I think we’ve been pretty lucky up until now. Our almost 16 year old daughter and 13 1/2 year old son are “homebodies” and don’t go out much. They don’t get into trouble except for typical teenager stuff like being lazy and disrespectful. What I mean by trouble is that they don’t break curfew and things along those lines.
We haven’t had to worry about our son because he doesn’t really have any friends. He never hangs out with anyone. He has plenty of acquaintances but no one he can truly call a best friend. We even offer to drive him and a friend to the mall, or take them to the ballpark, but he declines.
Our daughter has a new best friend weekly (or so it would seem). You know how teenage girls are. They can be very “flighty” and fickle. One day they are best friends with a girl and the next day they are enemies only to be best friends again a day or two later.
Even though I was a teenager at one point I can’t keep up with who likes who, who wore what, who is “besties” with who and what girl is sworn enemies with what other girl.
Teenage Girls = DRAMA!
A few times senior boys have shown interest in our daughter, but she always does something to push them away before anything can even develop. Not that me and my husband mind (she’s not yet 16 – she will be in 3 weeks). She’s still young.
She did have a “boyfriend” (I use the term loosely) two summers ago. They went to school with each other but never spoke with one another. One night on a sleepover at a friend’s house the girl Oovoo’ed (video chatted) with the boy because they were friends. My daughter started talking to the boy too and soon they became friends. The boy then asked her out and they started “dating” online (as only 14 year olds can do). They never met face to face but as far as they were concerned, and all their friends, they were a couple.
The boy kept pushing for my daughter to hangout with him so they made arrangements to meet for lunch at a local McDonald’s (how romantic! LOL). I dropped my daughter off and went food shopping at a grocery store near by. She knew the rules (don’t leave the restaurant, no kissing…). Shortly after I dropped her off she was texting me about how she didn’t want to be there, and she DOESN’T like him after all, and how does she let him down without hurting his feelings. The boy even gave her a necklace when he met her at McDonald’s which made it harder for my daughter.
She eventually was honest with him before leaving McDonald’s and they “broke up” there and then. He was mad at her for a while, even calling her nasty names (not in person but to their friends). Soon it all died down and now the two of them barely acknowledge each other at school.
Last summer our daughter had an on going thing (via text) with a really sweet boy. We never met him but I did read some of the texts and he seemed like a nice boy. He wanted to hang out with our daughter but she kept coming up with excuses. Finally they stopped talking to one another and he asked someone else out. They have been dating ever since.
When school started this year another boy, a senior (our daughter is a sophomore) wanted to drive her home from school the very first day. NO WAY! She knows the rules – NO GETTING IN CARS WITH BOYS, or teenage girls too for that matter. Not all teens are great drivers.
Things have been pretty quiet and we haven’t heard about any boy stuff for months. Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue, our daughter asked if she could meet her best-friend-of-the-moment at the local ballpark (minor league stadium) to watch a varsity baseball game. That was VERY suspicious. Our daughter is not into sports and knows nothing about baseball. We had a feeling boys were involved. She did mention one boy that was going with her friend, but they are just friends.
I dropped our daughter off at the ballpark and waved hello to her two friends and waited until they were inside the stadium. As per our daughter her best friend’s dad was also there and would drive them home.
Fast forward a few days later. I had to take our daughter to the doctor to make sure she didn’t have Bronchitis. While we were in the examining room waiting for the doctor to show up the truth came out.
The male friend that was there with them (the one I saw) left right away. Her friend wanted to go to see a boy she likes on the baseball team. ANOTHER boy, one who her friend supposedly used to like, was also there. Apparently this boy has eyes for my daughter. Judging by some pictures I saw on Facebook (yeah, I stalk my kids – I need to know what is going on), her “best friend” was getting a bit cozy with the boy that supposedly likes my daughter and that her friend “used to” like. Her friend never went to see any of the players on the team. It all seems pretty suspicious.
Meeting a boy there was not the bad part – the bad part is that she lied about he friend’s father being there (he wasn’t) and it was the boy (the one who likes my daughter supposedly) who drove them home.
She broke one of our MAJOR RULES – No getting in cars with boys!
I think I must have turned purple at that point because my blood pressure hit the roof. I lectured her until I was blue in the face. She apologized profusely and said she felt awkward that he wanted to drive them home and her “best friend” said “yes”. She felt like she was put in a bad situation and felt she had no choice but to say “yes”. Supposedly the boy wanted her to sit in the front seat (another HUGE no-no!) but her so-called best friend hopped in the front with the boy she said she no longer liked and my daughter sat in the back. She had him drop her off up the hill from where we live and walked home so we didn’t see her get out of his car.
I never told my husband any of this. He knows she met a boy at the ballpark, but he knows nothing about getting in the car with him. I HATE keeping it a secret from him but I know how he will react and he will go ballistic and totally lose it. Heart disease runs in his family and even though his ticker is OK I worry that too much stress will give him a heart attack. So I’m trying to minimize the stress by not telling him.
I haven’t heard anything about that boy since, until now. Yesterday my daughter asked if she could hang out with her friend again. She said they were going to the ballpark. I looked at her and said “boys?” and she just smiled. So yes… they are going to meet boys. Something that I am NOT comfortable about, but I know it’s inevitable. She knows all too well that if she gets into a car with a teenager again, especially without me knowing, she will be grounded for the remainder of this year, if not longer.
As if that wasn’t enough our son, who never wants to leave our home and has no friends, was asked to go to a carnival being held at a nearby town. From what we can tell it’s a group of kids, mostly girls but with a few boys too. We’re not sure if our son wants to go because he was asked to go and desperately wants to have friends (real friends), or he likes one of the girls.
We’re assuming they want to meet during the day, however the carnival is being held in a not-so-nice town, one with a high crime rate. I’m sure there will be Police around, but we can’t help but worry about our 13 year old walking around like that. He even wants to bring his video camera so they (him and those kids) an make silly videos while they are there. I am NOT happy with that idea at all. He’s way too trusting and I can see one of the kids walking away with his camera, or having to stolen. Case in point, on a school field trip to NYC a “friend” said he was hungry and knowing my son had money on him, asked to “borrow” money to buy a hot dog. My son gave him a $20 bill and never saw the change, nor did the boy pay him back. We’ve been trying to get the name of the boy but our son refuses to give us his name.
We’re torn about letting him go. We’re excited that he actually wants to go hang out with children his age, and not hide away at home like he always does. For my husband and I this is a bit deal. A very big deal. We’ve dreamed of this day for a very long time. At the same time it’s at a carnival in a bad part of town. The only thing I can think of is taking him and then staying but following the kids around at a distance to keep an eye on him. I just don’t want him to find out.
So now I have to stress out about our daughter meeting boys (senior boys no less!) at the ballpark and our son wanting to hang out with kids at a carnival in a not-so-nice part of town.
I already lose sleep and stress out over my kids (grades, getting into college…) now I have to add boys and friends into the mix. Egads! There goes my hair. I can feel the gray hairs bursting out of my scalp as I write this.
My kids are good kids, and they know right from wrong, but they are also very gullible and give easily under peer pressure. I don’t want to prevent them from living life and enjoying their youth, but at the same time I’m a mom and I worry about their safety and well being.
I know many of my readers are parents and grandparents. If you have any words of advice I would certainly love to hear them. I’m sure many people have had to face similar situations. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.