June 3, 2024


A heartbroken mum, who thought she had an open and honest relationship with her teenage son, has discovered he had sex with his 13-year-old girlfriend, and doesn’t know what to do.

The mum reached out online to other parents, revealing that her 13-year-old son’s actions have left her feeling as though she’s failed as a parent.

“I don’t know how to deal with this,” she explained. “They stupidly didn’t use protection and I feel sick at what the potential out come could be.

“I have always been open and honest with him about things like this as he is physically more advanced and is further into puberty than most of his classmates (he is autistic so I’ve been told earlier puberty can be common).

“So we’ve had all the talks about protection/consent etc but that ultimately it’s illegal at their age so should absolutely not do it until older. What if her parents want to pursue charges – is that likely? I can’t believe this is happening, he may be physically more mature but he is still so very immature emotionally. What do I do?!”

The mum explained that the girl’s parents were the ones who found out.

“They have told me today but as yet we’ve not had a proper discussion as I just need some time go get my head around it all. Apparently it was a couple of days ago but only found out today, trying to work out when/how as they’re not left alone!

“I was calm when I asked him about it – as much as I’m devastated, I don’t want them to feel ‘shamed’ about sex but I have expressed I’m really disappointed after all of our conversations and so, so angry at the lack of protection I knew it would happen one day, but 13?! I feel like I’ve failed as a parent.”

The mum says she felt she’d done everything possible to be as open and honest with her son about sex.

“I think what has upset me the most is the lack of contraception, as it is something I’ve always discussed with him since I found out he he had started to get sexually curious and found he was watching porn. Told him I understood his curiosity and that it was normal, and had the conversation about porn not being a true reflection etc. As I say, I am very open and honest.”

She says she’s not really sure what she’s trying to achieve by sharing her story, other than seeking support.

“To be honest, I don’t really know – for help/advice/to show I’m not the completely shit parent I feel I am right now. My head is all over the place.”

“We’ve had the conversations so many times and I really, genuinely believed he had taken it on board. I feel naive and foolish and totally embarrassed that this has happened.”

What advice do you have for this mum? Add your thoughts in the comments below. 

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  • You did all you could to let him know about sex and protection. As long as it wasn’t rape, and I’m sure it wouldn’t have been, they are both responsible. All you can do is be there for them and hopefully nothing will come of their act. You are a wonderful Mother and please don’t blame yourself. Take care


  • Don’t blame yourself mama. Unfortunately some things are out of our control. What a lovely mother you are to be looking out for your boy and trying to make sure he does the right thing.
    His done the deed and there’s no turning back have a chat as best you can and hopefully that will make him realise the importance of protection. All the best.


  • I was just reading an interesting article:

    “One 2007 study led by clinical psychologists analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative study assessing adolescent health and high risk behavior in the United States.

    Although thousands of participants in grades 7 through 12 were surveyed at three different points between 1994 and 2002, researchers specifically focused on data collected from 534 same-sex twin pairs.

    This allowed researchers to eliminate genetic and socioeconomic variables that might influence their behavior.

    Researchers found that, contrary to popular belief, teens who have sex at an early age may be less inclined to exhibit “delinquent behavior” — including emotional problems, substance misuse, and criminality — later in life.

    Most sexually active teens have sex with people they’re in a romantic relationship with. And these relationships teach them about intimacy, communication, and emotions, as well as keep them too busy to break the law.”


  • I’d be having a very open and honest conversation about safe sex and consequences, and also getting some professional assistance.


  • They are not emotionally ready to deal with the consequences. I think I would start my talking to some family planning counsellors.


  • There is no set rule for how old you should be to have sex. The right age varies for different people and different contexts. Why you have sex is more important than when you have sex. You shouldn’t have sex because you feel like you have to or as a way to deal with low self-esteem.
    The legal age for se is different per state and country

    • This strict age limit is in place to help protect you from harm. It’s unlawful to engage in any sexual activities if you’re under 16. If you’re 16 or over, you can have any sort of consensual sex without breaking the law—if you and your sexual partner both are capable of consenting, and both of you are over 16.


  • So the girl next door had her first abortion at 14 when I was growing up!

    U can understand your disappointment and there’s heaps of good comments here.

    Definitely keep the communication open, especially with the girls parents! Stay calm, keep it clear and see if some agreed boundaries can be established for the future.

    Most importantly, check in to see how they’re feeling about it. Make sure they’d no trauma… if was probably underwhelming and painful for both of them. They are just kids and will need help with context and how it will change as they get older.

    And you’re a fabulous mum for having those conversations. You’re in the right track, just keep the trust and perhaps talk to your son about why he didn’t share the news with you.


  • Ultimately, our children are their own people and no matter how much we guide them, they will still make mistakes or even rebel. As they’re both under age, I’m not sure that the parents can press charges if it was consensual.


  • Ooh boy, where to start? Probably with the most obvious : you are an awesome parent.

    Sounds like you had all the necessary conversations with your son. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, protection sometimes falls through. Which really sucks in their case coz they’re teens.

    This is what i would suggest :
    1. Monitor the girlfriend for pregnancy obviously
    2. They are not allowed to be alone together anymore until they understand the consequences and potential fall out from their actions
    3. Speak to the girls parents. You guys all need to be on board about what happens next (maube that should have been 2)

    Honestly, been to an all girls school and kids as young as 11 start having sex now and it is heartbreaking.

    You can do this mama, be strong


  • If any of my kids had sex at 13, I’d be devastated too. I would have no idea how to deal with it or what to do. Good luck mum


  • I’d be asking advice from a professional abut this as.

    • I agree; it is important for them to get professionals services involved.


  • Thirteen is young. If they are both 13 is it illegal? I suppose it depends where they are. This is a tricky situation for them to be in. I’d be talking with the other parents about contraception and making sure that their daughter is okay.


  • Professional services and intervention is needed.


  • Wow I am shocked. So young to start experiencing sexual encounters. Time to have a very serious talk about the consequences involved.


  • Hard spot for this mum to be in.


  • I’m so sorry and feel your pain. You’re not a bad parent. The fact you care so. much shows you’re a really good parent. Raising an autistic child throws up some different issues regarding sex. I hope you have support and/or another adult you can talk to, possibly even a professional to help you with this.


  • FYI, in case you are – letting your child watch porn is illegal and child abuse.

    • Yes, when we discovered when one of our kids who was 11 back then was watching porn, we reported it to child safety.


  • It seems to me that this has flowed from your attitudes about sex. Either it is sacred and casual sex at 13 is wrong, or it is just a fun thing to do and there is no problem.


  • This doesn’t make you a bad parent at all. All we can do is teach and guide our children as best we can but ultimately it is up to them on how they process it all. You can only be there for him and continue as best you can to guide him in the right direction.


  • This is an eye opener. Perhaps because i went to an all-girls school but I just didn’t realise 13 year olds would have unprotected sex. So important to talk about safe sex at an early age, but now I’m wondering how early.


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