View Full Version : gifted 13 year old and sex
05-02-2004, 01:53 PM
My son is 13, almost 14. His IQ is around 190. He had a lot of trouble finding friends when he was younger, though he is now in a school for gifted kids where he's very happy. Recently he met a girl like himself, also had trouble finding friends, who's 14. These two are now mad for each other. They spend a couple of hours on the phone together every night. They meet usually on a Saturday or a Sunday and spend five or six hours together, usually at one parent's house. They are allowed to watch TV, play computer games, etc. in his or her room, provided the door is open, and I make sure to pass the doorway occasionally. They're known each other about six weeks. Recently the girl confided to her 20 year old sister that they are ready for sex and she wants birth control pills. Needless to say, all parents are aghast. We don't want to prohibit these kids from meeting--they mean an enormous amount to each other. But my son, at least, does NOT want to hear advice in re he's too young. I have a good rapport with him and I tried very gently to bring up the topic of sex, marriage, and friendship--he barked at me to stay out of his personal life. My son is convinced he knows what's best for himself. Should we forbid them to see each other? (We don't want to give away the sister, who's our only source of information. The sister counseled the girl hard against sex at such a young age.) My son and my husband have a strained relationship with a lot of arguments. I doubt that his dad's advice will mean much to him. Is there a book, a movie, some source I can direct my son to? He reads voraciously and is used to getting information this way.
Thanks for your help--and Dr. Bradley, I thought your book was excellent.
05-02-2004, 09:04 PM
I have one daughter who is very bright like your son and formed much of her value system BEFORE she was interested in a guy, by reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. She was probably about 12 when she started reading it, but it just made sense to her (hopefully reinforced by what she learned in the home!) that drinking and drugs were poor choices, and that having sex too soon or with many partners was also a poor choice. The book was written by a teen (whose father writes similar books for adults) and is written in the language and using the rationales that make sense to teens. It was literally my daughter's guidebook to teen issues from about 12 to 14. Her values are still strong, in spite of my current problem of her being in love with her older stepbrother (ouch). Anyway, our Barnes & Noble usually has this book in paperback. Check it out - if you like it, maybe the girl's sister could get both of them to read it. (My daughter got it for her birthday from a friend. I tried giving a copy to my younger, but I think it's less interesting to her because it came from me...it might be better if somebody who they think is "cool" gives it to them.)
05-21-2004, 11:04 AM
The curse of the gifted child is that as a genius he is the intellectual equivalent or superior of any adult around him. This provides him with the ILLUSION that he is also as mature as adults around him. Gifted intellect and adult maturity are about as similar as a computer and a human being. The computer can process data amazingly well. But only an adult human can have the wisdom to understand the data.
Your son is blinded by his intelligence. He thinks that being brilliant is the same thing as being wise. At 14 he simply does not yet have the brain wiring or life experience to understand things like sex. Gifted or not, here is where he needs his parents to step lovingly, quietly, but forcefully into his life to say "Sorry. I know that you disagree, but we can't let you proceed down this path where you guys might be terribly hurt. If you want to be autonomous enough to date a girl at age 14, then the dues you must pay is to be responsible enough to talk about your views on sex. You are brilliant, but you are not smart. Smart only happens after living many years. It doesn't happen at 14. We must resolve this in order for you to keep your relationship with this girl, and that's a thing we very much want to see continue since she is so important to you."
If at all possible, do not forbid the relationship unless it is clear that they intend to have a sexual relationship. Be sure to keep the guidelines clear where they are supervised in any private setting for now.
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