Friday, April 17, 2009

When to have the talk?

Today on Oprah two mothers brought in their 14 year old children to discuss the fact that they felt they were ready to have sex. 14 ????? I know that we live in a different world, but 14?

My step-daughter has just turned 13 and now has her second boyfriend. Of course, she "loves" him. I am so worried that we need to be having this talk and a few others. I am seeing a set of negative behaviors that really concern me.

While she was here for her spring break her attitude and behavior raised some red flags. Having spent last summer with her I was quite aware that she could be moody, but this was off the charts. She was short tempered and sulky. More concerning to us was how caught up in her new "love" she was. She spent the majority of her time either on the computer or phone or talking about the boy. At one point she and the boyfriend had a disagreement and she yelled at everyone nearby then quite literally pouted. Yes, I am aware some of this is teenaged behavior, but it appears that she is wrapping her self worth into this relationship.

She also has loaned the same boy her PSP, her cellphone and most recently her new I-pod nano which he somehow lost! The PSP was broken and her phone did not come back for two days. Okay, maybe it's just stuff, but what else is she willing to do for this boy to keep him involved or loving her?

Of all the things I want for my children, not taking stupid crap from their partner is probably tops. My ex-husband, the "bio-dad" was mentally and physically abusive. I did more things than I am probably willing to remember just to keep the peace. I let him walk all over me and gave him permission to do it.

I guess my big issue is that I see some of me in her. You want my valuable possesions? Well sure, but only because you love me. So what if this is my only week with my dad for a while, your my boyfriend and you LOVE me. Yell at me because you are mad, well okay. After all, You Love Me.

I am aware of the fact that we especially being the part-time parents will probably not be able to keep her from becoming intimate. We can not make her see that her new love is just the immature talk of young hormonal teenagers. We can not control the things that she loans to this obviously irresponsible child.

We will be limiting her computer time and phone time this summer. I will do my best to keep the communication honest and open. I will intervene where I can, but can I help her to value her opinion of herself indedpendant of her relationship? I can only hope.


Kathleen said...

wow jo jo you hit the nail on the head here. I remember an Oprah program some time ago which was about how girls around the age of twelve...even smart girls became focused on their looks and boys etc etc and their smartness just went out the window. So here we have this situation whereby this boy is all she can think and talk about.

I wonder if explaining to her that he is but a part of her life and that she has other parts of her life she should not neglect like her girlfriends, her studies, her sports would help her acheive a balance...somehow i doubt mention the hormones after all!

This is difficult, especially with your health issues. Let us hope she is not also twittering, the time that kids waste doing that is incredible..its like instant messaging to them...they do it in class!

Bad Momma said...

Stories like this make me glad I have all boys. The best you can do is to have a talk with your s.d. and if appropriate, make her mom aware of your concern.

jojo said...

I agree that communication seems to be the key here. I have considered talking to her mother, but she can be quite difficult. We did speak to her and let her know what difference we saw in her attitude; however, they tend to communicate by yelling. Thus, she hadn't noticed any difference.

Our biggest concern is that she tends to be left at home alone. Her mother just started working for the census so she may have many hours of unsupervised time.

I guess we can hope and I am thinking of taking both girls to the health department this summer for some hopefully gross education on std's.