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It Begins – A Parent’s First Foray into Adolescence

26 May

Adolescence is here. And I don’t like it.

Our foray into our daughter’s adolescence came like an avalanche this past weekend – not the peaceful transition I was hoping for. And I find myself wishing I could turn back time.

A little back story: When our (usually) responsible 6th grader asked to go to the park with a friend and her Mom, we didn’t even blink. She’s always been honest with us, so there was no reason to question her intentions UNTIL my husband did a little “spying” and learned there was no “friend” or “friend’s Mom.” Instead, the person meeting her at the park was her 7th grade crush. Nothing nefarious happened (my husband watched the whole time), but our daughter jumped back in the car and proceeded to lie about the whole affair. “Her Mom is so nice!” “We had Gatorade and crackers for a snack” “My friend had to leave early, that’s why you didn’t see her.”Nela & Boris at Lighthouse Point complex - Collingwood, Ontario (August 2nd, 2008)

Turns out, WE were the ones left feeling crushed.

The inner conflict arose when we wondered what to do. Do we ground her for life? Do we calmly explain that it’s not o.k. to lie? Do we offer to support the relationship, as long as everyone is being honest and responsible?

We opted for #3.

But, we still don’t know what’s right. The therapist in me wants to encourage honesty and responsibility. But, the parent in me wants to chain her to her bed.

I’m certain I’m not the first parent to confront this conflict. And I won’t be the last. But something tells me this is a critical point in our relationship with our daughter.

So I join the other brave parents out there who have navigated their way through adolescence, however awkwardly. Wish me luck.

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