Do you remember when you were growing up and you'd hear your grandparents say "Back in my day...." or your parents say "when I was a girl....."? Do you remember rolling your eyes and thinking "yeh, yeh" and wondering what all the fuss was about? Thinking that all of them were just old fogies who had no idea about what you were going through, about the type of world you were growing up in? And thinking "when I'm a parent, I'm NEVER going to be like that!"? Well, I feel like I'm in a never-ending version of that complete paragraph at present!
One word - Teenagers.
I want to know what on earth has happened in the 20 years since I finished being a teenager? Since when did it become OK to do everything that it wasn't OK to do when I was a teenager? Have I really been living under a
rock BOULDER??? I don't think I'm naive, I don't think I'm a fuddy duddy, in fact I think I'm a pretty COOL MUM. But if the teenage years get more eventful and more testing the older they get - I could lose my cool.....
At 14 years of age, I had only just relinquished my Barbie dolls, started filling out a bra and was not remotely interested in sex. Don't get me wrong - I had a pulse, and hormones, so I knew the opposite sex existed - I just wasn't interested nor prepared to get involved in anything more than a kiss.
Fast forward to 2013........where 13 year olds think it's OK to drop the F bomb in front of their friends' Mum. Where parents think it's ok for the same age girls to roam the streets after 5pm, hang out with boys unsupervised and wear the most ridiculously skimpy clothes known to man. Morals are thrown out the window (or maybe they're just not taught?), restrictions on phone calls don't exist (can you imagine calling someone at 11pm back in 1988?) and writing on FB that you're on the phone to your "sexy boyfriend". 13. THIRTEEN.
You may have guessed what I'm dealing with? I thought the fact I had to go and borrow the "Where do I come from" book last week, for the younger members of the family, was enough sex talk for at least a month, but apparently not. It seems my world has now become one of repetitive conversations about what is appropriate and/or inappropriate behaviour.
|Remember this little gem of a book?|
The expectations I have as a parent are pretty simple - I thought? But I'm slowly realising that perhaps my expectations are completely out of whack with the time I'm living in? A certain someone said to me today that he was "glad he doesn't have daughters". And I replied that I was glad I did, because I will teach my daughters (and my sons!) morals, self-esteem and love. That my daughters will have a slew of restrictions of what/how they can and cannot wear, do, say and behave. And that there will be consequences for the choices they make in their lives. Am I really being THAT unrealistic to think that I can have so much input in to how my children are going to turn out? Do I have to just give in to the fact that times have changed and expectations appear to be somewhat lowered?
I'm doing my best. I'm having VERY open and honest conversations on a very regular basis. I'm ensuring the teenager is informed and protected. But I feel like I'm going "against the tide" so to speak.
Do you have teenagers? Do you have expectations? Discuss!