Teens are tough
My 14-year-old has her first boyfriend. Well, I guess he's a boyfriend. They've been to one movie together -- along with his hockey team and his mother! I discover that on her Facebook, she has her status as "in an open relationshp with [boyfriend]".
Hmmm... First off, I send my eldest daughter (21 years) on a reconnaisance mission. What does "open relationship" mean to the girl? (I figure Rebekah (the younger) will be more open with Sarah (the elder) than she would be with me, and besides, I am NOT ALLOWED on Rebekah's facebook, and I hardly ever go there, really, but hey, she's my kid and I'm allowed - REQUIRED - to look out for her.
So eldest daughter finds out this is what the boy has said, and Rebekah isn't quite sure what he means by it, and isn't quite sure how to talk about it with him.
So I decide to intervene. I say that my brother noticed on her facebook and told me. (Because my brother is a TOTAL busy-body, it's completely plausible.) I ask what it means. She mutters into her breakfast bowl that the boyfriend put it on his facebook and she copied it. Which tells me nothing.
I ask if she knows what it means. That you can go out with other people. Okay.
So then I say, briefly and gently, why I think it's a concern for someone her age, with her level of relationship experience. That generally a boy who suggests this wants to be able to be involved with other girls - but somehow, he never really wants to let the girl do the same. So it generally leads to an unbalanced relationship, which is never a good thing.
I spoke for no more than 2 minutes. I know to keep it brief.
The whole time, she's staring into her yoghurt and blueberries, one hand at the side of her head, completely withdrawn, NOT cooperating with this "conversation" at all.
She's not mean, she's not sneering, she's not being rude or defiant. She just very clearly DOES NOT WANT to be in this conversation. I did not leap across the table; I did not demand that she look at me; I did not demand an answer!!! (Things I might have done with my first: experience is a good teacher...)
So all I can do is say the words and hope she absorbs them. And keep my fingers crossed. And this is SO HARD, when you fear your child is on the brink of doing/allowing something self-destructive. I loathe the feeling of helplessness my teens give me - on a regular basis!!
In fact, I do think she'll deal with it fine, and come out stronger and wiser... but the suspense is killing me.
And I greatly fear this boy is a Jerk.