Remember when you were a teen with raging hormones? Maybe kissing in the backseat of the boyfriends car or hiding out somewhere and making out? I remember. It was a wonderful if not slightly confusing time. I didn’t have my mother to talk to, mostly because I really didn’t like my mother until I was pregnant with my own child at the young age of 18.
I always knew that parenting was hard. That what we taught our children even as babies would be one day very important and would affect the decisions they made as adults. But they were babies and everyone always has advice on how to mother a baby. Babies are easy, you feed them, change them, bathe them, lovingly help them navigate away from the negative behaviors in toddler-hood, but what the hell happens when they become teenagers? It’s like all of a sudden everyone clamps their mouths shut.
Teenagers are moody, whiny and sometimes make really bad choices no matter what we tried to teach them up to that point. But the scariest or hardest part of being a parent of a teenager is when they suddenly find their sexuality. What are you supposed to do with that?
My girls are both in 7th grade and most are friends with the 7th and 8th grade classes. They both have Facebook and friend all the kids, even if they aren’t friends with them, much to my everlasting chagrin. So they sometimes tell me who is dating who, but this year it’s all about the girls dating other girls.
I’m pretty liberal, I don’t care what your sexuality is and who you got the heavy hots for. Not really my business, but it does disturb me a little with these kids. I wouldn’t care if one of my girls was a lesbian. I would support their life decisions. But what I don’t support is when they are trying their sexuality on for size and sleeping over at one anothers houses having make out and petting sessions. It is inappropriate at that age for anyone of any sexual orientation to be experimenting.
It doesn’t matter to me if they are bi, gay or straight. With my oldest being 14 and now having her first “serious” boyfriend…or as serious as you can get at such a tender age…I am constantly on her about making smart decisions. I know she has kissed him, she’s told me. But we talk about sex. I told her that she should wait until she is ready and not when she is feeling pressured by a boy. Respect thy self.
I talk to them both about sexuality and how I do trust them to make the right choices, but I don’t trust their hormones to make the right choices. I tell them to wait and to come to me before doing anything (this is where I would tell them to keep their pants on, but they don’t know that yet). I will put them on the pill and get them condoms, because I don’t want them to have any accidents or STD’s and I sure don’t want a teen mom. Of course I have also told them that just because I would put them on the pill it doesn’t give them license to do whatever they want. Having sex is very serious and isn’t something you should do just because you feel the urge. It’s meant for two people who are in love and have a mutual respect with one another.
Parenting a teen is tough. Tougher than the toddler who is having a screaming tantrum in the middle of the store embarrassing the crap out of you. Parenting a teen is much worse and much scarier. I love my girls and I can only hope that I have taught them to make the right decisions, to respect themselves and to wait until they are older and more emotionally stable, but I know that they ARE teenagers and teenagers no matter how well taught will make the wrong ones sometimes.
More from parenting