It’s no secret that I have three daughters. And now that they’re getting older, their maintenance is changing quite a bit. My role as a mom is changing quite a bit, too. Ever since the oldest one popped sex and the teenage girlout and all the way thru til the youngest one did, I have heard the “advice”. And just like the advice that I got when I was pregnant, I have to weed thru the good stuff and the crap.

But the one thing that we hear at least once a week if not more is “Steve better get himself a shotgun for when the boys start calling”. Well, the boys have started calling and we still don’t have a shotgun and we have yet to run down to the local bait and ammo store to consider buying one.

And you know what? I don’t think that statement is fair to my girls or to the boys that are coming around calling on them.

I want my girls to date.

I want them to have rich, rewarding relationships with a person who treats them well. I don’t care if that person is male or female, black or white.

I want them to be happy. I want them to experience all the giddiness of that first date. The anticipation of someone who you like calling you and making your day. How breathless the right person can make you feel. I want them to drift off into space and daydream about someone and wonder if they’re doing the same thing.

I want them to obsess for HOURS over the right outfit to wear when they go out with that person for the first time. Or the tenth time. I want them to get ticked at me because I won’t take them to the mall this very second when they realize that they don’t have the perfect outfit.

I want them to fall in love and when the time is right –

I want them to have sex.

Because every bit of that feels good. It feels awesome. There is no greater feeling in the world than being in love. Nothing feels better than being adored and worshiped by someone who thinks you are the greatest thing since the internet. The secret glances, the inside jokes, the subtle touch.

Instead of teaching our kids not to have sex, isn’t it time we taught them to have RESPONSIBLE SEX? That when they’re old enough and the time is right and they’re with the right person and the proper protection is in place, that it’s okay. That it’s nothing to be ashamed of. For a society that is so technologically advanced, we are still so broken when it comes to this.

“But they should wait until they’re married” some of you will say. Maybe they should but that’s not up to you or me or society to dictate. Is sex when you’re married good? Yes but be honest – it’s nowhere near as exciting as the sex you had when you had ZERO responsibilities. I love my husband and we have a good, healthy sex life but I guarantee you, we had a whole lot more time for great sex before our kids came along.

So let’s stop shaming our young adults for thinking about or having sex and instead start educating them on how to have safe and mutually respected sex.

It’s time to teach our teen daughters that they OWN it. They are in control of who they choose to get physical with. That there should NEVER be a time where it is taken from them and that just as awesome as good sex feels, sex should never happen when it’s not supposed to.

We also need to teach both our daughters and our sons that talking about their sex lives to others (ala bragging) is dangerous territory especially in this age of social media and smartphones. But if you’re having sex with the right person, that is usually not an issue because before sex happens, there should always be respect, and 2 people who respect each other most likely wouldn’t think that talking about their intimate lives is acceptable.

There are a lot of moving parts to sex and relationships that it’s our responsibility, as parents, to educate our teens about them. As I’ve told my oldest (and eventually them all).. I would rather you ask me and be embarrassed than not ask me and get your information from some socially inept teenager who has no clue. Because as my friend Steffany says… there are a lot of worse things out there than teenage pregnancy.

So what are you telling your teens about sex? Are you giving them the “it’s bad” speech thinking that will dissuade them?