I will speak in general terms, but we are navigating this issue at our house.
My own mom was not present for me when I entered this phase of life, so I am determined to be there for my kiddos and help them both navigate the complexities of first relationships. Putting a copy of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by, Judy Blume on my bed with a stickie note saying “come to me if you have any questions” will not be my parenting strategy during these complicated years. I often wonder how my life would have been different if I had a grown up to go to with my insecurities, fears, etc during those years. But, we cannot look back. Instead look forward.
Step one: figure out the actual date protocol. We agreed on a movie matinee with a parent close by, but not on the actual date.
Step two: create a code word if person on the date feels uncomfortable. No questions asked, just come if code word is texted or called.
Step three: establish what you feel comfortable with on said date. Do you want to hold hands? Yes or no. You can change your mind, but your date should not pressure you to change your mind.
Step four: try to relax and have fun. Remember that this person is your friend first and being true to yourself is the best way to get to know this person.
Whew. I hope we are doing the right things. In some ways, I feel like my kids are so much more innocent than I was. I think this is partly because they are so connected with each other in ways that we could not connect in the 1980’s. We had to get out there to learn about each other. My kiddos can do so much of that virtually.
My goal is to keep the lines of communication open. I will always be the parent, but I want to be approachable and willing to talk things out.
Wish me luck. When I started this blog in Feb of 2006, it was to document my busy life with toddlers. And here we are almost 11 years later navigating other issues.