I consider myself an open-minded parent. I have always talked candidly with my, now, 14-year-old daughter about all issues, including sex.
Our relationship is sufficiently strong that she thinks nothing about discussing sex and sexuality with me and she will frequently say stuff like, 'Mum, I have a question…is there such a thing as a G-spot?’ Or, 'Mum, are people born gay or do they choose to be?'
When it comes to my daughter’s sex education, I believe no subject is too taboo. If Shaye is curious then it is my job to help her to satisfy that questing.
Outrage: Last year 1,700 girls aged 13 and 14 were fitted with implants, while 800 had injections which have the same effect
I am a firm advocate of the mantra that 'knowledge is power' and nowhere more so than when it comes to equipping my child in the arena of sexual relations.
So, I’m no prude. I have even gone so far as to sex educate several of her school friends at the request of their parents who were too embarrassed to do it for themselves.
In fact, among the parents of Shaye’s peers, it is accepted wisdom that I am the 'go to mum' who their daughters can come to if they cannot talk with their own mum or dad.
That said, there are some situations when it comes to my maturing daughter that even a freely-expressive mother, such as I, will baulk at. The type of thing that makes me shout long and loud simply because it appears so very wrong, and on numerous levels.
Open-minded: When it comes to sex education, I believe no subject is too taboo, and have always talked candidly to my daughter
Take this as the source of today’s consternation. Schools and doctors in the UK are routinely giving 13-year-old girls contraceptive implants.
And, because they are covered by various laws that forbid them revealing that they are doing this - or even seeking permission in the first place - parents of these children are left unaware that this is happening.
Neither are we talking small numbers here. Last year 1,700 girls aged 13 and 14 were fitted with implants, while 800 had contraceptive injections.
Frankly, it’s too early in the morning for me to be reading outrageous statistics like this. That is such a preposterous idea that it should have been booted out at the drawing board stage.
So this is what it has come to? The State has now assumed the ultimate control - that of taking over the role of parents, above and beyond the real ones?
Although teenage pregnancy rates in Britain are beginning to fall, they are still twice as high as those in France and Germany
Sometimes I just despair and yearn for a return to simpler times when parents were the responsible adults and children knew that. I cannot bear such interference on a mass scale, it is verging on the obscene.
We must ask, surely, what kind of society have we become when it is perfectly legal - desirable, even, according to the Government who initiated this step - that children, and that is what 13 year olds are, are encouraged to take contraception in the first place?
Before anyone shouts me down with ‘but we have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Europe‘. I know that. What concerns me, is why do we?
And what are we doing about that in terms of dissuading our young people from becoming parents, rather than tooling them up to premature sexual experimentation in the first place?
Hands up who truly views sneaky contraception - without parental knowledge - as such a solution? I know I don’t and neither do any of the parents that I know, and I know a lot.
So let me get this straight, just so I know exactly where our Government is coming from with regard the health and safety of our children.
If I leave my daughter home alone, for several days at a time, I could - rightly in my opinion - be prosecuted for child neglect. So far, so sensible.
However, a school nurse can give my child something that can make her suicidal - 1 in 18 people suffer depression as a result of the implant - and I have no say in that? Not even a knowledge about it.
The state needs to make up its mind. Does it want us to parent our children (given that the Government blames everything from unemployment to riots on 'bad parenting') or does it think it can do the job for us?
Either way I’m not taking their involvement lying down. Time to be pro-active on this issue.
I didn’t become a mother to be dictated to by bureaucracy about how I should fulfil that role. If that means fighting, even in a court of law, to be a parent to my child - and to assume all the responsibilities that entails - then so be it.
Let that be a warning to any school nurse or doctor who comes within a hair's-breadth of my child. That’s not a threat, but a promise. I am that outraged by this parental takeover and, in my mind, it has been by stealth.
Pressure: As a parent to a teenage daughter I already have numerous issues to concern myself with, such as academic worries and fears about bullying
Truth is, as a parent to a teenage daughter I already have numerous issues to concern myself with and I don't need to be distracted by this nonsense:
Are my daughter’s GCSE options the right ones for her?
Is my daughter having a good time at school or is she secretly being bullied?
How is her body image? Is she bulimic and I don’t know about it?
And what about her self esteem? How intact is that given she is bombarded with some 200 advertising and media images each day, according to recent research, that will make her question whether she is sufficiently pretty or thin enough to meet with societies exacting standards.
And now the Government want to come in between a parent and their child, in the official capacity of curbing our teenage pregnancy issue, and they expect us to accept that? Forget it!
Some people claim that these implants may be used to help regulate a teenagers menstrual cycle. OK. But if that is the case then why would that need to be kept secret from the parent?
Or is that just another ruse to help bolster the State’s control over our children?
Personally, and quite aside from my right as a parent to protect my child, it is morally wrong to keep a parent in the dark because that also means that we cannot help our children with any possible side effects they may experience as a result of the contraception. And there are many issues associated with it.
The implant, inserted under the skin, can ‘get lost’ by migrating to another part of the body and removal can be difficult and can be extremely painful and cause scarring.
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Then there is the actual issue of placing foreign bodies into our system. These can cause, deep breath, upper respiratory tract infection (in in 8 people), abdominal pain (1 in 9), sore throat (1 in 10), vaginal discharge (1 in 10), flu-like symptoms (1 in 13), increased cramps and painful menstruation (1 in 14), dizziness (1 in 14), back pain (1 in 15), nausea (1 in 16).
Let us also not forget the psychological implications of the implant including mood swings - like teenage girls need assistance in that matter - and anxiety and clinical depression.
There is even, depending on the length that the implants or injections are used for, the possibility of bone thinning.
The upshot is that the State is sanctioning a campaign of ill-health on our children and parents are blind to it. That is wrong on so many levels and yet we accept it under the guise of law.
That is quite aside from the fact that contraceptive implants, pills or injections cannot prevent STD’s or HIV. Neither are they 100 per cent when it comes to averting a pregnancy.
Personally, I don’t care how many health professionals tell me this is something we should do. I disagree.
In my experience, there are too many so-called child experts who aren’t experts on the front line, e.g. being a parent. And yet, they have the audacity to tell those of us who are how to do our jobs. No way. Not on my watch.
It is unacceptable to set a child against their parents in this manner and it should be stopped - or at least challenged in a court of law - without further ado.
The health of our daughters, mentally and physically, is at stake. If there was ever a time to rise up and assert our roles as parents, it is now. Or are we happy to sleep-walk ourselves into state-sanctioned parenting?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2098292/Contraception-controversy-We-sleep-walking-state-sanctioned-parenting.html#ixzz1wNY2dTnV