As kids grow up, they learn lots of new things pretty fast, and there’s often no way back with that knowledge. And although many teenagers find the things they learn about rather exciting, their parents often have a different opinion.
While hyper-parenting or helicopter parenting is quite common these days and has been recognized as harmful to some degree, there are certain things parents have to care about when it comes to their kids becoming adults.
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Why Sex Life in Particular?
Keeping an eye on the child’s early sexual activity should not be thorough supervision of the process, of course. But some degree of basic control should be maintained. Adolescents are the ones that discover sexual activity using only their experience.
At the same time, they are still not entirely formed as individuals, lacking life experience in many other aspects. Teens are extremely sensitive to any disruptions in their development. This might often mean that an improper start of sexual activity can seriously traumatize a teen, causing lots of mental issues and disorders, all of which are, of course, unwanted.
The modern world has managed to largely reform our views on sex, sexuality, and intimacy. With numerous tools and apps for communication and dating, people have much greater and almost free access to making new connections, exploring intimacy, and sexual activity.
Such apps as Tinder have been known to be used by young people to connect and simply have unthoughtful sex purely for fun. At the same time, with the rise of media and overall awareness of human civilization, we began to hear the reports about sexual abuse more frequently. And many of those reports involve teenagers.
Teenagers are often regarded for their hypersexuality and readiness to start sexual activity at almost any time with almost anyone. This is a rather normal part of becoming an adult, and there is nothing any parent can do about it, in essence.
So, a teen must be protected from external factors that might constitute improper sexual activity and potential trauma.
While the aforementioned Tinder cannot be used by anyone under 18, the app won’t check an ID, right? Teenagers often enter their age falsely to either simply have access to an app or use the version designed specifically for people aged 13 to 17.
In the latter case, the situation might even turn worse than sexual predators and pedophiles might register there, this time faking their age. In any case, there are many other apps aside from Tinder that are not restricted for children and teenagers, yet may pose a similar threat. Here are some of those parents should really keep their eye on.
- An app for the eponymous social network designed specifically for teens to find new friends and communicate. While the developers work on the safety of the app, it’s still used by sexual predators sometimes to take advantage of teens.
- Another infamous dating app for teenagers got itself into a situation in 2012 because of sexual predators. While the app is still active, it cannot check the true age of those registered, thus posing the same threat as almost a decade ago.
- Hot or Not. While this app isn’t known for sexual misconduct and improper behaviors, this Tinder clone for teens is often criticized for causing body shame issues in teenagers.
- Just like Skout, this app has already been in trouble in 2014 due to many reported cases of abuse and sexual misconduct against teenagers. And while the app is still in operation as of 2021, its privacy restrictions allow abusers to take the high ground.
- Another social network allegedly restricted for teens, with individuals over 19 being restricted from registering. And while the reputation of the app is relatively clean, it’s still considered a “hookup” app, so parents should keep an eye on it as well.
The list of such apps may go on and on, yet the problem lies somewhat deeper. As a parent, you cannot protect your children from everything, especially the adult life they’re entering during their teens.
There’s little to no point in trying to limit their access to social and dating apps or anything potentially involving sexual activity whatsoever, they’ll find a workaround anyway. Yet, you can prevent potentially traumatic sexual experiences using education and mutual trust. Essentially, there are two basic ways you can do that, which can and should co-exist.
- Have a talk with your high schooler kid. A conversation about the birds and the bees has always been a classic way for parents to educate children about sexual activity. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in such talks, especially since they should involve the topics of hazards and problems of sexual activity. You don’t have to scare your kids, but you should tell them that such issues exist and that they should keep an eye on them. To have such a talk in the first place, however, you must build a strong and trusting relationship with your child, which starts from day one and not when the kid reaches their teens.
- Promote sexual education at schools. Sexual education is something many seem to be shy about. So, if your school doesn’t have a good Sex-Ed program that talks with kids about the birds and the bees, make sure it does. Consistency is the key to learning important things. It’s good to have talks at home, but it’s better when they are recapped at school.
Getting Down to It
In a world where having sex has become akin to having snacks, it’s important for certain people not to choke on such snacks on the first try. Despite looking like adults, teenagers are sensitive even in high school where they learn lots of things from textbooks and the media. There’s certainly no point in controlling them, yet there’s a good point in directing them the right way.
Angela Baker is a senior writer, editor at the assignment writing services. Angela has a degree in marketing, and much of her writing focuses on small business development. She also enjoys working with emerging writers to help them develop their craft.