My teenage son asked me to buy condoms for him – should I?
While the topic of sex can be an awkward one at times, your son asking you to help him buy protection is absolutely a parenting win. It means that your son feels comfortable enough to approach you for help. This a a big moment in your parenting relationship. Congratulations on creating that level of trust.
If You’re Freaking Out
As a parent, you will have your own reactionary feelings about your teen’s request. Bracketing is a technique I encourage parents to use where you focus first on your teen and ‘suspend’ or set aside your own emotions until you have offered support and guidance to them. This reinforces to them that you can be relied on for unconditional love and support first, and always. Then once you have addressed their need, you can return to processing your own feelings about it.
So, Should You Buy Them?
To answer your question, you should definitely buy your son condoms if he has asked. But in doing so you would also want to talk together about sexual respect and consent between partners. You will also want to reinforce the importance of keeping himself both physically and psychologically safe and healthy.
What Should You Say to Them?
There’s a societal assumption that males use love to get sex, and females use sex to get love. Let your teen know that either partner is doing this, whether male or female, or pressuring one another to do something before the other is ready, the dynamics of the relationship are off. Let your son know that he should feel comfortable saying “No” or “Stop” at any point and expect his partner will want to know that he’s okay, rather than pressure him to continue.
Here’s how to learn more about having these conversations with your teen.
Underline the Importance of Discretion & Intimacy
Discuss what intimacy means with your teen. Intimacy by its very definition is a private connection shared between the participating people. Intimacy demands discretion. Intimate activity should be kept between the couple who shared the experience, and not divulged to others.
If You’re Still Freaking Out
If you are having difficulty coping with your teen’s progression into sex, I’d encourage you to speak with a counselor who can help you work through some of these difficult, but natural, feelings. The more free you as a parent are from shame and stigma around the topic of sex, the more readily you’ll be able to support your teen as they continue to develop into adulthood.
Get more insights into helping your teen safely navigate sex right here.