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You may see things differently, but this is how I view my life.



Saturday I was taking my daughter (who is 12) to pick up her friend for a sleepover. On our way to her house, she asks me when she can have a boyfriend. Just picture your 12 year old daughter asking you about having a boyfriend. My first reaction is to freak out. I knew this was coming one day. I was just hoping that it would happen later, rather than sooner.

Instead of following my gut reaction to immediately take her home and lock her in her room until she’s 18 and put a chastity belt on her, I took a deep breath, then calmly asked her “Why? Is there a boy you like?”. Yes I realize, there was an obvious answer to this question, but it needed to be asked. Then I got the reply that I was dreading….

“Yes, and he likes me too”.

In my head I was screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

You have to realize that my adolescence immediately came into instant replay in my mind, and it is exactly opposite of how I want to bring up my daughter. I wasn’t exactly a good kid. Now mind you, I have very limited supervision growing up. My parents weren’t bad parents, they just let us run around the neighborhood and really had no idea on how much trouble me and my sister really got into. Which is why I keep my kids on a short leash.

However, the one think I really have no control over is what my kids do in their after-school programs. Especially my daughters. From what I know and have seen, they have tutoring after school for about an hour, then the rest of the time is free time to do homework or just hangout until the parents can come pick them up. And they are basically free to roam around the school’s field or hang out in the lunch area with limited supervision. I definitely will be contacting the after school programs coordinator to express my concern.

After I asked her about the boy, I realized I needed some time to think and also talk with David about this, plus considering we were just blocks from picking up her friend, I told her we’ll talk about this later.

After my daughters friend went home on Sunday, and my son was outside playing, I felt this would be a good time to speak with Bre about her boyfriend. We sat her down, and my first question was “What is your definition of boyfriend”.

She really didn’t have a good answer for this, which may be a bad thing because she doesn’t want to tell me that she’s kissing a boy or something. So we asked what her friends do as boyfriend/girlfriend. And her answer was “sit next to each other and hang out”. My next thought was “Come on, I’m not that stupid. You really mean, Make out behind the handball wall, don’t you”. Of course I didn’t say that, but I was thinking it.

I then told her that if she wants to have a boyfriend, I don’t approve and nor will I tell her it’s ok, however, I can’t control what happens at school and I’d rather her come to me and talk to me about things without her fearing that I’m going to be mad at her, therefore I will let her use her best judgment. We then talked about sex in a round-about way and David threw in his fatherly comments, coming from a guys perspective. I went on to tell her that I have an open door and if she ever needs to talk to me, I’d be more than happy to listen and give her advice and that she shouldn’t be afraid to tell me things.

Later that night, I was hanging clothes in her closet when I found a journal labeled “My Life”. It was out in the open in the closet, so as far as I’m concerned, it was left there for anybody to read. Right?

The first part was talking about how her life was ruined when me and her dad got divorced. Then I found this note that says “I love Nick. I love to lick Nick. I love to kiss Nick” and it went on for a new more lines of rhyming words with Nick. David suggested to wait another week and see if she adds anymore to the book and monitor the situation, rather than confront her about it. The scary thing about Bre is she is very secretive and when I’ve confronted her in the past about things, she immediately starts crying and she shuts down and won’t talk.

I just wish that kids came with an instruction manual at birth. I saw somewhere that you mess up your first kid and by the time you have another, you’ve learned from your mistakes. God I hope this analogy is wrong!


At 12:10 PM, Blogger mal said...

some comments from my experience which may or may not be applicable.

First, the crying thing is an avoidance mechanism. Our oldest use to throw snits for the same purpose. We learned to just wait it out and stay on target. She finally learned she could not blow us off.

Second, when it comes down to it? All we can hope is that they have learned to use good judgement. If she has been showing good judgement, have confidence. I always viewed our daughters asking us anything to be a sign that they were thinking.

Third, it will get more bizarre. We had the dubious experience of one of our daughters casually sharing over dinner that she was having conjugal relations with her boyfriend. We managed not to spray all over the table

I am with you, NO WAY I wanted my daughters to do half the stuff I used to! *L*

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having adolescents must be difficult, especially adolescent girls. You know that they will do what they want to. You also know your daughter better than anyone else. If you want her to be open and to discuss things with you, you have to try to keep an open mind and not be judgmental. Let her talk and listen to her.

Good luck!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Alice said...

i have no idea how my parents did it, but i never even kissed a boy until i was 17 yrs old and 2 weeks away from graduating highschool.

although.... come to think of it, the enormous glasses, braces, frizzy hair, and flat chest may have had a LOT more to do with it than their parenting ;-)

At 2:24 PM, Blogger dasi said...

All you can do is what you've already done. It's obvious you're a good mom, and are raising your kids right - even when you're afraid of their actions you have to trust that they will remember the morals and values you've taught them. And if they don't remember them in time? Well, I turned out ok, and so did you...lessons learned always win out in the end.

P.S. Remind me of all this when my Lexie turns 12, ok?? ;)


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