Friendly advice

So my daughter dropped a bomb in my lap yesterday, there is a boy she wants me to meet.

She didn’t want to tell me because “she knows how I get” about this stuff…… but she already told her dad about him…because he is the cool parent, and believes no bad choices can be made by his children.

I’m already angry with her for lying. Never before has this boy been mentioned, yet somehow they have spent enough time together to cultivate a relationship. Now she wants me to meet him so they can move forward in some way. I KNEW something was up when suddenly she is dressing up and putting makeup on before just hanging out with her best friend. But my questions about what is she doing, where is she going, who is she with failed to bring forth any mention of this boy.

Her response? Well, they’ve been texting a lot… and she went to a couple of his softball games….and you know they didn’t initially plan to see him but other plans fell through and so you know this was just kind of something that “happened” so innocently.

And this is the part that I suck at. Because I can’t tolerate being lied to. I can’t tolerate thinking of my daughter being fully or semi-naked with a boy….and what really is the POINT of going out with someone at that age if not to experiment with things that require a lack of judgment and clothing. And I just don’t think she needs a boyfriend.

I called a friend to vent a little. She listened, and gave me some friendly advice.

“Better go and get her on the pill.”  WHAT? No, I’m not putting her on the pill. Why does this mean she’s going to have sex!  She always tells me how stupid the kids she knows are for having sex! She doesn’t WANT to have sex! This was met with a laugh, because apparently that’s what kids do when they want to have sex but don’t want their parents to know they want to, or are already having sex. According to my friend, they put the spotlight on a friend so you can focus on that horrible person, and never think that your own sweet child is doing the same thing!!!!!  My friend knows this, because she did this herself.

So I’m really uncomfortable right now.

I don’t want to be that ignorant mom who can’t face what is going on. But am I stupid for believing what my daughter claims to think and feel about things when we talk? I have been so proud of her for not being like kids her age who are smoking, drinking, doing drugs, having sex. She talks about the girls in school that she knows are sleeping around, she brings home gossip about who got pregnant, who had an abortion, who got expelled for coming to school drunk.  These conversations have ended with me feeling so thankful that she hasn’t been tainted by the things that happen around her, and I’ve always thought she had a good head on her shoulders.

Am I stupid?

According to my friend…yes.

I was pretty ignorant about what was going on around me in high school. Friends that ended up having sex made me feel that I needed to save them from their low self esteem, because surely that’s the only reason they turned to a boy for that kind of attention. They must have just not felt loved enough. Or so I thought. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized I was probably the odd one, the one not having sex.

Stories my ex husband told me about when HE was in high school made me realize how sheltered I was, and naïve.

Other friends have shared their own stories of being a teenager….things they did.

One friend was raped by her boyfriend several times. She cried through it, but didn’t stop it….this was the first person she had sex with and it almost seems that she just didn’t know what to do about it.

Another friend was curious about things that boys and girls do together…. so she suggested to a co-worker that they team up and use each others bodies for training purposes. Duh, what do you think HE said??

Most of my friends have had some sexual experiences by the time they were my daughters age. I think I am the only one I know who had ONLY been kissed by then. Once or twice.

I want to cry.

I know too many people that have had abortions. Too many people that have had STD’s.

I don’t want that for my daughter. And I don’t want her to feel, as I think she does, that she needs the attention of a boy to really feel like she is worth something. This is not how I raised her. But this seems to be how it IS for so many kids at her age. She has talked about wanting a boyfriend, wanting to know that someone cares about her and finds her special and beautiful. I get this, I know those feelings, I was her age once.

I want her to feel that melting heat when you kiss someone you are crazy about. That fluttering in your stomach when you picture his face, or even whisper his name to yourself. I want her to feel giddy with happiness when she looks across the table into the face of the man she loves with all her heart, knowing he loves her too.

But I really, really doubt she is going to find that person now, at age 17. Instead, she is more likely to find a boy an insecure as she is. Curious about what sex feels like. Wanting to feel like they are grown up and special, and invincible…. and ready and able to spread HPV like it’s going out of style.

I’ve gotten a lot of advice. Friendly advice about how to handle this part of growing up.

But I’m not just putting her on the pill. I just can’t do that. And I don’t think she wants me to do that. I want to believe she still isn’t ready for that.

I will talk with her. I will talk and I will listen. I will pray.

I guess this is where I have to put some faith in her, and God, and myself for being hopefully a good enough parent to her.

I know she will make mistakes. I just don’t want them to be the kind that alters the course of her life, or limits the opportunities she has. I know I can either drive her away or bring her closer to me with my actions. I am hoping for the latter. I love her so much, and I just want to fast forward through this part of parenting. I know I can’t force my beliefs INTO her head and heart. But at the same time I don’t think I need to give her the message that “I know you’re going to have sex, so here’s the pill.” I hope I know my daughter well enough to guide my decisions about what to do with her. My friend, at her age, was having sex. And lying to her parents about it easily. I hope I’m not that parent.

So we are going to talk, a LOT.

And time will tell.

 

 

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