May 9, 2012

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: How Much Do You Share With Your Teen?

I am the mother of a teenage daughter. 
It scares me.
A lot.
How is this happening already?
I don’t feel old enough for this.

With each passing day and experience she has,
I instantly remember what I was doing at that age.
It doesn’t help my anxiety.
At all.
And I was a good kid.  (My parents may disagree, but I really was.)

Even before becoming a mom my goal was to be very open and honest with my kids.
But how open and how honest should I be?
One day she asked me “When was the first time you kissed a boy?”
I thought about that, and the honest answer is around third grade.
So I dodged the question.
“You mean, like, as a boyfriend kind of kissing?”
“Yes,” she replies.
That would be around eighth grade, the same age that she is now.

And this fall she starts high school. 
When I think back to that time, I recall so many challenges,
So many opportunities for growth and for failure.
I’d like her to have a blissful four years
with fantastic, supportive girlfriends,
straight A grades, lots of extra curricular activities,
no alcohol, no drugs and no boyfriends.
I’m not asking a lot, am I?

Okay, I know that’s not realistic.
So do I tell her about my experiences with
completely unexpected backstabbing girlfriends,
or alcohol and what it’s like to get drunk,
or what drugs look like and their potential consequences?
Do I tell her that boys tend to think with their penis,
or when I first had sex and what it feels like?
And how it feels to have your heart broken?
Or is it out of my hands?

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