I have a friend at work that has a teenage son, eighteen this summer. He’s a senior in high school, and I always love to hear stories of youth, likely because mine was so miserable that it’s always enjoyable to get a vicarious thrill now and then. Of course, he’s a jock and I was a geek, so there’s not a lot of transference happening. But still, I think humiliation in high school is a universal theme and hearing of his misadventures usually leaves with some sort of heavy sigh like feeling while muttering things like “ah, youth.”
Hearing of one of his latest trials though, I was completely floored. I could handle stories of teenage alcohol use and even the frowned upon drug experimentation, because I was raised Catholic and I was well versed in getting drunk by the time I hit seventh grade, and of getting stoned my freshmen year in high school. She talks about him being sexually active and I can’t really frown upon that either. I had sex in high school and I’m not raising children, so I don’t think it’s wrong, yet. But this latest news had my proverbial jaw on the floor. The mom was talking about how tired she was of him sneaking out to see his girlfriend (of two months) that she simply relented and is now allowing said girlfriend to sleep over.
What the hell? (In my head, that came out like Hank Hill of King of the Hill fame. I’m not telling you that so it sounds that way in your head, I just thought it might make for some good perspective).
Okay, let me start off by saying, that I am not a parent, so I am fully aware I have no right to be dictating societal standards for parenting, nor am I about to. Secondly, I’m also aware that I haven’t been a teenage for about a decade (and even as a teen I was always a little older). So, yes, I’m a little out of my element here. I can, however, speak of my own experience.
First off, two months? Catholic schoolgirls have certainly changed since I was a lad. Where I come from, and I guess when I come from, it took a few more months than a few for any non-self-respecting Catholic schoolgirl to let you into the holiest of holies. It generally wasn’t until senior year when they became a little more, shall we say, free with themselves.
Secondly, I can see accepting that your child is in a nice long-term relationship and realizing that they are mature enough to handle all that comes with being in a sexual relationship, but to be so accepting after a couple months, to me, just seems a little lazy. When I found out that the girlfriend was only a sophomore, I made the (unfortunate) query to my friend of “what is wrong with her mom, or is she just a bad mother like you?” Now, I don’t actually think of my friend as a bad mother, it was merely a poor choice of words. Perhaps modern would be a better word than bad. I guess if you had kids and wanted to use a word like “bad” you could, but then you likely aren’t lacking in credibility like myself.
My biggest problem with this whole scenario though is this: parents should not be endorsing high school sex for no other reason than it completely takes the fun out of it. High school sex is supposed to be forbidden. It’s supposed to be dangerous and a little bit naughty. Part of the fun, granted a really tiny part, is in figuring out where and how it can happen. It’s in touching each other under the table when you think no one is looking. It’s in fumbling around in the car while making sure the light in your parents’ bedroom isn’t going on. Kids needs to enjoy some sense of rebellion, and if we take sexual rebellion away from them, is it going to make them search for greater ways of insurrection?
I don’t know, maybe it’s smart for parents to take some of the fun out of high school sex. I’m sure there’s some form of reverse psychology going on, but seriously, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done to make sex wholly unappealing.
I think the thing that bugs me the most is that even pushing thirty; my parents still frown on me having a girl sleep with me in their house. I had a new girlfriend when I visited them this summer, and I could already feel the tension rise when even the thought of her staying her over was approached. Perhaps I could make a stronger argument if I was involved in a serious relationship, but the reason I didn’t push for it then, and the reason I probably won’t push for it any time soon, is that my parents don’t want me to, and I respect them. But then I learned to respect them in high school, because that’s when they laid down the law. You see, my parents were never afraid to be parents and even though I rebelled it was always with the knowledge that were just looking out for what was best for me.
Want more? Check out TV Zero today!