My daughter, in this 12th year of her life, and her first year of junior high, has been surrounded by other girls who just don’t have the same sort of relationship with their parents or close tight-knit lifestyle that we do.
This year, my K-Girl has spoken to me about another girl in her class who told everyone that her mother smokes pot and that she has also tried it before. K wasn’t sure whether to believe this or not, she felt that the girl may be making it up to garner attention, but she wasn’t certain. This year my daughter has been surprised and appalled to find that one of her friends had created a Facebook account that her parents didn’t know about. She told me, “it didn’t even cross my mind that anyone would do that.” This year, my daughter has discovered that many girls her age think it’s cool to sneak into movies they are too young for without parental permission, and that suggesting to her friends who feel stifled and oppressed by the rules placed on them by their parents, to simply talk to them about how they feel, will gain her eye-rolls.
I don’t know if this is pretty typical of grade 7 girls? Does anyone else have an experience with a grade 7 girl in their life to share?
I do know that it is normal to test boundaries and to try to move away from some of that parental control… And I know that there’s even worse things that these kids could be doing. Thing is, I can’t help but think in a couple years time, they will be doing things on that “worst” list if the relationships between parent and child don’t improve.
I mentioned to my K-girl, as we were talking this afternoon in the car on the drive home, that “I wish people would spend more time establishing good relationships with their children when they’re young, so when they get to these ages, they can communicate when issues do arise.”
I don’t know what the teen years hold for this relationship between my K-Girl and I. I’m not naive to think that there aren’t things that will come up with my daughter that I will wish hadn’t. But I do feel like with open, honest, and continuous dialogue, the relationship has been established on a solid foundation, and we will be able to navigate our way through any tough times that may come our way, with our love and respect for each other firmly intact.