- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,I know parents have written to you in the past, and I like how you are candid and frank with them. I realize you will do the same with me.

I am a military spouse; my husband and I have three children, including a 16-year-old daughter. She has been dating her boyfriend for more than a year, and we know his family very well. They are a church family, and my husband and I liked the characteristics and family values with which her boyfriend is being raised.

My daughter confided in me that she wanted to become sexually active with her boyfriend, and as parents, we did not want to put our heads in the sand and ignore this issue. After about three months of talking with us, she said she knew she wanted to proceed on this course with her boyfriend.

We were heartbroken, but I took her to the doctor, and we talked about protection and sexually transmitted diseases and discussed birth-control options.

What we discovered later has been shocking. We knew my daughter and her boyfriend had started having sex. His family did not want to hear of it and tried to prohibit their son from having contact with our daughter. He has become defiant and disrespectful to his parents.

As a mother and a woman, I did not want my daughter to have sex in cars, in the park and other unsafe places. We discussed a respectful way for her to have sex with her boyfriend in our home. We would give her privacy to have relations with her boyfriend only when no one was home.

As far as I’m concerned, this option had been working. However, one day I came home early with her younger brothers from their soccer practice. She had placed the yellow scarf on her doorknob, which was my signal that she had company.

I did not intrude, but when the door was opened, I received the shock of my life. Ms. Vicki, she was in her bedroom with a different young man, not her boyfriend! She has betrayed our trust in a big way, and I am heartbroken.

What do we do now?

- My Daughter Misunderstood Our Directions

Dear Directions,

Misunderstood? Trust me, your daughter didn’t misunderstand anything.

Every now and then I receive a letter that leaves me point-blank speechless. Well, after reading your letter, my mouth is wide open. I feel like my grandmother when she would say, “Lawd have mercy” - not Lord, but “lawd.”

I won’t beat you up, but here’s the deal: I applaud you for trying to be proactive. You took your daughter to the doctor and spent time talking with her about options to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and avoiding STDs. I think that’s great because many parents look the other way and hope for the best.

You can talk to your children until you are blue in the face and advise them against a decision, but I’ve found that our teenagers will do what they want to do, not think about consequences and forget about their parent’s guidance.

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