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I discovered that my 16 year old has had sex. Should I punish her by cancelling her "sweet sixteen" birthday celebrations?

Tagged as: Age differences, Breaking up, Dating, Family, Friends, Health, Sex, Teenage, Troubled relationships, Trust issues, Virginity<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 February 2017) 9 Answers - (Newest, 19 February 2017)
A female South Africa age 41-50, anonymous writes:

i recently found out by going through my 15 year old daughters phone that she has recently lost her virginity to an 18 year old guy whom is now dating another girl in the same area as us.

When i first confronted her she denied it but eventually confessed to it...

I have very strong beliefs especially about not having sex before marriage and even told her that i lost my virginity at seventeen when i did not have a mom to support me unlike her who has both parents who are living an exemplary life and doing everything in our power to give her the kind of life we would have wanted to have.

I have always been open to her about the dangers of teenage sex and teach her all i can hoping that she will at least wait until she is 18?

now this??????......after reading the advice from your column i have decided to do things differently i.e support,love and continue to nourish our relationship rather than shut her out....

Now my challenge is do i tell my husband or should i just keep it between us?

she is turning 16 in April and we were in the process of planning sweet 16 celebration for her can i use this as punishment by cancelling the whole thing?

View related questions: lost my virginity

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 February 2017):

Tough situation. I wouldn't punish her for this. Sexual exploration is not uncommon among girls her age and fighting her may just drive her towards it. Teens often rebel in this fashion. I would love and support her but I wouldn't hide it from your husband. If he finds out, it could drive a wedge in your marriage. Have a frank discussion with him and consider getting her on birth control.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 February 2017):

You sound as if you are trying to live your life through your daughter. That you didn't follow your OWN rules about being 18 before having sex, so now you want her to.

Why? To make you feel better about yourself? It doesn't work like that.

Sex can be dangerous whatever age and as you had a talk with her about the dangers hopefully she was sensible and careful.

Obviously having sex at fifteen isn't something you would want for your daughter, but some young people mature faster than others. You were possibly only about 18 months older than her when you first had sex.

You did your best to talk to her and warn her of the dangers. That's all you can do. You can hope she waits until she's older than you were when you first had sex, but that's all you can do....hope. The rest is up to her.

I have to ask, what possible good can come of cancelling her party? It will only sour relations between you as would you telling your husband about this.

Leave him in the dark and give your daughter a lovely birthday. That way, she feels she can tell you things, come and talk to you about what worries her etc . Or would you rather she felt embarrassed and upset? Cancelling her party is not going to make her a virgin again is it?

Onwards and upwards.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (7 February 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntYou will regret cancelling her party. Try and educate her and be a mother that she can come and talk to. Yes she is young but just because you believe in no sex before marriage does not mean she is going to believe the same. Support her, guide her, but don't punish her. She has not done anything wrong as such. Tell her she is able to come to you to talk to, and no I don't think you should tell her dad, you should be someone she trusts who she can talk to. Make sure to talk to her about risks ect.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (7 February 2017):

So_Very_Confused agony auntI strongly urge you not to cancel the party. 16 is a big deal for a girl and she will only ever have one sweet sixteen. Her choice to have sex was driven by hormones and nature. It does not in any way have bearing on you. She is her own person.

I also would not tell your husband/her father.

I was a 16 yr old non-virgin. I could go to my mom about anything. she never told dad. it fostered one of the strongest relationships I ever had. Mom died nearly 22 years ago and not a day goes by that I do not miss her. Her positive impact on me was partially because I could trust that what I said to her was just to her.

Dad's need more time to find these things out and then they should find out the way the child wants them to. for me it would be to have my mom tell my dad when I was ready. some girls may want to tell daddy themselves.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2017):

An exemplary life? You seem to see your daughter as some kind of extension of your ego. Why do you want to punish her for growing up? Is that really your draconian solution? Also what trust and respect are you building by going through her phone. Be warned. What you are doing is damaging. Talk maturely about contraception and safe sex and remove your prejudices.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2017):

I wouldn't cancel the party, but, but my unpopular opinion is that she is a minor, your dependent. Your home, your rules. You made your expectations clear and she over stepped. I wouldn't push her away, but I'd sure re-tighten the reins! You gave her the rules and the chance to obey or not. If she obeyed, she proved herself ready to make sound decisions. If not, she proved herself not ready for that freedom.

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A male reader, olderthandirt  +, writes (7 February 2017):

olderthandirt agony auntHer "punishment was lose of virginity prior to giving it to the one she will eventually love. She'll only be sixteen once. And the once for virginity was used up. She "pay for that" the rest of her life (guilt).

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom +, writes (7 February 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntI don't think you should tell your husband, as she then won't feel able to talk to you about anything.

Instead of punishing her, ask her if they used protection and talk about how she feels. Have her get tested for STDs and pregnancy. Explain to her, *calmly* why guys may use her for sex and that safe sex is important, but that being in a relationship first is better.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2017):

I wouldn't advise cancelling her birthday party. I think that would be really unessecary and cruel. You cannot force your own beliefs on somebody else and quite frankly she's at at age where she can make her own decisions about HER body. She may be your daughter and obviously it's not ideal but it's not up to you when and whom she has sex with. You've done what you can regarding advice but that is all you can do. I lost my virginity at 15 myself and I also had both parents around and a good life. Stuff happens. Get over it.

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