Home > Teens > Puberty and Sex > Teens and Dating > Sexually Active Daughter

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Sexually Active Daughter

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: How do I deal with my daughter's sexual activity? She's only 15. I'm not able to accept or condone her relationship with a 19-year-old. I must find a way of convincing her to stop.

A: I don't know what sexual activity of your daughter's is troubling you, but I will respond as if it is intercourse. We all have a very difficult time thinking of our teenagers as sexual beings but they are indeed in the midst of extraordinary sexual awakenings and are facing external pressures to become sexually experienced. We must be guided by that knowledge so as not to treat their sexual thoughts and feelings as unusual or bad.

We can't literally prevent our kids from having sex, doing drugs, or acting irresponsibly in any number of ways. We can, however, communicate our beliefs and values regarding sex in a way that is caring and not condemning or judgmental. Kids at this age are faced with attempting to create an identity that will be accepted by their peers; their sexual identity is a big part of that process.

Don't just give your daughter rules and limits about sex, tell her what you believe. Discussing how you feel sex can be part of a healthy relationship. Let her have her say and don't condemn her for having different ideas on this subject. Shaming her or grounding her will only shut off your connection. Lots of teens are woefully ignorant about sex, even though they want you to believe they know it all. You need to communicate sexual facts to your daughter so she has the knowledge to prevent disease and pregnancy.

These are the toughest conversations for parents to have with their kids but they must take place. Remember, your daughter may currently be making unwise decisions regarding sex, but that doesn't make her a bad kid. She needs you more than ever now, even though she will tell you to leave her alone about this. Don't be afraid to enlist the help of any family or friends whom she respects to help you with this situation.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks