If parents and children share a tight bond, then their relationships will be fairly healthy. At least, we hope. And the parent-and-kid connection is a significant one, be it for precocious tots, curious tweens or defiant teens, so whether you’re a mom or dad who only sweats the small stuff, lays down the law with a firm hand, or parents somewhere in the middle, keeping your kids close (but maybe not too close?) can never be a bad thing.
Take this recent study, for example, which found that teenage girls who have a strong connection with their mothers tend to wait longer to have sex. Dutch researchers surveyed nearly 3,000 boys and girls twice, first at the age of 12 and again at 16, asking about their sex lives as well as their relationships with both parents.
The study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, found that girls who have “high-quality” relationships with their moms were 44 per cent less likely to lose their virginity in their early teens. The same can’t be said for boys and their mothers, nor girls’ and boys’ relationships with their dads.
“Our findings suggest that a higher-quality relationship between adolescents and their parents, especially between mothers and daughters, may help to protect against early sexual initiation,” the study concluded.
The authors did note that the results aren’t definitive proof, but they do suggest that a positive relationship between mother and daughter leads to more open and honest communication, and frank and constructive discussions about sex and the use of contraception.
And that’s the bottom line, right? Trust and support, an open mind, ear and heart, a closed non-judge-y mouth, and perhaps even a shoulder to cry on. You want to be there for them, of course, so despite how uncomfortable, isn’t it better that they get the sex talk from you and not online or from friends?
Look, having sex at a young (albeit, legal!) age isn’t the worst thing your kids can do. And women are just as entitled as men to enjoy that part of their lives, and that aspect of their bodies when and however often — or as little — as they want. But, at the same time, it’s also OK if moms (and dads) want to keep their kids close. Because keeping them connected might just result in them being willing to talk or turn to you for advice, without you even having to ask! Parents, that’s the dream.