Is tattle telling a sin, because my daughter’s best friend is having sex and she’s only fourteen? I’m concerned about her getting pregnant and I’m also worried about her being a bad influence on my daughter and her friends. My daughter is adamant about my not telling the girl’s mother, who is pregnant, because it will upset her. Who should I talk to, what can I do?
–Anonymous, Newport, RI
A recent New York Times survey ‘How old were you when you first had sex?’ found that 58% of those surveyed answered anywhere between 13 and 19 years old.
The primary concern is NOT whether of not tattle telling is a sin. The focus should be on the mental and physical health and well-being of your 14-year-old’s sexually active friend.
Not only is there a link between sexual promiscuity and depression (according to a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology), but teen girls are less likely to use birth control when depressed.
Find out how thorough the sexual curriculum in your daughter’s school is and make an appointment to talk to the professional in charge, mentioning that you are concerned about fourteen-year-olds having sex.
Your intention is to have a health professional reach out to the child to make sure she understands birth control options and to encourage her to talk to her mother.
At that point, ask the professional if you should discuss the situation with the girl’s mother, or should she take the lead?
Be forewarned that, sadly, many schools — in states such as Rhode Island — still do not include sex education in the curriculum for younger teens.
If you do not want to get the school involved, buy the pregnant mother a small baby present and make a date to have coffee with her, saying you have a gift from you and your daughter.
Over a cup of java or tea, ask the girl’s mother if you could confide in her before telling her you are concerned that “the girls are having sex so young and what should we do about birth control for them.”
She might get up and walk out, and hate you forever. Or she may welcome the chance to confide in you, too. After you’ve told her, what you tell your daughter is up to you.
Go online to find information on teens having sex at PsychologyToday.com.
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