Monday, July 2, 2012

Being a Mom to a Teenage Girl

Us at the Foo Fighters Concert

My oldest daughter is almost 17.   Yes, that's right 17.   Which means in one more year she will be 18.  Oy.

In one more year and 2 months, she will be an adult.

I must say, that even with a few minor bumps here and there and some attitude, I am throroughly enjoying watching her blossom into a wonderful, confident woman.

I remember what it was like to be a teenager.   I remember the adult female influences around me.

And that's one thing you mom's with teenage girls need to remember.  As a teenager, we remember the influences around us at that time. (and always, really, for that matter)

It's those women around me at that time, that I remember, and I remember what I wanted to take from each one of them to use as an influence for when I became a mom.

Because I knew I wanted to be a mom.  Even way back then.

The first influence is, without a doubt, my mom.  She was a great mom.  And she was a cool mom.  Ask any of my friends from when I was in high school, they will tell you the same thing.  My mom was accepting as well.  Some of my friends, and even acquaintances at that time were definitely unique in their look, but my mom treated them all the same, and never made judgement even when they weren't there.  She based it on who they were as a person, not what they looked like.  And she was so well loved by so many.

She was also very laid back as well.  She didn't ask me a lot of questions (well there was that one time when her and I sat in the living room with a couple of beers - and I was only 18 at the time - but that conversation is not for here), and when I look back, I don't remember asking her a lot of questions either.

The 2nd female in my life who was an influence on me, was my Aunt Sharon.  I used to love to go up to their house and spend time with my cousins.  I remember the atmosphere there too.  It could get loud sometimes ( I had 5 cousins there), but they were also allowed to swear if they wanted to.   I always envied that.  To be able to be relaxed enough to say "Fuck" in front of your mom.   (That was the one word my mom did not like, because I don't remember ever saying it in front of her, at least when I was a teenager).

The 3rd female in my life was one of my best friend's mom, Linda.  I remember the strength she had in her.  I remember her not holding back when it came to talking at times about things.  From the age of 10 on, I pretty much grew up in their house, as well as mine.

My grandma was an influence in my life as well, but when I was a teenager, I so did not get along with her.  As a child I did, and after I graduated high school and started college, we got along much better.  But as a teenager?  Not so much.  She was very strict (which explains why my mom was so NOT strict like that).  But when I was an adult and found out some things about her life growing up, it made sense.  I also found out that she was a bit of rebel, herself, in some ways.  (She eloped with her first husband because she knew her aunt would not approve).  She knew what she wanted.

I took some parts of all of these women, as influences for how and who I am, as a mom.

From the very get go, I told my children that they could come to me with ANYTHING.  They could ask me ANYTHING.  I would always answer them truthfully.  Yes, sometimes it has been embarrassing to explain a question that they ask about, but I still answer them.   They need to know that I am that safe person that they can come to. (Excellent example....last night my little one and I were watching a movie and they said the word "balls".  You could tell from her expression that she may have known what it meant, but still unsure and so I asked her if she knew what it meant and she thought she did, and she was close, but I corrected her and explained in a matter-of-factly, unexpressioned tone, what it actually meant.

I allow my oldest daughter to swear in the house, yes, even the word "Fuck".  With the only exception that she curb it when she is around her younger sister (even though she's already heard those words before, I still believe that when they are young, they are still so vulnerable and impressionable, and I like to keep the curse words to a minimum).  Last night we were talking about stuff and Fuck came out.  Not even necessarily in a mean way either.  Just conversation we have.  Of course she tends to laugh at me when I say it though.  Maybe it's because she never really heard it from me when she was little because I curbed my language back then?

I'm not perfect.  I never claimed to be perfect.  But I know I try and do my best when it comes to my girls.  I'm upfront and honest with them when they ask me things, I do my best to allow them to become who they truly are, and I encourage and laugh with them, and yes, even cry with them.

1 comment:

  1. I think I was in 10th grade when my mom asked me if I knew what "blow job" meant. I can't remember why she asked but maybe she heard me say it? I just remember being mortified at having to have that discussion with my mom. ;)