Originally Posted by dsdrane
God knows I'm no parent, and please take this for whatever it's worth, but perhaps the marriage litmus test is unnecessary. How about: she promises to respect her body (very much including her heart and mind) enough to never give it to someone she does not respect and trust...someone she understands respects and trusts her, too.
I agree with David. We need to teach our children about the ideal. We also need to equip them with tools for handling reality. Png's daughter is 16. She definitely needs the kind of love and protection her mom is giving her. Eventually, as she comes into her majority and more maturity, she will also need some practical information about how sex fits into her life ... even if she has not yet found her life partner. Denying that sex is part of a single adult's life is a bit myopic, in my opinion.
(HUGE DISCLAIMER: Png, I am now talking in generalities and not about your daughter specifically. Only you and she know what's right to talk about, and I wouldn't presume to interject any of what follows into your conversations. I just feel it needs saying for all the people -- of any age -- who may be reading this thread.)
Tragedies occur when we fail to give that kind of education. Our kids need to know about birth control and protection from STDs. And they need to have it available so that when they do experiment with sex, which so many do, they will have a basic level of protection. "Just say no" never worked as a policy for drug education. It certainly won't work for sex education.
People mess up all the time and have sex under less than desirable circumstances. We put children in great peril when all we give them are romantic notions of love and sex. They need basic lessons in self-esteem both to avoid inadvisable sex and to rebound from it if it occurs. They also need basic information about protecting themselves from pregnancy and disease, so that their lives aren't further complicated by those physical realities. There are far greater sins than having sex out of wedlock. Let's not condemn our children to the deepest reegions of hell for what is a basic human appetite. PLEASE, I AM NOT ADVOCATING IRRESPONSIBLE SEX!! I think a bit of perspective is important, though.