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3 ethical questions re teens

Shamrock
May 5th, 2007, 06:11 PM
I'm in disagreement with another on the handling of emotional and difficult issues a mutal friend is experiencing.

It's been a long time since my kids were teenagers.. but I certainly recall many upheavals through this trying time. Its not easy from either side of the coin. Tons of worry, fears, and challenges to meet. More now than ever to worry about.:eek:
Circumstances vary greatly of course, and every parent does the best they can,using their own best judgement in calling what is best for their child's welfare, well being and future happiness.

But overall, how do you feel about these issues?

Do you believe that parents have a right .. even an obligligation.. to go through their teenager's rooms and things periodically.. even without any concrete concerns?

Do you believe that birth control pills should be available to minors without parental consent?

Do you believe that if one parent of a teenaged high-school couple knows that they sexually active and of contraception being used.. they are morally obligated to advise the other parents, even if this would break a confidence held?

Prin
May 5th, 2007, 06:19 PM
Do you believe that parents have a right .. even an obligligation.. to go through their teenager's rooms and things periodically.. even without any concrete concerns?
No. Why should the teen be violated because the parent hasn't been able to keep the lines of communication open? Going through a teen's room, IMO, breaks fundamental trust barriers.

Do you believe that birth control pills should be available to minors without parental consent?
Yes. Just because a parent doesn't want to know or doesn't want the kid to be on them, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be. Better on secret pills than preggers, IMO.

Do you believe that if one parent of a teenaged high-school couple knows that they sexually active and of contraception being used.. they are morally obligated to advise the other parents, even if this would break a confidence held?
No. I don't think I'd advise the other parents. I'd have a talk with BOTH of the kids though, complete with pics of herpes outbreaks and birthin' videos.. :D

Maya
May 5th, 2007, 06:27 PM
Hmmm I think it depends a lot on the circumstances because every situation is different. Based on how I would have liked to have've been treated as a teenager this is my view.

Do you believe that parents have a right .. even an obligligation.. to go through their teenager's rooms and things periodically.. even without any concrete concerns?No. It violates privacy and trust which encourages secrecy and even rebellion.

Do you believe that birth control pills should be available to minors without parental consent?Yes. But I feel strongly there should be counselling and education to go with them.

Do you believe that if one parent of a teenaged high-school couple knows that they sexually active and of contraception being used.. they are morally obligated to advise the other parents, even if this would break a confidence held?I don't see why they would have to do that unless there was some reason to believe one of the young people was at risk in some way. E.g emotionally or physically. It could really cause a lot of shame and embarrassment depending on how healthy the relationships involved are.

Shamrock
May 5th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Maya and Prin.. your views both match mine. The person with whom I was discussing this with was SO adamant that I was wrong, wrong,wrong on each count.
Just a matter of viewpoints.:shrug:

Prin
May 5th, 2007, 06:37 PM
We'll, based on #2 and #3, you'd better get a baby shower present ready... :evil:

My dad was never around, and he always wondered what we were up to, but he never went through our rooms. When you're a teen, you need a safe place to cope with everything going on, and having somebody go through your room destroys that. :shrug:

Just ask. And don't yell at them when they answer. :shrug:

Skryker
May 5th, 2007, 06:53 PM
I agree down the line with everyone so far-and I do have a teenager in the house. I'm fairly certain that when the time comes, she will talk to us about sex. We're pretty frank about things as it is, and she knows our views on birth control (USE IT!!!) for contraception and also condoms for safer sex (if he says he's not going to use a condom, too bad, so sad, buddy!).

No room searches "just because". No reading of journals, ect. without permission. However, if I think there is a good reason, I'm going in (so far, I've not had to, although the kid did get busted once because a note from a friend caught my eye-it was out in the open, no searching involved. :o I don't know if that counts as snooping or not. Probably. :D Too late now!).

Far better to have birth control in secret than a pregnancy-I'd hope that at least one of the teens could talk to somebody they trust to get accurate info.

If there was sex with contraception, and both kids seemed to be making responsible decisions, I'd rather not betray a confidence and keep myself available for questions and advice.

That's my :2cents: , for what it's worth.

Maya
May 5th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Sounds like they want a lot of control without really thinking about the effect that it will have. I think sometimes this control some parents take is an attempt to protect or prevent mistakes from happening but it really can create the very thing that is trying to be avoided.

For instance when I was 17 I had a really bad experience with alcohol. To this day I wish someone responsible would have just explained to me what the effects were and how it could be dangerous in certain situations. All I knew at the time was everyone liked to drink and that I wasn't supposed to.

Prin
May 5th, 2007, 07:44 PM
I agree. The wildest teens were always the ones who had the most controlling parents. :shrug: As soon as they got out of the house, they'd go a little nuts with rebellion.

Shamrock
May 5th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Yeah, that is often the case it seems. Its a delicate balancing act, and never easy. So many individual circumstances - cant all come under the exact same umbrella,but honest and open communication is always the best path for all.

I can really sympathize and understand with how painful making such a find would be.. on lots of levels.
You may have have believed you "did" have open lines with your child.
But snooping through teens things.. ( real and valid risk factor is an exception) is wrong in my opinion. It does nothing to promote trust, as mentioned. And..if you "do" find something...what now?

The parents in question are very upset, and who wouldnt be? Such revelations are hard to come to terms with.. on lots of levels.:sad:

They are hurt they were not confided in.
They are shocked and angry that contraception was obtained without their consent.
And upon calling a meeting.. they were furious and deeply resentful to learn that the boy's mother (single parent) knew of this for some time, but did not let them know.They feel she had an absolute obligation to do so.

Prin
May 5th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Oh... That's terrible. IMO, it sounds like they're playing the blame game. If the lines were open, the teen would have said something. Did the parents ask if she was on the pill? Did she lie? Not too many daughters would lie about being on the pill unless they were really afraid of their parents reaction. Not telling means they have to keep paying for it out of their pocket rather than claiming it on their parents' insurance.;)

Skryker
May 5th, 2007, 08:53 PM
Huh. I guess I'd be wondering why I was in the dark if I found BC I didn't know about, but I'd be glad at least that much thought had gone on...I'd like to hope I would be rational about it, and I'd be happy there was some adult input into the situation.

Better to find BC that have your kid come and tell you she's pregnant or he's gonna be a daddy.

I definitely wouldn't be looking for birth control anyways, if I felt a need to toss the kid's room-it'd be far worse stuff I'd be looking for, and it would be a last resort. Like if I was sure she was on something, I'd asked and was sure I'd gotten a dishonest answer. Otherwise, the only place I DO snoop is the log on Messenger. And she knew when she started to use it that that was the deal-all conversations are logged, and if I ever go to check one and it's not there, no more messenger. :offtopic: , sorry. It's a safety thing. I only skim them, anyways. Private stuff is private. I'm only looking for potential dangers, because she's a bit naive at times. Don't care what the teens are talking about-I'm just making sure there's no one trying to pick her up on-line.

joeysmama
May 5th, 2007, 09:08 PM
Oh...sorry. I'm the dissenting vote. I went through my teens rooms. And once I found something that indicated a problem and I was able to talk to the appropriate people and get sound advice before I addressed the issue. I think we were able to head off a more serious problem (eating disorder issues) before it got that far. I also went on the internet and found postings by a young man who was a friend of my daughter's. I would never have guessed by his demeanor some of the things he was into. But because I snooped I knew things I wouldn't otherwise have known and was able to talk to my daughter about the friendship. It opened up a good discussion.

Birth control? As a parent I don't like the implication that a stranger knows what's better for my child or has their interests at heart more than I do. I know that there are a lot of parents out there who don't communicate well with their teens but I'm not one of them. Don't assume that all parents are the kind of people who need to be kept in the dark. There are emotional issues involved when a child is involved in a sexual relationship and there isn't any school counselor who could be as invested in my child as I am.

Breaking a confidence? That's tricky. I'm very happy that my kids trust me with information so I am always very careful not to break a confidence. But I would use my influence to try to convince them that the other parents have as much right to know as I do. Of course that assumes that the other parents are the type of people who have a warm and loving relationship with their child.

My kids aren't teenagers anymore. They're wonderful young adults and I'm very proud of them. But I was a very very watchful parent. Certainly not restrictive. They have even admitted that I'm not as dorky as other parents. (That's high praise--believe me!) I'm what most kids consider "the cool parent". :o

But I have a very open dialogue with my kids and they know that there isn't ANYTHING they could say or do that would make me love them less or be less supportive of them. There isn't anything they couldn't talk with me about and there isn't a circumstance I wouldn't try to help with. I would walk through fire for them and they know it.

Skryker
May 5th, 2007, 09:24 PM
That's the crux of it Joeysmama-if you have a good relationship and good communication, you're OK. And you probably have a good sense of when something isn't right and you NEED to go have a look. And if they know they can talk to you and you won't get mad just because they need info about something, then you'll stay in the loop.

Although my kid complains a little sometimes about us being overprotective, it's just hot air. She knows that we have good reasons for what limits we set, and she's seen examples of what happens when parents either don't care enough to set any limits or don't want to be the bad guy and have their kid get mad at them, so she thinks we're mostly OK. Sometimes. :D Took a couple of days after the last report card for her to stop being mad at us because we changed the rules, but she got over it.

Prin
May 5th, 2007, 09:28 PM
There's also a big difference between telling your kids what you're watching and when you'll watch it than snooping around. :shrug:

joeysmama
May 5th, 2007, 09:59 PM
I think its really important not to underestimate your kids too. It's not wise to just give them rules that are all about not bothering mom and dad. When I set rules it was for their protection and I explained why. And they CAN understand that. And of course I reserved the right to be the last word--"Because I said so." But my rules made sense to them even when they balked.

Once my daughter was invited to a hotel sleepover. There was new girl in her class and she invited all the girls. I didn't know the girl--didn't know the family. The sleepover was at a hotel about 45 minutes away. I was never a big fan of sleepovers anyway but I didn't even know these people and I saw no reason for a bunch of seventh grade girls to sleep at a hotel. I could see them wanting to wander the halls in the night. I know I would have done that.

And to have her sleep in a room adjoining people I'd never met? Um....NO ! You can hope for the best but a girl that age is vulnerable no matter how many precautions you can convince her to take.

I compromised and told her she could go for the beginning of the night--the pool part. My husband took her and there was no lifeguard on duty and only a 14 year old brother keeping an eye on things. When it was time to go--my daughter to go home and the other girls to go to the room--the birthday girl wanted her to come up to get her goodie bag. My husband said the door between the rooms was open and there were two couples in the next room and empty liquor and beer bottles all around and a couple of the grown ups were sloppy drunk.

So that was an occasion where she could see that our apprehensions were well founded.

The funny thing is that when I called to RSVP I told the father that she would come for the early part of the evening but wouldn't be able to spend the night. I wasn't at all negative with him. Just told him that I was sorry but my daughter wasn't able to spend the night. And he got pretty beligerent with me and said "I already counted her in for a continental breakfast."

Ok--well I can give her a stale danish at home.:rolleyes:

pamha
May 6th, 2007, 01:44 AM
I have really mixed feelings on this. I think so much depends on what kind of relationship you have & how much trust you have.

I would have been mortified to find out my parents went through my room, even though usually there wasn`t much to find. BUT now I have a son, 15, who is very open with me (as far as I know). His room is often a sty and a couple of times I`ve gone in to clean, with fair warning to him, and found things he shouldn`t have had- but if he cared about me finding them, he had plenty of chance to hide them somewhere :shrug: I don`t know what he`s thinking. I have to admit to snooping a couple of times too, mainly because he`s had a history of stealing his dad`s porn & curious to see if there was anything else bad in there.

Birth control, yeah, I think anyone who wants it should be able to get it, hopefully with appropriate counseling & medical screening. I HOPE my kids will tell me when they want or need it, but I would so much rather them have it than end up a grandma before they are ready if they don`t want to tell me.

As far as telling other parents, I don`t, although I might possibly depending on the circumstances & how well I know them. My son tells me about his friends that are sexually active, some NOT using birth control, and so far all I`ve done is encourage him to strongly suggest they get some. I`ve gone as far as to let it be known I`d give them a ride to a clinic, but that`s as far as I`m willing to go. He also tells me about kids shoplifting & I go into detail about why that`s such a bad idea, but so far, I haven`t told anyone.

My :2cents:

chico2
May 6th, 2007, 07:04 AM
Interesting to read all your views,I agree to most.
Having had 3 boys,who never cleaned their rooms or made the beds,I had to venture in and tidy up:laughing:
The worst I ever found(without searching) was porn-magazines,I never mentioned it,I knew my sons would have been embarassed and magazines never hurt anyone.
This was a long time ago,I know drugs were around then too,but I feel it's a lot more difficult and dangerous to be a teen today,the most important is for parents to take the time to listen,the time to notice your teens.
I was home most of the time for my kids,but today many parents are too stressed out and tired to notice any changes in their kids.
"Oldfashioned"things like family dinner time etc...seems to be a thing of the past:sad:
Had I had a girl,I would hope she would come to me for councelling about birthcontrol,after all,I was a teen mom,not that I have any regrets about my life,but it would have been different had I not been pregnant at 17.

Skryker
May 6th, 2007, 09:04 AM
It's sad, chico, that family dinner time is gone for the most part. I grew up with family dinners where there was tons of conversation about everything-pretty much nothing that wasn't too gross or graphic for meal time was a forbidden subject. Even during the years where both my brother and sister were heavily involved in sports, Mom put dinner on the table every night.

My husband, however, says he was 13 before he realized that people sat as a family and talked during dinner. :sad: So we have family dinners now, with the same rules as I had growing up. :D There was a poster for Kids Help Phone up at my daughter's school-"Because suicide, bisexuality and drug abuse don't come up around the dinner table...call us." I actually laughed out loud when I saw it, and my comment was-"Well, they've obviously never had dinner at our house!". My daughter just rolled her eyes, the vice principal looked horrified and some of the other kids immediately wanted dinner invites, lol! :laughing: Her friends are constantly shocked at the questions my daughter has asked us and gotten good answers for (without getting in trouble). I figure that I would rather she asks us so we know what info she's got and know what's going on in her social circle. :shrug: So far, so good. :fingerscr

Stacer
May 6th, 2007, 09:56 AM
Oh...sorry. I'm the dissenting vote. I went through my teens rooms. And once I found something that indicated a problem and I was able to talk to the appropriate people and get sound advice before I addressed the issue. I think we were able to head off a more serious problem (eating disorder issues) before it got that far. I also went on the internet and found postings by a young man who was a friend of my daughter's. I would never have guessed by his demeanor some of the things he was into. But because I snooped I knew things I wouldn't otherwise have known and was able to talk to my daughter about the friendship. It opened up a good discussion.

Birth control? As a parent I don't like the implication that a stranger knows what's better for my child or has their interests at heart more than I do. I know that there are a lot of parents out there who don't communicate well with their teens but I'm not one of them. Don't assume that all parents are the kind of people who need to be kept in the dark. There are emotional issues involved when a child is involved in a sexual relationship and there isn't any school counselor who could be as invested in my child as I am.

Breaking a confidence? That's tricky. I'm very happy that my kids trust me with information so I am always very careful not to break a confidence. But I would use my influence to try to convince them that the other parents have as much right to know as I do. Of course that assumes that the other parents are the type of people who have a warm and loving relationship with their child.

My kids aren't teenagers anymore. They're wonderful young adults and I'm very proud of them. But I was a very very watchful parent. Certainly not restrictive. They have even admitted that I'm not as dorky as other parents. (That's high praise--believe me!) I'm what most kids consider "the cool parent". :o

But I have a very open dialogue with my kids and they know that there isn't ANYTHING they could say or do that would make me love them less or be less supportive of them. There isn't anything they couldn't talk with me about and there isn't a circumstance I wouldn't try to help with. I would walk through fire for them and they know it.

Joeysmama, you could be my mother. Everything you said is exactly the way my mother handled my brother, sister and I as teens. We always had an open dialogue with my parents (mother mostly) and I always felt that there was no fear to bring up anything with my mom. She wasn't overbearing, but she was protective and wanted us to make the right choices on our own.

I think I'll try to handle my teens the way my mom did. If there's suspicion that something is going on I don't think I would have a problem lightly snooping through their room, but I would never go looking for things without some sort of tip off. And then I would never accuse, I would try to bring up the subject in a round about way and hope that my kid feels confident in our relationship to talk to me about whatever it is.

The birthcontrol thing is a no brainer, teens will do what they want no matter how many rules you make. I'd want my kids to be safe rather than pregnant. If they need to use it then do it. Again, I would hope that open dialogue would allow them to confide in me so that I could be the one giving the advice.

As for telling the other parents, it would totally depend on what type of people the other parents are, and I wouldn't tell them myself, I would encourage the young couple to tell the other parents themselves, ultimately it's their decision.

There are many things for parents to be worried about these days, two teens in a relationship having sex seems tame in comparison.

Maya
May 6th, 2007, 11:12 AM
I think most kids and teens really want someone around to protect them. Its just so important that it is in a respectful way. I don't think I would have minded someone checking my room if I knew it was because they were genuinely worried about me. Its when it becomes a power thing and the parents or guardians are expecting the worst and just looking for something to get angry about.

RolandsMom
May 6th, 2007, 11:18 AM
I have to agree with Prins first reply here. she nailed it in my opinion. they have such trust issues as it is without giving them more reasons to trust less. birth control, well youre not going to stop them having sex so at least prevent unwanted pregnancy!

Joey.E.CockersMommy
May 6th, 2007, 06:20 PM
But overall, how do you feel about these issues?

Do you believe that parents have a right .. even an obligligation.. to go through their teenager's rooms and things periodically.. even without any concrete concerns? Without a concrete concern I wouldnt go through my childs room, however if I did have a concern I would definately be going through their thing.
Do you believe that birth control pills should be available to minors without parental consent? yes... but I would hope my child would feel comfortable enough to talk to me about those things firstDo you believe that if one parent of a teenaged high-school couple knows that they sexually active and of contraception being used.. they are morally obligated to advise the other parents, even if this would break a confidence held? I think I would actually sit down and have a heart to heart with my child and the other persons child, I wouldnt tell the other persons parents, but would encourage them to talk and would be open and willing to talk to the other persons parents.

SableCollie
May 6th, 2007, 06:39 PM
I had a friend when I was a teenager who did have problems with drugs and things, and her mother did go through her room once, and even though she didn't find anything, it made my friend so angry that she lost all trust in her mom, stopped confiding in her, and learned how to hide things so her mom could never find them. So it just totally backfired on her mom.

Now I never got into any trouble as a teenager, no smoking, no sex, no nothing. But my mom never trusted me and was always trying to find trouble, she would go through my room, once she went through my backpack and found all these notes my friend had written me and read them. It was really insulting and demeaning to me that my mom couldn't trust me and take me at my word. It definitely had a negative impact on our relationship.

I think parents just need to be able to communicate with their kids and have a good relationship with them, and talk to them about sex and other issues, and let them know they can always talk to you, but at the same time, realize teenagers will be teenagers. I think contraceptives should be available to teens, because a lot of them are gonna have sex no matter what their parents say, at least they should be able to prevent pregnancies and stds.

Cinnabear
May 7th, 2007, 12:21 AM
Do you believe that parents have a right .. even an obligligation.. to go through their teenager's rooms and things periodically.. even without any concrete concerns?

It depends on what the child is like. I wouldn't with my oldest. My middle one I do all the time. Unfortunately she's a pathological lier and a stealer. She steals anything and will say she never took them. I go into her room to retrieve our stolen stuff or we would never get it back.

Do you believe that birth control pills should be available to minors without parental consent?

That doesn't bother me. I would rather have a teen who is responsible enough to know when to use birth control.

Do you believe that if one parent of a teenaged high-school couple knows that they sexually active and of contraception being used.. they are morally obligated to advise the other parents, even if this would break a confidence held?

If these teens are a couple wouldn't the parents of said child be not naive. I think they should have realized teens will try and experiment. And they should be happy that the teen is responsible enough to know that they don't want to be pregant. I would have thought that these parents would have had a sex talk with said child. I don't know about morally obligated to tell.

I think I would be able to sense my own kids when they are starting to have sex. Hopefully I'm not naive about it. And I have talked about sex with them.

Schwinn
May 7th, 2007, 10:25 AM
As far as going through a child's room, as a rule, no, I wouldn't. However, my opinion is that when it comes to children living in thier parent's home (adult children aside), privacy and trust is a privelige, not a right. My child would have to do something major for me to go through anything of his or hers, but I wouldn't say it was off limits.

As for birth control...honestly, I don't want to know. That being said, I want to be able to talk about everything with my child, and give her (and after the next one in August, maybe him) the tools to make proper choices. I'll admit it here and now, I'm going to be the Dad who thinks his child won't be doing anything sexually until after she's married. All our conversations will be "hypotheticals". :D But even if I'm sure she's not doing anything, I'll have the conversations, because like I said, my job is to give her the tools to make good choices. And, of course, I'm only have serious about not wanting to know. I hope she feels she can come to me for anything...after her mother has made sure it won't give me a stroke. ;)

As far as going to someone else's parents, only if the behaviour is truly dangerous to the child. Otherwise, I might try and talk to the child myself, but again, there'd have to be a sense of urgency before I got involved.

CyberKitten
May 7th, 2007, 11:52 AM
o you believe that parents have a right .. even an obligation.. to go through their teenager's rooms and things periodically.. even without any concrete concerns?

No, not unless there is some outstanding issue - and that being if a parent is concerned about a mental health concern or that their child may be involved in illegal activity that will harm themselves of others. I suppose this is the same way I feel - and the law actually does too - about people are for one reason or another harmful to themselves or others.

Do you believe that birth control pills should be available to minors without parental consent?

Yes!! So many young people are having sex regardless of whether their parents approve. Like most people my own age, I'd prefer that children - and I do mean children - wait!! There is lots of time to be a grown up but when you are 15 or 17, that thought is often not one you share. However, many parents have no idea that their kids are doing what they do and the result of a parent who refuses birth control to a teenager who is going to participate anyway is often a pregnancy - cerytainly for young women. It affects young men less so but often they still may opt to leave school to help their girlfriend and play at being a grown up which results in only more problems. And yes, it may well be said - and I hear on occasion from patients and others - that :we got married at 19 and everything was fine" - their definition of fine may well be different than what that is now. Not just 25 years ago, it was possible to find a half decent job without that much education (maybe a high school school diploma or even sometimes none but on the job training that may have led to some kind of certification). Now, even a university degree is no guarantee of a "good" job!!

Many young women do go to the various centers set up to obtain scripts for the pill now anyway so if is often out of the parents' hands. But better thay take the pill or practice some form of birth control than become unwilling mothers. (Tho many schools do have child care centers now at least!)


Do you believe that if one parent of a teenaged high-school couple knows that they sexually active and of contraception being used.. they are morally obligated to advise the other parents, even if this would break a confidence held?

No, they are not morally obligated to tell anyone. It's none of their business inho! This is especially true of one has vowed to keep a confidence!!!

I consider myself fortunate that even though my mom worked full time, she was always there for us and I would certainly told her anything of that nature. I too often found usually pron mags in my brother's room when I was tidying up (or those kind of sites on my computer which were usually of the Playboy variety and nothing too serious but still, I deleted them quickly, lol) but I did not say anything. He was a teenage boy and they read that stuff. I found just as much in some of my grandmother and aunt and other relatives' medical books. I suspect the true is for my nephew- he could read my obstetrics books and found everything he wanted to know or not know, lol