Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Music To My Ears

Either because of or in spite of the fact that I spent my teenage years dating and being boy crazy, I have always discouraged my kids from this. I'm not interested in jumping on the courtship-betrothal bandwagon with all it's various weirdness, nor am I going to pretend that I can control whether or not my children have extra special warm-and-fuzzy feelings for other people. My approach has been simply to explain my position again and again, let them make their own decisions, and let life teach them whether what I say has merit or not.

My oldest is 16 and he's had a few girlfriends so far. Several months ago there was a big break up with his longtime girlfriend, and it was a split that was many months in the making. The situation was especially tough on the girl and it has been a source of concern for our family to know that she is hurting so badly. Since the breakup I've had several little conversations with my son, reiterating that it seems a terrible waste of a good friendship to sacrifice it for a "girlfriend." In the end these kids just get hurt feelings, broken hearts, and a relationship that's usually too strained or broken down to be able to continue.

In a world where good friends are hard to find, it makes no sense to me to toss out good, healthy relationships for these ridiculous, contrived boyfriend-girlfriend situations.

My second child is 12 and at her age the thing we have run into is that the boys and girls that are friends don't feel like it is ok to talk on the phone if they aren't "going out." So, she's had a couple "boyfriends" who were nothing more than friends she could talk to on the phone. Since she doesn't go to school with these kids any more, phone calling is the only social link she's got. So, a pretty important thing in her life.

The recent boyfriend has proven to not be a real positive thing for her. My daughter had come to me several times to talk about it and ask my opinion. My honest advice was to break it off, just be friends, and stop with all of this boyfriend nonsense. (I say it a whole lot more diplomatically to her)

In the car the other day she and I were talking about this again and my 16 year old piped in to tell her, "Honestly, I've been following Mom's advice for quite awhile now, and it's really a good thing."

High praise!! What a thrill!! Definitely blog-worthy!

That night about an hour after tucking my daughter into bed she came out to give me another hug and tell me she loves me. This is not a common event for her. I wondered if she had appreciated what I had told her. (This is a child who will typically fight me on issues that she doesn't want to deal with or hear about, but later on is able to tell me that she is glad I stuck to my guns and kept doing what I felt needed to be done. A wonderful thing for me to know, since I regularly hear her complaints about oh-so-many of the things I am doing "for her own good.")

The next day she broke up with the boyfriend in the kind way I recommended, and so far things seem to be going well.

Tonite she and I were folding laundry together and talking and she shared some of the breakup details with me. Then she said that once she had a chance to let my words sink into her head, she realized that it made perfect sense.

!! Gotta love moments like that!

I don't have any delusions that my two oldest kids are going to forego boyfriends/girlfriends until they are ready to look for a spouse (though I would recommend that!) but it was good to know that they are hearing me, that what I'm saying is helping them and making sense to them on some level, at this time.

Another Rock Star Momma moment for me. I'll take 'em wherever I can get 'em.

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