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Prepare Your Children for Unexpected Situations: Vignettes Based on True Stories

C. E. Clark homeschooled her child from kindergarten through high school. Public and private education is high in importance to Ms. Clark.

Melissa’s Story

The 17-year-old daughter of two professors, Melissa has a brother and a sister, and she is the youngest of the three. Her parents are very protective and truly believe sex is a subject that should be saved for just before marriage.

Melissa knows only that sometimes girls get pregnant before they are married, but she does not know why, or how that happens. She has no idea how it happens after a woman marries either, for that matter. Her sister, who is 2 years older, has been enlightened by college friends, but will not tell Melissa the answer to her questions, because their mother forbids talking about that subject. Their mother is not aware that her older daughter is now better informed than she would prefer.

Melissa does not have a lot of friends at her small school. She is well behaved, gets good grades, she is attractive, and has an easy smile. She is kind and thoughtful to other people, but it is believed by some other students at her school that she receives preferential treatment and advantages because of who her parents are. Many girls are jealous and/or resentful, and so they are sometimes blatantly mean to Melissa.

Melissa is scared. She had a date with a boy from her school and did not tell her parents where she was really going when she went out. They would have forbidden her to go. At the end of the evening, the boy kissed her goodnight. Now Melissa is scared that she may be pregnant. She does not know what makes girls pregnant; so maybe it is kissing . . . no one will tell her.

When she mentioned to another girl she thought was her friend, that the boy had kissed her and that she was afraid she might have gotten pregnant, the girl laughed. She said, “Don’t worry. It doesn’t usually happen the first time (meaning pregnancy). But if you want to make sure, use birth control.”

Melissa had only heard snippets of information on television about birth control and she had no idea what it was. She understood it was supposed to prevent pregnancy, but she didn’t know how it worked or what different kinds of birth control were available. “What is birth control,” she asked.

“Oh, it’s easy,” answered the so-called friend. “Just eat peanut butter everyday, and you will have nothing to worry about.”

Another girl who happened to overhear the conversation chimed in, “And don’t ever take a bath right after a man has bathed in the tub you’re going to use. Not even if it’s your brother or your father. You can get pregnant that way, too.”

The girls were giving each other knowing looks and laughing about how unbelievable it was that Melissa, the privileged daughter of professors, had no idea what caused pregnancy or how to prevent it. At first they had thought she was joking, but then they came to realize she was serious. She really didn’t know what caused pregnancy or that it was not kissing. They decided that if she believed them and ended up pregnant for doing more than just kissing, it would serve her right.

“Does it matter which kind of peanut butter I eat, “ Melissa asked the girl she thought was her friend. “I mean, not the brand, but creamy or crunchy?”

“Crunchy is the only kind that really works,” the girl answered. “Make sure it’s crunchy, or you could find yourself in trouble, if you know what I mean.”

What happened here soon became gossip that spread all over the small school, and soon even students much younger than Melissa were snickering and laughing about her apparent acceptance of what she had been told, and her ignorance about the ‘birds and the bees.’ No one wanted to be the one who would tell Melissa the truth, and so everyone waited and watched to see if she would become pregnant.

Sadly, the above story is for the most part, true. Mainly, I have only changed her name for this hub.

Avoid unpleasant surprises by informing your children and preparing them to challenge situations respectfully, but assertively if necessary.

Avoid unpleasant surprises by informing your children and preparing them to challenge situations respectfully, but assertively if necessary.

Meagan’s Story

Here is another story of what happened to a young woman who had recently left home for college. Let’s call her Meagan. Meagan grew up in a very proper home where she was taught to respect and obey authority figures, like police, clergy, teachers, parents, and employers. Not so unusual, as most children are taught these same things.

Meagan’s parents were paying for her room and board and tuition at college, but it was up to her to earn her own spending money. She was a very pretty young woman and she had a good singing voice. She found a job working for a local singing telegram service. It was her job to deliver singing telegrams. All went well, and she enjoyed her job.

Then one day one of the other girls who worked at the singing telegram service did not show up for work. Meagan’s boss told her she would have to fill in and deliver the telegrams the absent girl normally delivered. She was required to sing and do a little dance routine while removing her clothes. Meagan felt a little uncomfortable about doing that. She had never been naked in front of anyone that she could remember. Not since she was a little girl and her mother had helped her bathe.

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Meagan decided she would have to do what her boss told her to do. He was, after all, the boss, and if he said she had to do something, well then she had to do it. Her parents had taught her never to argue with them or her teachers or any adult who was in charge under any circumstances. She would just have to smile through her gritted teeth and make the best of the situation.

Meagan delivered 3 telegrams that evening and she found the experience humiliating to say the least. In 2 cases there had been only men to receive the telegram and they had all wanted to paw her. It was all she could do after delivering her risqué little songs to get away -- from what she was not sure, but she knew it would probably be worse than the pawing.

The point I am trying to make by telling as confidentially as possible, the stories of these unfortunate young women, is that sometimes we can protect our children too much from life’s realities. Not giving them important information to help them when they find themselves in questionable circumstances is not doing them any favors or protecting them from ‘worldly’ ways.

Information Is Power

Did I protect my own daughter from as many of the ugly things in our world as I could? I absolutely did, but I never censored the information she received. I never shielded her from life’s unpleasant realities. I let her know that she could question authority figures, including myself, so long as she did it respectfully. I started teaching her that when she was only 4 years old.

I let my daughter know she should think for herself about whether what someone was asking her to do was moral, legal, and logical. If she thought it was not, then she needed to respectfully say no to authority figures who might be asking her to do things, or wanting her to allow them to do things, that she thought were not right.

Helping Young People Act Responsibly

The first girl I talked about, Melissa, should have understood at age 17, where babies come from and how they get there in the first place. She should have known about birth control methods. Parents should be teaching this information and instilling a sense of responsibility along with that information.

Why would any caring parent want their child to go through anything like what Melissa or Meagan went through? Why would they want to keep their child in the dark about sex and possibly contribute to a pregnancy because of their failure to inform their child about sexual facts and responsibilities?

So many parents still seem to think informing their children about these issues will cause them to test that information, but not knowing can be dangerous too, as the true stories I just related should make obvious. It seems illogical to me that parents would trust chance more than they trust their own child to act responsibly with information on reproduction.

Give Your Children the Power of Information and Knowledge

It has been my experience that most young people, when trusted with the facts, use that knowledge responsibly. If anything, they act more responsibly because they are not experimenting and trying to figure things out on their own. They are not trusting in information from people who may not really know the facts, or who do not have an interest in protecting them.

There are plenty of babies born outside of marriage as proof that keeping young people ignorant about sex is not the best birth control method. A lot of people go to jail because they blindly follow the orders of authority figures. Remember Watergate? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of young children who are molested and/or raped by authority figures every year.

Ignorance hurts our children, and it is our responsibility as parents to provide information and guidance for our children so that hopefully they will not do something life changing before they even have a chance to live their lives.

We need to provide our children with some ideas on how they can help themselves if they ever find themselves in unfortunate circumstances, facing a pedophile, for example. Instruct them about things they may be able to do to get away, or to keep from falling into a snare in the first place.

Good judgment is acquired over time and with experience. It is our job as parents to provide information, guidance, and protection to our children, as they are learning and acquiring that good judgment.

Do not let your children get into situations similar to the ones described here, or possibly worse situations, because you thought it was safer to keep them ignorant. Not all adults, authority figures or not, are worthy of your child’s respect and compliance. Help your children learn how to know the difference.

© 2011 C E Clark


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 10, 2015:

TIMETRAVELER2, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I agree with you totally. Parents can't impart knowledge to their children that they do not themselves know. I really think the silly taboo on some subjects like sex along with the idea that nice girls/women don't know anything about these things is a bigger cause of unwanted pregnancy and other consequences than anything else.

I know there will always be a few people/young people who will engage in risky behaviors no matter what, but I believe most young people can bet trusted with the truth and when they have it are far more likely to act responsibly

Yes, ignorance reins on a multitude of subjects and I see that situation getting worse with time, not better.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 09, 2015:

Paula (Fpherj48), thank you for taking time to read and comment and vote on this article! Sadly, yes, there are still parents who think ignorance is bliss and prefer their darlings never know about that evil that exists called s-e-x. Have to be careful with this comment lest it get moderated by one of the more modern thinkers of our time. ;)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 07, 2015:

Paul Kuehn, thank you for reading and commenting on this article, and for the vote and shares. The trouble is that parents don't want their children being informed about these things. Not in school or anywhere else. They really believe ignorance is bliss They don't seem to understand that kids will find their own answers if none are provided and their daughters are often the specimen upon which they are experimenting.

Sondra Rochelle from USA on July 07, 2015:

It wouldn't be a bad idea for adults to learn to use some common sense and logical thinking, either. I cannot tell you how many people I see who make the dumbest mistakes when it comes to dealing with their lives. It really scares me! No wonder some parents try to protect their kids...they don't know any better, themselves!

Suzie from Carson City on July 07, 2015:

I can't imagine how I managed to miss this hub. Normally, just the picture of an incredibly adorable baby draws me in. knew my parents. Interesting. My poor sister and I had to make our way through the jungle on our own. We were certainly not alone. It seemed all of our peers, raised by depression era parents were just as clueless.

Your stories and the topic this highlights should not exist....surely not TODAY! I believe we cannot prepare our children enough for all they must be protect themselves.

Actually Au fait, I feel an enormous sense of relief my sons and I got out alive and they are happy & healthy on their own for some time now. I get literally panic-stricken to think of having to raise children ever again! If the natural, unconditional love was not in may have been IMPOSSIBLE!

Yes, young parents, Pay attention to Au fait's gift! She is 100% correct!.....Up+++ tweeted & pinned....

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on July 07, 2015:

Au fait, this is a very interesting and informative hub. In Thailand, reproduction and sex education is taught already in 5th grade. No, the students aren't given condoms, but they are shown educational films and have outside speakers who talk about sex. If mothers won't give this information to their daughters, the schools should be doing it. Voted up and sharing with HP followers and on Facebook.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 10, 2015:

Good to see you Bobby! (Diogenes) Seems like most Europeans are more sensible about sex than Americans are. You realize, of course, that the girls were just telling her about peanut butter because they hated her and hoped she'd get pregnant, right?

Hope all is well with you. Take care . . .

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 09, 2015:

Tillsontitan, Mary, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue and for the votes! Yes, I think it's a little mean to set your children up to fail in tricky situations, and I'm sure the parents who do it don't see it that way, or intend it that way, but that is the end result.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 08, 2015:

Audrey (Brakel2), thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Trouble with learning from friends is that friends may know as much nothing as a young person knows him or herself. On top of it, 'friends' may have a lot of things wrong.

A lot of people seem to be of the opinion (usually religious type people) that keeping their children ignorant will also keep them chaste until marriage, or as long as possible. They only have to look around and see the results of the experiments of their friend's and neighbor's children to know ignorance doesn't prevent pregnancies outside of marriage. Ignorance does in fact foster curiosity and risky behavior in the interest of self education.

Blessings to you Audrey. Good to see you again. :)

diogenes from UK and Mexico on April 08, 2015:

Peanut butter? Reminds me of that poem about a peanut sitting on the track, etc. We have comprehensive lessons in school here to teach sex education; most kids know all about the birds and the bees by age 12 or 13. Doesn't stop all the unwanted pregnancies, though. Evolution v education. Kids here are mostly very blasé about sex and "doing it." Most seem to get through without problems or the neurosis virginity can also cause with peers.

Good day Misty

Bob x

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 07, 2015:

Pstraubie48, thank you for the share, the votes, and of course the angels. I believe that most children act responsibly when trusted with information. There are some that will never become responsible regardless of what they know or don't know and I think we shouldn't treat all our kids like those that are perennially irresponsible and cause most of the problems.

Mary Craig from New York on April 06, 2015:

It is hard to imagine parents being as naïve and overprotective as the ones you mentioned, but sadly we know its true.

This is another one of those hubs that should be in pamphlets handed out to new parents in the hospital.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 05, 2015:

Hi Au Fait These are strange stories, but some parents have strange ideas. Some people do not talk about sex to their children, I know, but most kids learn from their friends. It is important to teach your child responsibility and to be brave about discussions and not be embarrassed. Great article. Blessings, Audrey

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 05, 2015:

Sadly kids can be so misinformed on all kinds of topics. When I was in college one of the girls thought you could get pregnant from dancing with a boy or from holding hands. She honestly sincerely believed it. I was not too much far behind her in my knowledge but did know the real story because my sister had told me...thankfully.

Yes, I tried to protect my daughter too from what may come. We shared openly and candidly on all topics...I had always told her that she could tell me anything, anything; I might not agree or approve but I would be there for her to offer a cushion and support and some Momma 'wisdom' if that is even the word.

Voted up+++ and shared AuFait More Angels on the way to you this morning ps

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 16, 2014:

Thank you Dream On for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this article. Agree that unwanted pregnancies should be avoided and information about birth control and other related issues can go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.

Most people were uncomfortable with the subject of sex as well as other things back when I was in high school. For some reason it never occurs to people that authority figures (one's boss for example) may be wrong and may ask an employee to do something inappropriate. Following orders from authority figures without question can lead to some unfortunate situations sometimes.

DREAM ON on February 13, 2014:

You presented good information voted up. Maybe their parents never taught them so they thought the same way.We have come along way.Understanding and learning go hand and hand. If good information can prevent one unwanted pregnancy that is good enough for me. Thank you for sharing.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 28, 2013:

Thank you Shyron, for sharing your thoughts, voting on and pinning/sharing this article. So many parents think they are protecting their children from the sinfulness of our world by keeping them uninformed, and they believe without basic knowledge regarding their own bodies that children will not think about the subject of sex.

Guess what? Young people fumble around trying to learn about sex by other means and often experiment as well. Young women involved in these experiments who have no knowledge of birth control and whose parents would never allow them access to it, often graduate with a "Mom" degree, when they get to finish school at all.

Ignorance is never the answer and causes far more problems than it solves no matter if the issue is sex education or something else.

Hope you and John have a great 2014!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 26, 2013:

JayeWisdom, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article! Agree with you totally. Also, thank you for voting on and sharing this important information.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 25, 2013:

Bobby (Diogenes), thank you for stopping by. Yes, if such things didn't really happen with sometimes dire results, this would be quite funny. I remember a lot of kids in high school thought the superintendent's daughter was pretty funny. A lot of people here (rigid Christians) truly believe their children are safer and better off knowing nothing at all about that horrible filthy nasty sinful thing called sex -- the thing that brought them into the world. Take care . . xox

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 24, 2013:

Moonlake, thank you for reading, commenting, pinning and sharing this article! Merry Christmas!

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on December 22, 2013:

Au fait - I think that often the most overprotective parents really believe that keeping kids in ignorance, avoiding even the mention of "taboo" topics, will keep them from being curious or experimenting when, in fact, just the opposite is true. I've often observed that the children kept in ignorance about life throughout their childhoods are the ones most likely to "kick over the traces" once they finally leave home for college. Some of them really "go wild" rather than try things in moderation. It's like an overreaction.

Children who haven't been taught early about sex, STDs, the need for maturity in relationships, responsible drinking, how easy it is to become hooked on drugs, etc. are like young people turned loose in a strange new (and harsh) world with no guidelines. It's really irresponsible of parents to let this happen, no matter how good their motives.

It's sad that parents think they can keep their children chaste and well-behaved by shielding them from information, particularly sex education, when ignorance is much more likely to get them in trouble. And they certainly need to know how to protect themselves when Mom and Dad aren't around to protect them. I applaud you for giving your daughter the information she needed to protect herself and make responsible decisions.

Voted Up+++ and shared


Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 22, 2013:

Au fait, I am back to share this information, because it is so important to young people, and parents, not just girls. I felt sorry for the girl who believed the peanut butter garbage but that is the way it goes when parents are not candid enough. This is a very important hub.

Voted up UABI, shared and pinned.

diogenes from UK and Mexico on December 22, 2013:

Hilarious! Are you sure this wasn't put out by Sunkist?

I did hear once that the bathtub rumor actually had some evidence to support it as, if the chap had masturbated in the water, the sperm could have been kept alive for a time and the woman bather using his water might have washed herself with a very potent sponge! Bit of a fetch though. This just popped up on my home page, why I know not. Hope you had a good weekend.


moonlake from America on December 22, 2013:

Good information I always hoped we gave our kids the information they needed. Voted up and shared.

samowhamo on October 15, 2013:

Thank you very much Au Fait. Oh by the way I am having a couple of problems with my computer so I can't post pictures on new articles I do right now I have to get it looked at. I can still write articles but not ones that require pictures I have to get my computer looked at to fix that but I have just written a new article if you are interested. It doesn't appear in my spotlight because it has no pictures but it is listed with the rest of my articles at the top its called The Next Mass Extinction.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 12, 2013:

Thank you Sam (samowhamo) for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue, and for the votes!

Agree with you completely. I believe than most young people and children can be trusted to be responsible with this information and the few who cannot will probably never be trustworthy no matter how old they get.

samowhamo on October 11, 2013:

Very good article. To me these stories are proof about how negligent parents these days seem to be when it comes to teaching their children about the real world. I mean I understand that parents are just trying to protect their kids but keeping the kids ignorant is what gets them into situations like this and ultimately the parents are really to blame because they kept their kids ignorant. Parents need to accept that's its ok to teach their kids about sex and how to do it responsibly and that its ok to question authority figures because contrary to what some parents think authority figures are not always right sometimes even they act with questionable judgment.

Voted up and Useful Au Fait

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 09, 2013:

Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading, sharing, pinning, and tweeting this hub and for sharing your experience on this subject.

Far more people than you think are uncomfortable with the subject of s-e-x (that includes HP, so they don't like that word) and many people apparently believe that if they keep their children innocent their children won't embarrass then by making them grandparents too soon. Think I said in this hub or one of my hubs that even in my classes at the university some students would sit with their ears covered if they thought the instructor was going to say something related to the Stork.

I really think most young people would act responsibly with the information they need to protect themselves. Most young people aren't even instructed on how to recognize or avoid STDs. The results can sometimes be heartbreaking. Herpes or gental warts in a young person's eye? It happens, and it happens because they are ignorant of the possibility and how to avoid it. Very sad that parents don't care enough about their own children to inform them and protect them from such things.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on July 05, 2013:

Thank you so much for writing this very important hub! I have pinned it to my Parenting board, Tweeted it and shared it with my followers. I want you to know that girls are not the only ones who are not informed about where babies come from. Before I retired, I assisted in a high school senior health class. I was repeatedly shocked by the questions the students would ask about how girls get pregnant ... and the questions were sometimes asked by young men. And these were the kids who had parents who allowed them to be in the class! Other kids were exempted by their parents. All of these students were between 17 and 19 years of age. How could parents be so irresponsible? Thanks for a well written article!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 24, 2013:

Thank you sgbrown for reading and commenting on this hub! It is crazy because people who are trying to protect their children from reality in hopes of keeping them innocent are doing them no favors. They are being set up for unfortunate situations like the ones described here that sadly, really happened.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on March 23, 2013:

It's seems crazy to think that parents would allow their children to be so blind to such things. I feel sorry for both girls. As our children begin to grow up, we need to tell about the truth about many things in life, to keep them safe.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 25, 2013:

Thank you for commenting Shyron. I think it's important to make sure our children get accurate information and the best time for them to learn about life is when they are by our sides so that we can protect them and help them understand those things that defy logic.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 15, 2013:

This is a real informative hub. It really could help a lot girls if their would read it.

I remember how my cousin and I found out about sex. We found a little book I thing was written for young girls maybe a few years older than I was, but it was not in bad taste.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 15, 2013:

Thank you Peggy W, for reading, commenting and voting on this hub, and especially for sharing! I think the most important thing is to teach children to think, and to help them discover those things about the world when you are by their side that you cannot shield them from forever, so that they will have a better idea of how to handle them when the inevitable time comes.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 12, 2013:

Thank you Brett.Tesol for reading, commenting, and sharing/pinning/and tweeting this hub! You got my point I think. It is so unfair to our children to send them out into the world unprepared for some of the things they will come up against.

Brett C from Asia on February 11, 2013:

I agree, it is important that children are taught to be responsible with knowledge and make their own decisions. Also, as you mention, it is also important that while respect for authority figures is important, it is also important to politely question/refuse certain situations.

Shared, pinned, up and tweeted.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 11, 2013:

Thank you rebeccamealey for reading and commenting on this hub! Think we're on the same page on this subject. ;)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 11, 2013:

I agree! overprotecting is just as bad as being too permissive with them. Great information!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 10, 2013:

The point of this hub is very valid. Parents have the responsibility of teaching their children the facts of life along with so many other things. Well done! Up votes and sharing.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 14, 2012:

Yes, sad isn't it? Thank you for Shyron!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 13, 2012:

Good job, I have known girls like the 2 that you describe.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 30, 2011:

Moonstruck4ever: Even as a student at the university here about 5 years ago, some young women were covering their ears in one of my classes because they didn't want to hear anything relating to the body or sex because they had been taught it is sinful. I think people don't understand the extent some people go to in the name of keeping their children innocent and UNworldly. It's their prerogative to do that, but I think they're setting their children up.

Thank you Moonstruck4ever, for taking the time to read my hub and make a comment. I greatly appreciate it -- and the votes too!

moonstruck4ever from somewhere in upstate New York on December 30, 2011:

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Well written and right-on hub!

It is unbelievable to me that some parents wouldn't give their children the basics of knowledge.

Great job! Voted up and across!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 29, 2011:

Thank you Aunt Jimi, for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. I agree with you totally.

Welcome to hubpages! Look forward to seeing your first hubs. If there's anything I can help you with, let me know . . .

Aunt Jimi from The reddest of the Red states! on December 29, 2011:

These stories sound pretty wild. I guess truth is stranger than fiction. Pretty bad when parents let their kids be so uninformed that things like this can happen. I'm with you about trusting young people with information. Better to have it than not. Seems to me kids get into more trouble trying to figure things out than they do when they know what's what!

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