Destiny Herndon-DeLaRosa

I have two daughters.

In DMN, DMN Moms on August 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm

The weight of this truth in no way escapes me. My husband and I both are utterly terrified by this basic fact. It’s not that we aren’t worried about our son; it’s just different with him. He is different. We will be facing a whole different set of issues and decisions as our daughters come of age, and being the type A individual I am, I have already started planning ahead for those delicate teen years. At what age will we allow them to wear make-up? Drive? D-d-d-d-date?

You can see how quickly the duty of raising girls turns to their virtue. If it were up to my husband, the answer to all three of those questions would be much less numerical and much more, well, ‘no.’ As their mother though, and someone who faced her own teen pregnancy, I am expected to be the voice of reason- the one who jokes about crushing up birth control pills in their oatmeal as soon as they “blossom;” the one who suggest we get them injected, protected or prescribed something before they leave the house. However, having this gift of preemptive time on my hands right now, I find myself really thinking all of these options through thoroughly.

What happens if we are “the responsible parents” who get our daughters on birth control when they become of childbearing age?

Once we’ve had them safeguarded against the possibility of pregnancy are we out of the woods? What about that virtue I mentioned earlier? Is it not supposed to concern me now?

As I look at my sweet, innocent little girls playing in the sand box I wish I could just freeze time. I know that is not possible and they will not stay this way forever, but as their mother it is my duty to protect them; to keep them from being hurt-both physically and emotionally. Am I wrong to think that by ‘safeguarding’ them I am leaving them wide open to exploitation?

Now you can tell me all day long that being on birth control is a private and personal decision and that no one in their high school will ever need to know, but unfortunately I fear you are simply out of touch. I only graduated in 2002 and can tell you that in this day and age half the school knows who’s got a pre-prom pimple before the toxic smell of Noxzema’s even hits the air. Kids talk. Girls TALK. It would only be a matter of time before word got out that my daughter, MY DAUGHTER, was protected, a.k.a. up for a good time. Even if it’s for medical reasons, try explaining that to a 15-year-old boy.

When did it become this way? If we don’t do anything and expect our children to learn self-control through these trials and temptations then we are idiots, feeding them to the wolves. While if we do prepare, make them “safe,” them we are setting them up for auction.

What is a parent to do?

I love my daughters endlessly, unconditionally, and irrevocably. I will teach them self-respect, I will teach them right from wrong, and above all I will teach them that they can talk to me about anything and everything.

However, at some point, we must acknowledge that as parents in 2010 we are up against television shows, song lyrics, and billboards that glorify commitment free sex and exploit women as nothing more than consequence-free sex objects.

We must acknowledge that no matter how physically prepared, you can neither put a wise head on young shoulders nor a prophylactic on a vulnerable heart. And while, yes, we may be able to prevent pregnancy, birth control is merely damage control, like it or not. There is nothing at the drugstore that can safeguard my daughter’s self-worth or dignity

So I ask again, what is a parent to do?

{Posted on the Dallas Morning News website here and here}

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