September 23, 2012
The shame of it is that we are one of the few parents, and the only in my daughter’s peer group, that already raised a girl….now 23 years old. That doesn’t mean we didn’t make mistakes then and that we don’t now….But if I had that resource of experience and knowledge in my parental peer group, I would certainly try to learn from their actions and try to understand their rules concerning our 13-year-old daughters….
Sunset Mall was also the location of choice 10 years ago when our first daughter was 13. She wasn’t dropped off without supervision until the beginning of 10th grade….. It seems my now 13-year-old, just starting 8th grade, is the only one requiring adult supervision while at the mall. It’s so much easier to just drop her off and let her fend for herself with other 13 year olds…
Mind you, Sunset Mall is in a challenging neighborhood and police patrolling the mall openly talk about gang problems, drug use and petty crime. Plus, there is enough peer pressure on young teens. Having them fend for themselves in an anthill of other teens and young adults is an unnecessary pressure on their young psyches. There are two variables going on here. One is that with a parent close by, basic human psychology states that the young teen will be more wary of her decision-making with a parent close by. The other variable is that if something were to happen at least a parent is in close proximity.
Regardless, it is our choice as a parent to not leave her alone regardless of how tired we are. Yes, it’s a hassle, yes, it’s boring for the adults and yes, we rather be doing something else.. But what about parental responsibility? Instead of helping ourselves and working as a team, covering supervised mall trips, sharing drop-off and pick ups….We will be forced to have our daughter choose a different peer group…A group more in line with what we believe to be responsible adult actions.
For at least the remainder of this year. my wife and I will go to the mall with our 13-year-old and have an old fashion date night. That way we share some one-on-one time with each other and are there for our daughter as well….
Hopefully one day she will understand and appreciate the tough choices we make. These choices however, shouldn’t be made tougher by parents that should be part of our support network….
June 9, 2012
My daughter celebrated her 13th birthday last weekend….even though it’s not until August! One of her closest friends is also a summer baby and is leaving for Spain for the summer…So of course they came up with an idea of celebrating their 13th first teenage b-day together. She promises she won’t ask for another bash on her real birthday in August… wish me luck on that one!
My wife and I are on the same page in not allowing our daughter to wear high heel shoes….So our daughter, the lawyer to be, came up with a compromise – wear platform shoes! Hey, they are actually not heels, but still 2-4 inches high; depending on the type of shoe… Since my wife and I are learning not to make every decision World War 3 and trying to choose what battles to fight, we let her buy a pair of platform shoes….talk about viral communication…. Every single girl at their party had huge platform shoes!
It was hilarious to see the girl’s tower over boys of the same age since the boys have not yet begun to develop their bodies….yes ladies, I know, even as adults we still haven’t developed our brains……. We parents had a ball watching these otherwise coordinated girls trying to maneuver their platforms! It was a miracle there were no broken ankles! My wife went to the girl’s bathroom at one point and saw about 10 girls on the floor exchanging shoes with each other because they were so uncomfortable! About mid way through the night most of the girls were shoeless…beautiful, fanciful outfits and no shoes! I have to give my daughter credit though, she actually took a second pair, these were flats, and at least wasn’t barefoot the rest of the evening.
It was your typical pre-teen party, with the boys goofing off and the girls dancing by themselves. At one point there were around 100 tweens partying. My wife and I couldn’t believe we made it through that night! We learned one important lesson though. We could have been stricter with the heels issue, but we already raised one girl – now 23 years of age. We know we have many, many rounds of battles in front of us. Many battles we had with our eldest daughter were great learning experiences for us.…
Hopefully we are wiser with our youngest…. we are definitely more tired! But we learned that by giving in a little, with something that didn’t involve a moral issue, she had fun and learned a big lesson about heels, platform or otherwise!
In fact, this evening they are off to another birthday party and guess what! They are all wearing flats!