children are misbehaving then they probably are and you have a bigger problem than anything you will find.
    Lack of communication.

    And yes the parent is always going to be the most stupid person that walks the earth to the child but they grow out of that. Just gotta do it!
    Ditto here. Mother of teenage daughters. They need to be informed. The girls know they can talk to me about sex, etc. and have.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Katie and I have not been spying on her son. He is seventeen (17) and in a relationship with a sixteen (16) year old girl. Couple weeks ago he shocked Katie by asking for a condom. She stuttered and said, "OK".

    (Even though this Bear is "fixed", we have condoms because of the chemoptherapy drugs that can linger in my system.) (Too much info? )

    A week later he gave it back, saying that they talked and decided to not go all the way at this time. We are relieved. You never know.....this could change. Think about the dude in the Meatloaf tune, "Paradise By The Dashboard Light".

    No spying for us.

    Bear Still Hiding In The Trojan Horse
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I'm not at that point yet, with an 11-year old son. Don't quite know yet how I will handle it. Sure it will not be easy, when we have to have "the talk". I don't think I will obsessively "spy", having been a victim of that myself, though.

  19. #19
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    I'm not at that point yet, with an 11-year old son. Don't quite know yet how I will handle it. Sure it will not be easy, when we have to have "the talk". I don't think I will obsessively "spy", having been a victim of that myself, though.
    Take it from the father of two teenage boys: don't...wait...too...long. Perhaps a male family member can help you? Good luck.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    I say, leave them alone! As long as ground rules have been established. If you want them to learn respect, you have to respect them and their privacy too. I'm 25, it wasn't that long ago....

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    Take it from the father of two teenage boys: don't...wait...too...long. Perhaps a male family member can help you? Good luck.
    I tried to talk my brother into doing "the talk" but he balked; did talk him into answering questions, if needed, but I get the primary duty. Sigh...

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