My daughter just turned seven...so this week's Mad Life topic about high school graduation issues (think prom night, sex, drinking) is a little foreign for me. Not that I haven't thought about it -- and then proceeded to totally freak out thinking about it.
I think back to my high school days and what my parents told me. They always trusted me and, when it came time to go to parties or spread my wings, I knew to trust myself and my instincts on what was a "right" decision to make (and what wasn't). What's more, when they said, "You can always call us if you find yourself in a bad siltation," I knew that I could...without pausing for fear of getting in trouble or what the repercussions would be. Why? Because they had established a foundation of trust and honesty within our home.
So, although I'm still in imaginary play mode and not even dealing with multiplication tables yet, part of me realizes this week's topic isn't totally unrelated to me and where I am in the parenting world. The relationship I build with my kiddo 100% impacts how we deal with these topics in the future. The foundation of trust, of guidance, of helping her navigate these tricky waters -- all of that starts, well, now. Not that we are talking about sex (still haven't had the birds and bees talk, obviously), but creating an environment where we can discuss hard issues, where she trusts us to be there for her, where we buoy her and build her sense of self-worth...all of that will help when she does hit those teen years.
Do you have older kids? How did you deal with the heavy issues of drinking and sex and prom?