Thursday, September 04, 2008

When Life Imitates Art...

This week I've been working on, and yesterday I submitted, an assigned article to a national parenting magazine on how to help your teen know when he or she is "in love." With a teen and a preteen in the house, believe me when I say that I know a little bit about crushes and infatuations and "going out" with boys (even though, at 12, they're not really "going out"--they are really just "going with," which is what we used to call it!).

The article gives information about how teens perceive being "in love" differently than adults, and tips on how parents can help their teens as they go through these feelings.

With that topic on my mind, McKenna arrived home the other night right at curfew time and she ran up to me in the living room (where I lay quietly, enjoying my new Kindle) and she literally squealed. (You have to know that McKenna is my "hold it all in" child and squealing is not usually in her nature; it is reserved for "special" moments.) I immediately knew a boy had to be the cause of her squealing, and she proceeded to sit down and tell me all about running into this friend of hers at the snow cone place. She "went out" with this boy throughout middle school (again, "going out"= nothing really, since she wasn't even allowed to date until 16) and this year she has Spanish class with him. They've been talking a lot lately, and then a group of her friends ran into him at the snow cone place (which is, apparently, a popular hang out for her crowd. If I'm selecting a hang out place, by the way, a shop that sells snow cones and ice cream and slushies is a #1 choice in my book!).

McKenna had this goofy grin on her face when she said that they hugged when she got ready to leave, and then "he gave me a little kiss." Commence squealing again!

Two of the main points in my article were to: "Keep the lines of communication open" and "Never dismiss their feelings." Believe me...sometimes I don't necessarily want to know all the little details of their relationships (the hand holding, the kissing)...but believe me at the same time that I absolutely DO want to know all the details. It makes me feel so good to know that she can come to me and share those details with me (my Mom and I have always gotten along great, but at that age I think I would have been uncomfortable talking about that). I've always drilled into the girls that they can "talk to me about anything" and I guess they know that it's true.

So, I asked her questions about him and about if she really thinks she likes him and about how he makes her feel. And it was all really good. (Of course, I know that he will probably be old news very soon; McKenna has a habit of liking a boy, then getting fed up with him, and dropping him like a hot potato. She's never had a truly serious boyfriend, because she's extremely picky.So, she may not actually fall "in love" until she's 30...which is fine too!)

And, by the way...while Delaney was at a volleyball match with Gary last night, she got a call from a boy wanting to talk to her. Yep, Delaney has a boyfriend too...they're in middle school and apparently "going out" (again with the going out!!) I hear it from her side too.


Jenster said...

Ooo! I want to read the article when it comes out!!

My 16-year-old has had the same girlfriend for over a year. They weren't able to "date" until they both were 16 (past April), but as of this moment they still haven't been on a real date. I'm so okay with that! lol They're both in Student Leadership at church and mostly hang out with those kids and that makes me happy.

He is in teenage love with her, plain and simple. I'm thankful for the boundaries they both have set and for the communication he has with his dad and me. But I can't help but worry about this very serious relationship at such a young age.

All that is to say (again) I'm really looking forward to your article! Can you let us know when and where it's published??

goooooood girl said...

Good good good......

Gin said...

Great post Cheryl. It is so great that your girls talk to you like that. Sounds like a good story too.

Marjolein said...

Oh wow, put the article on your blog please, I would love to read it!!! How cool is that!!!
Got the same things going on here! My 16 year old daughter is ...."going steady" for a year now... and tells me everything and I'm so glad that she does!!! (but on the other hand... I'm not sure if I DO want to know everything LOL) My 13 year old is totally not interested in boys yet.... any idea how long that will last??:-)

Have a great day and enjoy your 700 photos.... pfew, you've got some scrappin' to do girl!

Cheryl Wray said...

Jenster--You do kind of worry about kids getting serious at such a young age, but it sounds like your son has got his head on his shoulders. We absolutely encourage hanging out more in groups than in dating, and doing things at church mostly. So far, so good! When the article comes out, I'll link it up for everyone.

Gooood--Thanks! (Good to see you here. I'll have to link up to you and find out where you came from. :-)

Gin--I am SO glad they talk to me!

Marjolein--I don't 12 year old girl definitely likes boys already. lol And, yes, I am SO ready to get some scrapping done with all those pics!!

Ms.L said...

Oooh you have such great thoughts on this subject!
I will take what you said to heart:)

Monogram Queen said...

I plan to be a very open Mom, I can see where I might not be thrilled to hear about the kissing etc either but I want to know, ya know?

The "going out" thing for some reason bugs the ever loving crap out of me! I always ask my great nice "You're going out WHERE?". LOL I'm such an old fogey!

Adrienne said...

I can't wait to read that article!!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Ms. L--I'm not really an expert...just years of trying to get it right. LOL (maybe by the time Sydney's a teenager, I'll have it figured out.)

Queen--I know!! Going Out just cracks me up. i always tell Delaney, you can go out with him, but that doesn't mean you're actually going anywhere!!!

Adrienne--I hope it turns out well.

Sheila said...

Great post and its always good to hear parents having open communication with their children.

Debbie said...

Oh, Cheryl I am so glad I made it thru those times with 5 kids. Three boys and two girls.

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

That's so funny - I was always baffled by the whole "going out" thing. It took me a while to figure out that it was the same as "going with". I kept wondering where all these kids were going when they went "out". lol My poor kids...I think they know their mom's a dork. LOL


Auburn Kat said...

I didn't have a boyfriend until college, which was just fine with me!!

That's great that she went right to you and talked to you about it!

Leah said...

That's so great that your girls tell you that stuff. I hope it's the same with mine, when they get to that age. I love my mom, but I never wanted to talk about that kind of stuff with her!

Phats said...

HAHA this is great!! The good old days of meeting at a snow cone place :) to be young and "in love"

I bet the article is awesome

Cheryl Wray said...

Sheila--They won't tell you everything, I know that. But...if yo ulet them know you value their opinion and you want to talk to them, they will! It's a good thing!

Debbie--Whew! 5 kids! you deserve a big ole gold star!!!

Kari--I know!! Going Out just cracks me up!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Kat--I was the same way. I didn't really date until college.In high school, we mostly just hung out with a big group of friends--guys and girls. I think it's silly for kids to get so serious so young.

Leah--I know you're a great Mom, and i'm sure they'll be that way with you!

Phats--Yep, nothing better than hanging out at Snow Biz!

Lynilu said...

Let us know about the publication date, OK?

I love that story. You know you've done things right with that girl! How wonderful that she share her "big moment" with you!! My daughter did that, too, although she didn't like to share with my hub because he was likely to tease. She would seek me out alone, then cut loose. I loved it!

hippochick said...

Oh, young love. I remember it well. You are so blessed with these darling girls.

~hippo hugs~