Why Do Boys Go to Mom About Sex?
by Sandra Mullen
My eleven-year-old son surprised me the other night by telling me he knew all about sperm, and eggs, and how the two meet. I asked him how he knew this and he said, “I don’t know, maybe the internet.” I immediately thought of putting parental controls on his computer. What else had he learned that an eleven-year-old shouldn’t know?
The discussion actually started after I read an article that said twelve-year-olds were “huffing” to get high, more than hallucinogenics and marijuana combined. Alcohol was ahead of huffing. My son didn’t know the word “huffing”, and my husband thought it was okay that he didn’t know what that was, but I want my son to be aware of the danger of all drugs, whether huffing, alcohol, cocaine or any other street drug. So we sat and talked about huffing, and all the damage it causes the body, and that many people have died from it. He understood about the organ damage, even described what it would do to each organ. Then we talked about alcohol. The question is: do you tell your kid what YOU did as a teenager? I was fifteen in a small town, and back in the 1970s, the legal age for drinking was eighteen. We used to buy 32-ounce bottles of Miller and drank behind an elementary school. Then we walked home. No cars or driving involved, but I don’t want my son to start drinking at fifteen. I also don’t want him to start having sex at fifteen either.
I’m blessed because my son’s hero and role model is Tim Tebow, former star quarterback of the University of Florida Gators, who publicly announced at a news conference that he was still a virgin. That he believed that sex was something done between married people. Because of my family’s Christian beliefs, my son agrees with that. For now. But what if he’s sixteen or seventeen and he gets those hormonal rages and gives in? I discussed abstinence, but I also told him that if he DOES have sex, he should always wear a condom, and be sure he knows the girl he is with. There are too many sexually-transmitted diseases out there. I told him a few stories of when I was an RN and took care of AIDS patients and the agonizing death they suffered. I think I got through to him.
But I always ask my husband, “Why does Conor always come to me with his questions about sex? I thought boys talked to their fathers about this stuff!” My husband just laughed and said, “I guess I dodged another bullet.” Seriously, though. I know my son and I have a very close relationship. I was a stay-at-home mom since he was born, and took him everywhere with me. He’s visited me in the hospital more than once. When I was in an eight-day coma, his face is the only one I remember seeing. We have an easy-going relationship. I’m the primary disciplinarian as well. His Dad gets involved only when my son gets out of control with him. Or doesn’t do something that my husband has asked him to do more than once. I guess that’s why my son feels more comfortable asking me questions about sex and drugs.
I wonder, though, how long this will last. He tells me about his girlfriends now, but will he at sixteen? I know where he is all the time right now, but what happens when he’s seventeen and gets his driver’s license. Will he tell me where he’s going and who he’s going with? I’ll miss these talks, so I cherish them now. It’s not embarrassing for me to talk about sex. Any subject is open with my son. And I hope it will be when he’s married and has kids of his own.