This is probably going to turn into more of a rant than a question--my apologies if it gets long. DD17 has fallen into the 'Hookup' trap a few times over the last couple of years. For her, it means getting together with a friend or relatively new acquaintance, at a party or someone's house, and making out (no sex--I know for some, sex is involved, but she hasn't gone there--at least not yet). When I ask her 'Why?,' her explanation is that it is fun and she enjoys being free to flirt and hang out with whoever she wants without being committed to anyone.
I've tried explaining all the dangers to her. What if this person she barely knows doesn't respect her boundaries and becomes angry when she doesn't want to go as far as he does? Also, she has lost 3 good friends and alienated herself from others due to this behavior...and yet she continues to fall back into the pattern, typically when she breaks up with someone after being in a relationship for a few months. She says 'You don't understand...everyone does it.' Well, just because others do it--does that necessarily make it right? Or the right thing for YOU? While she seems to be listening while I re-hash my long list of reasons why I think it's a bad idea (mainly that it is potentially dangerous AND shows a lack of self-respect, and if you don't respect yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?), she becomes stone-faced and unresponsive during the conversation. When I ask her if she disagrees with me, she says "No." When I ask if she has any other thoughts on the subject, she says "I don't know what to say."
Currently, there IS a boy she is interested in beyond just a Hookup...however, he has shown little interest in her. She seemed surprised by this, but then she told me that his reputation is one of enjoying long-term relationships and not being into the 'hook up' scene. I explained that boys talk, and there is a very good chance that he knows she DOES occasionally 'hook up' with guys...which may have caused him to eliminate her from the pool of potential girlfriends. She didn't really respond, other than to say, "Yeah, I guess that's possible,' but she did look pretty upset. So I'm actually hoping that maybe this will finally hit home...that 'hooking up' is a really, really bad idea, beyond just pissing off mom!
I struggle with wanting to lock her up and throw away the key, but also knowing that she will be going off to college in a year and will need to know how to navigate these waters on her own. She has a weeknight curfew during the summer of 11pm (earlier if she is working a morning shift the next day), and a weekend night curfew of 12. During the school year she rarely goes out on school nights and when she does we generally require her to be home by 9. She is generally a good kid...works p/t, doesn't drink or get high, gets good grades, in National Honor Society, drives her younger sisters to their activities, etc. So it is tough to put even more limits on her since she doesn't really get into trouble, ever. It's just this 'hooking up' thing that is bugging the daylights out of me! (And yes, I know I am fortunate that she is honest with me and admits when she has 'hooked up' with someone...I'm sure a lot of her friends' parents have absolutely no idea their precious girls have even thought about such a thing.)
I read all over the internet that this behavior is rampant at college campuses. So...am I over-thinking this? Is it just what kids do now and something I have to accept as the new norm? Have any of you found the right thing to say to your teenager to discourage 'hookups'?