Friday, April 10

A new world order

certainly is for me. i find myself in a very new parenting space this evening , an interesting and challenging one which dares me to confront my morals, my assumptions, my values and expectations. B1 is having a friend sleep over. no biggie. happens all the time. kids crammed in her bedroom giggling and chatting and doing their hair. tonight jesse is sleeping over. jesse's a boy. a lovely sweet gentle, soft 6"3' Jamaican boy with dreads. She's 14. He's 16. what was i thinking when i said 'yes'?

They met months ago on my space/ msn/ some social networking chat site. They catch up in town every Friday after school and spend the evening together with their friends. B1's going to QLD this Sunday and he wanted to see her before she left and tonight was their only opportunity after the school week. They're not going out, not boyfriend and girlfriend. Yet. At this stage they're just mates who get along. she really likes him ( he's so hot Mum) but i think shes just not that interested in having a boyfriend, although most of her friends are boys. She finds girls 'too giggly and gossipy and game playing' and often tells me she just wants to grow up and be an adult so she can just leave all this teenage crap behind.

whaddaya do? In this new world order apparently its cool, ok, fine to be doing this ( according to them that is, the teens) B1 asked me like it was no biggie, nothing out of the ordinary to have him come stay, just another friend . when i umm'ed and ahh'ed she asked me what my issues were! lol and told me categorically that she'd never do anything in the house with a boy coz 'we were there', to which B2 piped up with 'they do it and youre here' lol. ohh tooo much! So i figured 'what they hey', trying to over control their 'growing up stuff' is just too problematic and I'd much rather have them here and safe, whatever the gig, than out partying, driving, drinking etc. So he's here for the night, we've all talked about bedding, hes on the floor in her room on a futon pad and surprisingly, im ok with it all.

I think its particularly difficult as B1 is a really mature 14; physically, emotionally and intellectually and finds herself 2 grades ahead in school, still excelling and with school peers who are 16. Keeping her back i feel is foolish, possibly opening myself up to losing her like my mum did me, so i give her a bit more rope/choice than i ever had. I just have to trust, keep trusting, that our communication and honesty will get us through. But it's such a fine line to balance upon...Im very aware. Too much...not enough...

So they're back from the video store, Ive got their sleeping sorted, we've chatted over dinner and on the outside Im all cool and sweet. Ive told her that if anything goes weird, feels wrong, just come see me. Eeeeeeeeeeeee. Its all so new.
Sooo, kids upstairs 'watching vids' and Im down here blogging about it. Thats pretty new world order.

man, i meant to do a gardening post today!


Suzanne said...

When I was a kid, we lived in a rural, bedroom community so my parents often allowed my "boyfriends" to sleep over. However, they were always in another room or out of the house completely, in a camper.
Good thing, too, because by 16, I was having sex with my boyfriend in my room while my parents wathed TV downstairs. They still don't know to this day.
Not saying this will happen to you, but congrats on stretching yourself and placing trust in your daughter.
Whether he's sleeping next to her bed or not, you're duaghte is going to make her own choices and you can only hope the foundation you laid will allow to make the right ones.

Em said...

hey Kel, what a great mum you are! you're brave. There is no right choice but to be there. my stomach is all butterflies reading about it.

Dina said...

My gut reaction is you're doing the right thing.

But I don't have teenagers yet so I'm kind of talking out of my ass here.

I feel though that you're giving your daughter a message of trust.

I don't know.

It just seems okay to me.

Katrine said...

It sounds to me like you're approaching the situation perfectly.

As a teenager my parents never gave me any excessive rules to rebel against, so unlike many of my frineds i never felt like i needed to rebel. They trusted me to make responsible decisions and because i had that trust i never felt the need to push any boundaries too far. It allowed me to grow at my own unique rate, to resist peer pressure more adequatley and to know when i was ready to test different aspects of becoming an adult.

I think it worked brilliantly and looking back on my teenage years there isn't anything much i regret doing, but there are lots of experiences i'm very grateful i was allowed to have in my own time.

Jen said...

Oh GOD! I cant bear to think about what i would do in the same situation, but as my daughters are much younger than your B1 it will be a while before I will be facing similar difficult decisions.

I also subscribe to the idea that i'd rather they be at home when going through and 'experimenting' teenage years. But the reality of being confronted with a man-sized boyfriend sleeping in the same room as my daughter, well i suspect i might just become very 50's in my parenting all of a sudden!

Trust is a good thing, Im sure its not misplaced.

Kel said...

suzanne-thanks for that!!! i think?? but i figure better here than i the back of a car somewhere...? and i know shes no where interested/ready/ok with sex at this point. Intimacy and relationship is the one area where shes very behind!

em- butterflies here too. its so tricky. I could have said 'no' with no repurcusions but somehow i for thought.

Dina - thanks. trust for me is what its all about. i had none with my own mother. it just seemed ok to me too.

Katrine - great feedback.thanks and your parents approach sounds exactly whre im trying to head. rather she deal with presure of biys here in her home than in a strangers home with a crowd of peers and little choice.

jen- yes, man sized is very confronting. he was big and black ! LOL agghhH!!! tell ya, i was all set to revert to my mothers approach!

Kerrie said...

I think you have done good Kel. From what you have written right throughout your blog B1 sounds like a smart young woman who is very capable of making prudent choices for herself. I doubt that she would want him to sleep over unless she felt completely safe with him. Trust is the big issue here and you have shown her that you trust her (and him) to act appropriately.

You have done well in giving her an escape if she needs one. She probably won't but I bet she is glad to have the "out" if she needs it.

I think B1 and Matilda are the same age but as yet we haven't had to deal with this situation, we may never have to either. I'd like to think I could approach it with the wisdom you have shown. I would far prefer my daughter (and her friends) to be home under my roof where they are safe. I think I'd still be sleeping lightly though.

Bravo Kel, bravo.

You do know we want to hear about your night tomorrow, don't you..??

Lisa Barrett said...

They could be doing it anywhere Kel, better that you know where they are.

Join the club of impossible decisions for you teens.

Oz girlfriend sleeps over and he has to sleep on the sofa. However he isn't there in the morning if you get up early!! what do you do? I pretend I haven't noticed.

Kel said...

kerrie- thanks. its so weird to be dealing with stuff but i actually slept fine. im pretyy 100% sure it was exploratory stuff goin on...

lisa - yup, my thoughts...anywhere. rather here than anywhere! lol...why make him go through the pretense if you turn a blind eye?

Lisa Barrett said...

just makes me feel like a good mother this way.

Kel said...

lisa- lol. fair enough! funny, arent we? its the half way thing, we're all prone. :-)