My babygirl came to me with ....and thank you all

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by timer lady, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    some very specific questions on sex & sexual matters. While I'm glad that kt approached me (& she told me how hard it was to ask me these things) I wasn't prepared for a 13 y/o to have such specific & detailed questions.

    Okay - handled the majority of the questions; for some of the questions pulled husband in on the discussion for the male point of view. I felt it was necessary for kt to know what her dad thought & that he would want to know. She accepted that dad would be a part of the discussion with a grace that would have made you proud.

    I was, however, stopped in my tracks when kt announced that she had her first kiss & it wasn't with a boy. She told me that she was very confused & believed that she was bisexual (& that is the word she used - told me that she learned about this in Residential Treatment Center (RTC).)

    You know me, I had to know where this occurred because kt is supervised pretty much 24/7. Turns out it was in a respite setting 2 or 3 years ago. Isn't that a bit young on which to base this stuff?

    So, ladies, guess I just needed to talk. I'm not prepared for sexual orientation discussions out of my daughter. I'm prepared for arguments on boyfriends phone calls; setting limits on phone calls, clothes & makeup. At 13, not ready for this. Can you tell I'm feeling a bit clueless?
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hang in there. I have something important you can tell her - if she IS lesbian, she would probably know it by now. What is far more likely is that as her hormones are kicking in, she is getting pushed here and there with her feelings. It is not unusual to be confused at this age, with regard to sexual orientation. I remember having a big crush on a (female) gym teacher. I haven't a clue why. At this age it's a lot more than just sexual attraction, it's also deep friendship, it's admiration, it can be daring, it can be confusion. It all jumbles in together and it's very hard to know where the borders are. In kt's case, the prospect of heterosexuality could be looming large and scary. The thought of being a lesbian could be making her feel safer.

    My gym teacher never knew, and I certainly never acted on anything. I grew out of it and have never been attracted to any other female. It did last for a couple of months, from what I recall.

    I've since heard of similar things occasionally, from those who eventually grew up to be straight. I've also talked to friends who are homosexual (male and female) and in just about every case, when they look back on it they were never really in any doubt. Sometimes they tried to deny it to themselves, in a couple of cases getting married and having a couple of kids, but eventually had to accept the way they were.

    Just tell her to not rush anything, she's far too young for a serious one-on-one relationship with someone just yet - male, or female.

    And for the girl she kissed - same story. Trying to turn it into a love match could cause her a lot of confusion as well. And if the other girl is already sure she's a lesbian - forming a relationship with someone who is still too unsure of herself would be cruel.

    I hope that helps.

    It's not easy, is it?

  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    She is asking and you are telling. Being knowledgeable in today's age of instant information isn't unusual. This is the conversation and worry of mother's regarding their adolescent children since the beginning of time. Too much informaation, interest or experience into the adult world of sexuality. Unfortunately she has to cross the ocean of adolescent sexual feelings to get to the shore of adulthood. Not all teens wait till they get on solid ground and they end up drowning or near drowning.
    Impressing on her the need to understand that these are all new emotions and thoughts that will be challenging for her to keep in context. These are the steps that lead to adult relationships, marriage and family. Attraction to the same sex is part of normal emotional development if I remember my psychiatric well enough.

    Hang in there, keep her supervised and never think sex won't happen. It does. Our job is to prepare them to make that choice based on facts and understanding and most of all personal responsibility.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I totally agree with Fran. Interest and attraction in one's own sex is a very normal and natural part of sexual development. I think it's wonderful that kt is comfortable enough in herself and your relationship that she can ask questions and share information.

    I have always been a firm believer in being open and honest with sexual and developmental issues. We are very open about sexual orientation in our home because my brother is gay and so is my cousin. My children accept my brother's partner as another uncle (especially since they have been together since before both my children were born so they have always been there together).

    Since bonehead is not around, it's up to me to handle these issues with difficult child. I have two really good books that I use so I can help difficult child understand the changes his body is going through. At first, I think he might have been a little uncomfortable when we talked about how the size, etc. of his sexual parts would be changing. But then I told him "honey, the first time I held you in my arms you were naked and you have the same stuff now you had then."

    Frans final sentence says it all "Our job is to prepare them to make that choice based on facts and understanding and most of all personal responsibility."

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Linda, I think it is most important to be sure kt is not feeling ashamed of kissing a girl. I, for one, feel that kt has such a difficult history that it will be years before she knows much about her own sexuality and feelings about it. That does not mean it will not be happening, it just means I believe it will be confusing for her for years to come.

    It is most important that she has an adult she can talk to about it. Her feelings, fears, protection options, etc. It may be you, it may not be. Today it was, tomorrow it is important she knows that there is someone she can go to - other than you, as there will be a topic she can not approach you with. I think even the lucky ones on this board that had a mom they could talk to (and I suspect they are few and far between) even those lucky ones, had a point at which they could not tell their mom something.
  6. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I don't know if it will help any, but I believe this is almost a new "fad". I'm not dismissing your difficult child's feelings or thoughts in any way at all, but I have found that it is almost the "in" thing to do to say you have kissed a girl or think you are bisexual. I know it sounds crazy, but I have 13 yr old difficult child and she tells me wwhat is going on with her and her friends. She tells me it's "cool" to say you like girls and the boys think so too. I think it is a testimonial to your parenting skills that she came to you and asked questions. She must feel very close to you in order to do that. Just keep answering her questions the best you can - you're doing great!!!
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    It's probably a good idea to discuss the reality that a lot of young people experiement with homosexual behavior but doing that doesn't mean they are homosexual or even bisexual. Engaging in homosexual acts doesn't mean you are homosexual, it just means you engaged in those acts. Conversely, not engaging in homosexual acts does't mean you aren't homosexual, it only means you don't engage in those acts. Homosexuality -- and bisexuality -- is about who you want to be with, not who you are with.

    I suspect there is a lot of faux-lesbian activity going on in institutional/foster settings these days, particularly because it "in" with some teens in general (or was a few years ago - has it changed?*). Many of the girls that kt are running into in some of the settings she's been are are already sexual, looking for affection wherever they can find it, like to be shocking, and get a kick out of leading younger girls, preferrably astray.

    Kissing for the first time is pleasurable exciting and that would be true whether the first kiss was with the opposite sex or the same sex. If the kiss is with the same sex, getting excited and liking it is not necessarily an indication of homosexuality or bisexuality. But it might be.

    *I see Dara has already posted that things haven't changed. See what happens when you wander away from the keyboard in mid post?
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Yes, it is a fad thing. My easy child says up in college it's crazy all over the place - and it's mostly to get a boy's attention!! And about 50% of difficult child's friends are Bi, or so she says. She claims that she's kissed a couple of girls, starting when she was 14. But she says she's not BI or a lesbian and prefers boys. She said she was just checking it out.

    It's great that kt came to you and actually sat and discussed this with H in the room (my daughter's would die before talking sex in front of H or exh). She trusts you and knows you won't skew her feelings or lead her astray. That's wonderful. I'd keep that information tucked in your brain, but do a wait and see thing. Hugs~
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about it. She was so young when it happened, it was a placement situation, and she's still young and learning. It's great that she was able to talk to you both. Very cool.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree with the others on this- I definitely think it's way too early, know matter what she might be tempted to do right now, to establish with certainty what preference she's going to have through her adult life. I'd take the conversation seriously, but not panic and try not to take it for more than it is.

    Even explaining to her that she's at an age where learning about herself is normal, but if this is against Residential Treatment Center (RTC) rules, I'd stress that to- that maybe she shouldn't "act on" these curiosities. Being tempted to do things and actually doing them are two different thinigs and she needs to get a grip on that, whether it's with a boy or girl.

    The one thing I do wonder about- did it really happen 2 years ago in another environment? If so, why is she telling you at this given moment? That would have been awfully young, but could have happened. I'd be watching though, to see if this is really going on in her present environment. If it is, I'm sure you'll take it up with the right people. That would be awkward, wouldn't it!?!
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    Just adding my agreement with what everyone else has already said. Gender identification is primal, most know from the time they are very very young. Sexual orientation is something entirely different and my thought is that at 9 or 10 is just too young to know for sure. I'm very glad to hear kt came to you with this. That is awesome!

    I think just supporting her while she figures all this out is the best you can do. TL, in my book you already do an amazing job of projecting unconditional love. She's a lucky young lady to have you for a mom :smile:
  12. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I agree with the others as far as the age goes. I would think that by 13 you would either know for sure if you were gay/bi or have a good idea. It could be just curiosity on her part of a situation that someone else started and she didn't know how to stop it.

    I did find myself wondering about something though as I read the post. I have known and/or heard of women who, because of various abuses at the hands of male partners, started dating women because they felt it was somehow safer. If Kt is confused maybe this could possibly be one of the things behind it? Just a thought. But I do know that with my difficult child, he has a rather skewed view on all things sexual. I don't think he was ever molested or abused in that way but biomom wasn't all that private with her sex life. Because of that, in my opinion, he wasn't exposed to healthy realtionships and it kind of messed up his thoughts on sex. (Does that make sense?)

    Anyway, I do think it's very good that she came to you especially after admitting it was hard for her to do. Good for her! And good for you too for handling it so well! (As if you wouldn't, you are so awesome with those kids!)
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would tend to agree that by age 13 if she were a lesbian or bi-sexual, she would know it. If she's confused about what happened, that seems very normal. Other girls are who girls are around when they are young, and kissing is just another way of seeing if they have is the same as what you have.

    UGH! I don't envy you having this conversation, but it's something we all have to do.
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    She may have done this as innocent experimentation when she was ten or eleven, and just now heard or read something that started her worrying that it might mean she's going to be a lesbian.

    I have always heard too that an adolescent attraction to someone of the same sex is a completely normal phase and part of growing up. She may have remembered this childish experimentation and be reading more in to it than is there.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Perhaps since she had sexual experiences as a small child that were heterosexual in nature, she might be more open to sharing
    with someone of the same sex. I think that difficult children are much harder
    to "read" when uncomfortable subjects are discussed...sometimes they are driving to trigger discomfort for others.

    I don't envy you. on the other hand I am confident that you and your husband are
    as well prepared as any couple could be with such challenging
    children. Hugs. DDD
  16. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    My perspective is that of a parent who has 2 children who are not heterosexual.

    They are both young adults,and came out in their mid teens. Each of them mentioned being bisexual at that time. Several years down the road they both maintain dating relationships only with members of their own sex, altho they have male and female friends.
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Others have given great advice. I think you are handling this very well although I know it isn't a discussion you were ready to have. Gentle hugs.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Linda, you are handling this very well and it will be ok! I have never thought of myself as discrimianting against anyone, but my heart would tumble if difficult child had come to me and said he'd kissed a male, in all honesty, so this can't be easy on you because it's the last thing you expected. As I posted before and others have said, it's probably not the "BIG" issue that immediately comes to mind, but curiosity along with past things that have happened to her. It reminds me of when difficult child was born and I noticed his nose looked more "turned up" than typical- I asked the nurse if it was always going to be that way, she just looked at me strangely and said, "would you love him any less if it was".

    Edited: No, his nose is not that way - we have much bigger problems now!!
  19. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Well from the perspective of a parent with children in RTCs I understand.

    difficult child 1 in particular has been down this road. I was a bit shocked at first just because I didn't know that kids would just experiment like that. However it is common in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) type settings. Especially if they are in an all girls environment. As their hormones start leading some of their decisions they only have one choice to experiment with.

    Add in the abuse our girls have had young they are so confused when their emotions kick in. Be glad she is talking to you about it.

    If it is her way then it is better to know now if not then it is just a phase. Because truthfully I don't necessarily agree that with the young mentality she holds on to (as does difficult child 1) that she may not know.

    I know I may not have helped but know it is not just kt that experiments. One day she will figure out who she is. Sorry it has to be such a bumpy ride to get there.


  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First let me say that it is awesome that kt could have a discussion with you and husband about sex. She has come so far, and you are doing such a wonderful job raising her. Please don't doubt that.

    From education, I know that crushes/experimentation even up through college is very very normal. It has been going on for a long time, it is just more talked about now. And girl/girl sexual exploration IS sometimes used to attract or turn on guys. I personally think that is strange,but it is what it is.

    I think emphasizing that acts are not what is, meaning that participating in sexual acts with girls does not mean she IS homosexual, is important. It probably is also important to contact the attachment therapist and other tdocs with this. Her early experiences may mean that she sees lesbian relationships as safer, I don't know.

    I do think, no matter what, she is a lucky girl to have a mom and dad she can be so open with. A mom and dad who answered her questions with love, rather than with bigotry and fear.