The rate at which time moves is just too fast. It seems like just yesterday that my girls were starting kindergarten. Well, this past weekend we attended a high school open house at my alma mater. They are in 7th grade now, so we have only about 2 years left before they start high school. Here in Chicago now is the time to begin the selective enrollment process. It’s amazing to me that it’s almost time for this! And on top of this they are turning 13 next year. Yikes!
As I walked around my previous school with my kids memories of my teenage years flooded my mind. High school is the basis for of the bulk of some of my best teen memories. I met and connected with many friends there. I also met my husband there. As I was reminiscing I started thinking about my high school memories… and I realized… OMG… my girls are going to be teenagers in only 6 months. Yikes! This brings to mind many new concerns that parents of teens have. Some of the things that I think about are:
- The Dating Conversation: This time will be here before I know it. It won’t be easy. But it is a necessary conversation.
- The Smoking Conversation: I like to think that I know my girls fairly well and I don’t think that they will have any interest in smoking. However, again this is a conversation that needs to happen. And I plan to be truthful. I tried smoking a cigarette once as a teen. I thought that it was disgusting and I never touched one again.
- The Drinking Conversation: This conversation has already started in my house, and it will continue as teachable moments arise.
I am proud to say that I was a very good teenager. I made it a point to stay away from trouble. I had a very close circle of friends and luckily we were all good kids. Of course I knew some of the other kids that were not so good. And this is what I think about as I am quickly becoming the parent of 2 and soon after 4 teens.
One of the most important topics to cover is underage drinking. While I’m working hard to instill good sense and values into my kids about the risks of underage drinking, I understand that there is always going to be the fear of peer pressure. As I loosen the reigns and let my girls have more independence it is going to be up to them to make decisions on their own. Hopefully the talks that we have now prepare them to make the right choices. I have already shared stories with them about people that I’ve known that have had problems with alcohol use. I think it’s important to share those stories so that they know the risk.
The important thing is that my children feel comfortable coming to me with questions about anything and everything. I am striving to make sure that I am an approachable parent. This can’t always be easy. It requires a balance between being a parent and being a friend. I am firm when need be, but I enjoy having conversations with my children. This will continue as long as possible. While some teens start to pull away from their parents, I want to make sure that my kids still love having me around. I want them to know that i am here to talk at any time. 🙂
How do you handle talking to your children about sensitive subjects? At what age did you start? Visit the Ask, Listen, Learn website for useful information and tips on how to talk to you kids. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Responsibility.org. All opinions are my own.