Love whoever you choose but love yourself first.

Love, Crushes, tweens… Oh My!!!

My 11 year olds’ phone is a buzz with the juiciest gossip: Who has a crush on who. it is a hard as a mom to keep up with the latest in 4th and 5th grade playground talk but I try. My oldest, Gen, has a best friend who is boy crazy while Gen really isn’t there yet but I know it is coming.

So, I could easily talk about sexuality and puberty but in all honesty she already knows the basics. So I find that now is the golden opportunity to talk about character and self worth. Our discussions start out superficial. ‘What kind of boys do you think are cute?”, “Do you like sporty boys or nerdy boys?”, “You can date at 16?”. My daughter answers these with sweet and innocence answers. Then we move onto something deeper and that is character and how we feel about ourselves.

I asked Gen if she felt that when she gets older that she will need a boyfriend to be important. She sat silent for a long time, when she replied, she assumed that it was just expected. We pondered if it was ok to be single and she thought that might get lonely. So, I threw out the options of a cool roommate and a dog. she shrugged. I wondered out loud if dating just to fill a void was appropriate, this time she said.

       “I get it, you need to learn to live with yourself and to love being alone with yourself before you can be in love with someone else, right?”

Wow! She got it!! I thought. So after a long pause I replied. “We all make mistakes in love but when you love yourself and understand who you are, you make a lot less mistakes”.

I am amazed that my daughter understands such a complex idea, I know I still struggle with that. I feel I have had one tiny victory as a Mom under Siege.

-Taking one day at a time.

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