March 26, 2008

Oh no! My daughter's first pimple...

I guess, in a way, after my daughters 9th birthday and the family genetics, I was just kind of waiting for this to happen any day now. My daughter just got get first few pimples. Hopefully all you parents out there know what this means, the onset of puberty.
It's a scary time for children, I get that, but what about the parents? This means that the "talk" is coming soon, the period conversation and the spike in her interest in the opposite sex. OK, maybe I'm overreacting just a little bit, or am I? I'm sure that for a lot of parents this is something simple by now, something they've already been through. They're sitting there, reading this, thinking "Big deal", but I bet they weren't thinking that when it first happened.
I guess this really isn't something to freak about, it was something, as I said, that I was just waiting for. My daughter and I have good communication, we're close and I think that enough of it is in my "understanding encyclopedia".
Of course I can do this, anyone can, as long as you just relax(I know it's hard, but do you really have a choice?) It's all about not freaking out, your daughter is going to be doing enough of that, why should the fear spread? This is something that's been happening for thousands of years now. My daughter will get older, she will learn to drive, she'll have boyfriends, maybe marriage and maybe kids of her own; someday(hopefully not too soon on the whole pregnancy thing).
This should really be a time when you, if you haven't already, find time to really gain a higher level of communication with your daughter. This is what parenting is all about, helping your kids learn and grow. The choice is yours whether or not your going to be a parent or just one of the kids. Your chance to really shape your children into adults begins at this point. Soon they'll start to understand the basics of growing up and some of your dirty jokes(watch those around the kids when they hit this stage, they'll start asking questions); now it's time to make sure you do the right thing.
If they have questions, answer as many as you can suitably(they are still children), help calm their fear by telling them your own stories of growing up, be their to hold them when they need to release(those hormones can be a circus, you remember) and most importantly make sure you pass on the right message. Don't go the whole scare tactics route(that's a good way to mess them up for a long time), just be honest and open. It's important that they know, that you know, what you're talking about.
This is not the time to pass off responsibility, would you rather they learn it from a kid at school who has no idea what they're talking about? Or maybe you'd like to run and hide, forget about this part, and end up regretting it when your daughter comes home crying because she's pregnant. I can't guarantee that wont happen anyways, but this is your time to steer them towards a responsible choice as best you can.
It might be the whole "Damned if you do, damned if you don't", but do you want to take the the chance that if you would have talked to them, it could have turned out differently.
Stand up, be a parent, because whether you wanted kids or not, you're a parent non-the-less.