Condoms, my sister and my son


I have no idea if this is the correct location for this thread. The moderators have my permission to move it if need be.

As I have written before, my son is away at school.

My younger sister called me and asked if I had discussed condoms with him. Because we have discussed the Church’s stance on contraceptives and chastity, I told my sister yes.

To understand the next part of the conversation you have to understand my sister’s personality. SHe really means well and I know that she loves me. But she is very pushy and somewhat of a know-it-all.

She then began to tell me that because Josh was 18 and away from home that he would begin to drink and have sex. I asked her to stop, as I was worried enough about him.:eek:

After acting like I was a bit naive not to think that my son would automatically go wild, she pointed out that both she and I had sex and drank at 18. But neither of us were Christian, and we came from an abusive home life. My son has had a different upbringing then my sister and I had.

I believe that my sister is honestly worried for my son. SHe seems to believe that all kids have to go through a wild period and she wants him to be safe.

My sister has a 14-15 year old daughter whom she has told that she will give her BC when she decides that she is ready for sex.:frowning:

I don’t really know how to respond to my sister. I would like to say something wise that would make her rethink her position, but I fear that any thing that I say will be thrown back up to me, if any of my children ever make a mistake regarding premarital sex.

I am also worried at the emotional pain that my neice will suffer from believing that sex is just a physical act. I know that the least happiest times of my life was when I was sexually active outside of marriage.:frowning:

Beyond telling my sister to mind her own business(hubby’s suggestion), which would shut down the lines of communication on this issue, is there something that I can say to her that would cause her to rethink her viewpoint?


I know that the least happiest times of my life was when I was sexually active outside of marriage.

you can remind her that this was probably true for both of you. you can mention that even without conversion, this unhappy fact was true and that you wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

then stay quiet and pray-- for your kid, foe her kid and for all kids. it’s a terribly hard time to be a teen or young adult.

and if, despite your prayers and conscientious guidance, your son makes destructive choices, maybe don’t tell her. because your husband is right-- she has her own business.


I don’t know how to change your sister’s mind. Just pray for her, but if she is vocal, definitely defend your point of view.

Re your son: keep talking to him, keep dialogue open, and trust that you did and are doing your job as a mom. I don’t think at all that it is a given that he will get into illicit behavior just because he is in college. When I was in college, I knew some nice boys who weren’t into those things. I know as a mom, it s hard to not worry.

Regarding your niece, if you have a good relationship with her, I would keep dialogue open with her. Many times young girls do take the advice of an aunt, precisely because you are not her mother. Have a heart to heart with her and let her know how it is better to wait for marriage to be intimate. I do think (maybe I’m naive) that girls really want to be told that it is ok to wait. Probably boys too.

Let them know that their future spouses will be very happy and proud that they waited for them.


I do think (maybe I’m naive) that girls really want to be told that it is ok to wait.

i think this isn’t naive. i think it’s true. but both girls and boys need to be reassured that while the strong feelings are part of normal human sexuality, God’s grace to be disciplined is even stronger.


Maybe you should ask your sister why she thinks it is okay to compound the problem, and even encourage it.

Maybe you should also ask her why she thinks accepting her child’s possible sexual impurity is “safe”.

Ask her how handing her daughter birth control pills is unlike handing her an invitation to sin.

Ask her how being physically “safe” is more important than being spiritually safe.

Ask her what her next advice for her daughter will be if her daughter becomes pregnant out of wedlock. How will she feel watching her grandchild potentially grow up without a father, or bouncing from one house to the other?

Sexual impurity has so many downsides.

I think this kind of behavior makes a parent at least as culpable for the child’s actions as the child is.


I think this kind of behavior makes a parent at least as culpable for the child’s actions as the child is.

if not more so.

CCC 2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.


I think that I am bothered especially because my sister caught me by surprise so instead of clearly stating my beliefs I just sort of went quiet and let her speak.:frowning:

I have gotten wonderful advice thus far. Thank you all.:slight_smile:


Instead of harping on those aspects of your sister’s response to illicit sexual activity that do not conform to the Church’s, it may be best to focus on the things she says that are true. At the age of eighteen, having freedom from parental supervision, there is nothing inherently unreasonable in pointing out the bleeding obvious: your son is likely going to have to confront issues regarding drugs, alcohol and the use of his sexuality nearly every day. It does not do to shove one’s head in the sand and deny this reality.

That said, your sister’s implied solution, that your son be told in no uncertain terms to use condoms in order to protect himself is transparently insufficient. If your son is not going to listen to your stern lectures about the use of his sexual faculty, he is certainly not going to listen to a stern lecture about the use of a condom.

In the end, you must trust that the way in which you reared your son was sufficient for him to be able to avoid falling into the abuse of his body. If you cannot trust in this, then you should not have allowed him to go away.


I’ve discussed these issues with my son. I am not hiding my head in the sand. I admit that there is a possibility that he might fail or make a mistake.

How the heck do you know that I have given my son “Stern Lectures”? That seems like an unfair characterization based on NO evidence from my post.

He is 18, I certainly can no longer keep him at home. Even if I thought that he denied everything that we have discussed with him, I could not prevent him from growing up and moving away.

I think that you read issues into my post issues that I haven’t stated or meant.:frowning:


I believe you misinterpret my purpose. I do not mean to ascribe any sort of characterization to the way in which you have discussed any issue with your son. I merely point out your sister’s implied logical fallacy: if he does not listen to one discussion, why does one feel he is likely to listen to another? Moreover, I do not see anything derogatory in referring to such a discussion as a “stern lecture.” Since the lesson of the discussion must get past the onslaught of cultural influences and hormonal inclinations, why should it not be stern, so as to make a lasting impression?

My point is that we must focus on what is useful from the conversation you had with your sister and discard the rest. Since your sister is moved to bring these subjects up out of compassion for your son’s welfare, it does not do to tell her to “mind her own business,” as your husband has suggested. Accept your sister’s concern for the spirit in which it is offered.


We probably are both using a different definition for ‘stern" I was thinking of stern as in,’ I am mad and going to talk at you’. You just meant a serious discussion. Correct? sorry about that.:o

I do accept my sister’s suggestion in the spirit it was meant. She loves my children and wants to keep them safe. I appreciate that point in her conversation.

We have a very, very unstable family background. Several members seem addicted to the act of falling in love and run very passionately into relationship, after relationship. Sadly once the emotion of the moment fizzes out they go to the next person.:frowning: Perhaps my sister thinks that just making sex be only a physical act and nothing more, she will protect my son from this type of behavior.

It might explain why she once asked me worriedly,“Josh understands that just because he has sex for the first time with a girl doesn’t mean that he is in love and has to marry her?”:shrug: How do you respond to a statement like that except to be sad for my sister?



i think that if you (as your sister suggests) discuss use of condoms with your 18 year old son, that you might undo all the wonderful advice and guidance you have given him up to this point regarding sex before marriage as discussing ‘safe sex’ is in complete contradiction to all the wonderful things you would have imparted to him as a mother so far.

At 18 and living away from home, while he is and always will be your son and your ‘boy’, he is most definitely a young man and needs to take all he has learnt from how he has been raised and his morals and convictions and make his own decisions.

Pray for him always, and keep open dialogue between you and him about everything to do with his life so that if he needs to talk to you about anything, he feels comfortable doing so, and therefore if he does falter, he will come talk to you and you can reinforce the advice and support you have always been giving him.

I am only 21 and i am not married or have children of my own, but i am not much older than your son and i would have greatly appreciated having such openness of speech about anything in my family and obviously the prayer for me and then maybe this would have prevented me from making my own mistakes.

I think you probably shouldnt tell your sister go ‘get lost’ or whatever your husband said :wink: but remember that your son is YOUR SON! and what happens with her daughter and what happens with your son probably will be very different.

Good luck with it all.
sorry if i have repeated anything anyone has said or if anyone thinks my thoughts are stupid, just saying what i think.

God bless


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