Jay Follow-Up: Leslie and Ariel

Jay Follow-Up: Leslie and Ariel
Dr. Phil and Jay McGraw talk to a mom who is worried that her 15-year-old has become sexually active.
Leslie watched Jay's interview with Megan on The Sex Talk and wrote to Dr. Phil saying she suspected her 15-year-old daughter, Ariel, was having sex.

"A month ago I was shocked to find three condoms in my 15-year-old daughter, Ariel's, room," says Leslie. "When her boyfriend comes over to visit, they run upstairs and go into her bedroom. The door is supposed to stay open but there are many times when the door is shut. I recently tried to get Ariel to watch the Dr. Phil show about teens and sex. She refused.

"What really hit home was when Jay was speaking with Megan. Megan talked about having sex for all the wrong reasons. It really made me feel that Ariel and I have to do a better job of communicating on the subject. Whenever I ask Ariel if she's having sex, she tells me it's none of my business. I'm very worried that she can ruin her life. Dr. Phil, how can I talk to my daughter about sex so that she doesn't shut me out?"
Jay asks Ariel, "Have you ever had a sex talk with your mom?"

"Not really," says Ariel.

"Do you want to?" asks Jay.

"No ... because she's my mom!" squirms Ariel.

"Do you have sex?" asks Jay.

"Yes, I have," admits Ariel.

"If you could turn back the clock and start this all over again, would you have sex?" asks Jay.

"No," says Ariel.

"Why not?" asks Jay.

"I don't think I thought about it well enough," admits Ariel.

"If somebody had thought it out for you, would that have made a difference on your decision?" asks Jay.

"Maybe if it was one of my peers or someone who I looked up to," says Ariel. "Maybe that would have changed my mind. But I'm not really sure."
Dr. Phil asks Ariel's mother, Leslie, "Do you want me to tell you the truth as I see it?"

"Absolutely," says Leslie.

"You need to ramp up as a mom here," says Dr. Phil. "Big time. I'm not here to criticize you. I'm here to empower you. Your parents never gave you the sex talk, did they? So you're living what you learned. You didn't get it and you didn't give it."

"We did cover the birds and the bees when [Ariel] was around 7 or 8," says Leslie.

"Ariel tells me she's never had the sit-down sex talk conversation but that you trap her in the car on the way to school and talk to her," says Jay. "Then she acts like she's closing her ears so you stop talking. In Closing the Gap, I have a list of Parent Dos and Don'ts. One of them is: Do talk to your kids — even if they act like they're not listening — because we are. Especially on a topic like sex. If we act too interested, we feel like we're admitting to doing it."

Dr. Phil turns to Leslie and says, "Here's what you need to go home and do: You need to go home and say, 'We're not going to tiptoe around this any more. If you're big enough to do it, you're going to be big enough to own it. We're going to get everybody involved: your dad, the boy, and his parents.'"

Dr. Phil continues, "[Your daughter] says it's her body and she can do what she wants. But who is going to pay for it when she gets pregnant? Who is going to raise that baby while she's waiting tables over at Denny's? That would be you, correct?"

"I've brought up all those things to her," insists Leslie.
"I'm not trying to convince [Ariel] of anything," Dr. Phil tells Leslie. "I'm trying to convince you ... You're saying she goes into her room [with her boyfriend] and sometimes shuts the door. Do you know now that she is having sex in her bedroom?"

"I do now," says Leslie.

Dr. Phil asks, "So what is wrong with you saying, 'I'm the mom. It's my house. You do not take your boyfriend to the bedroom. And I'm calling his parents and you're not going to be in his bedroom either'? You're being too passive here. She's making decisions she's not equipped to make. And you are being passive enough to allow her to do that. We have a situation here where kids' bodies may be ready for sex, but their minds and personalities are not. And that's the problem."