A. FIRST AND FOREMOST, as a parent, you have every right to regularly monitor your child’s phone conversations, social media, and email accounts, for the primary purpose of protecting their safety. Many parents taper their monitoring as their teens get older, as they begin to understand their teen’s individual personality, and as the trust develops. So yes, it’s definitely acceptable to tell him that you saw his phone unlocked and saw the conversation, and that you read it because you were concerned.
Having the birds and bees conversation with your kids is NEVER easy, whether you have a son or a daughter. Sex education is more improved in today’s school curriculum than ever, but parents, this does not mean it replaces a conversation with you. So you’re not off the hook!
Choose a neutral location, like the dinner table or the family room, as opposed to your child’s bedroom or in the car on the way to a lesson, which will prevent your child from feeling cornered or forced into the conversation. Start the talk promptly by saying something like, “Son, I saw your texts about sex with Lisa yesterday.” Keep the tone positive and non-accusatory. After all, the deed has been done (no pun intended) and there’s nothing you can do to reverse history. All you can do is give your son the best education possible to help him make informed choices in his life.
There’s no doubt that this may be an awkward conversation. Your son may be embarrassed, but underneath it all, he will know that you care. After the talk, feel free to have a celebratory high five with your husband to acknowledge getting through this challenging milestone! Good luck!
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Kimberly Moffit is one of Canada’s most experienced relationship experts and provides practical advice about parenting and psychological topics. She’s a regular speaker for Queen’s University’s MBA and Women in Leadership Programs, and a frequent lecturer at the University of Waterloo. Kimberly also makes regular TV appearances on shows including CTV’s Canada AM, CBC’s The National, City TV News and Global TV’s Morning Show.