And I thought boys were bad...

All the dirt of boys, plus the attitude...

Monday, October 6, 2014

I have a teenage daughter...

My name is Kristen and I have a teenage daughter.

This is an admission far larger than it looks.  It means, I have no idea what I am doing.  It means that I feel like I have lost control.  It means that I am terrified that I'm doing it wrong.  It means I need help.

I am coming up against things I never dealt with as a teen because the internet wasn't a part of my life when I was her age.  I didn't have a cell phone.  I don't knwo what to do when she abuses these things.  I mean, I do.  I take them away, but the reality is that she is going to have to live with this technology and she needs to know how to be safe.  It's like any other social interaction...you have to learn it to do it safely.  You have to use it to learn it.

The problem is that I feel like I have lost control.  Like I don't have any idea what is going on in her life, though at the same time I feel like we have a pretty open line of communication.  Am I fooling myself or can both be true?

After spending way too much "at work" time googling the interwebs for answers, I have come up with one.

I feel like I have lost control because I have.  She is not a child anymore.  She is a teen.  She is going to make mistakes and the consequences of those mistakes are going to suck.  All I can do is try to minimize the size of the mistakes that she makes.  Not giving her a data plan for her phone is one way.  Taking away the camera phone when I see an issue is another...

...but there will be mistakes and there is nothing I can do about it.

How do I make peace with that?  How do I raise her without locking her down, and therefore losing her, completely?

My name is Kristen and I have a teenage daughter.