I was hoping my 12 ½ -year-old wouldn’t get too caught up in all the attention he is getting from the girls & teen cougars who are purring at him. But I should no longer waste my hope on that. I now hope I find the best way to tell him to beware of the opposite sex – without sounding like a self-hating-gender-hater (?)
A parent has to walk a fine line in this realm: A Dad telling his daughter to not trust boys – just like the boy he was (or wanted to be) decades ago. A Mom trying to steer her son away from manipulative or needy girls – just like the ones she knew (what Mom would own up to trying to manipulate boys?)
I’d like to think I’m a ‘keep it real’ type Mom. I want to tell it to my boys as straight as I see it if for no other reason than to arm them with more information to compare and contrast with what their peers might tell them. Yeah they get the ‘No condom/No sex/No body fluid exchange’ talk – often. But there’s no grey area on that topic. I’m talking about the talks where you have to teach your child the tricks of the trade of how the opposite sex uses what they have to get what they want.
This might sound like… I don’t know what it might sound like to you. But c’mon we know what’s out there (I ain’t sayin’ she’s a gold digger…) and I know my son. Right now, he’s a Sweetie (I’m not naïve – I said, right now) and from what I’ve witnessed, it’s very easy for him to (as my GrandMa would say) have “his nose open” by some girl.
*Here’s a quick one: Why is it important for boys to learn how to cook and ‘keep house’? – The first, and most obvious, reason is, of course, that he should know how to take care of himself. The not-so obvious reason? If he can do it, he will not be impressed by a woman who can/will do it for him. (It’s the same reason why we tell girls to earn their own and not rely on anyone to do for them what they can do for themselves)
And yes, there are male friends who may try to use him – and he gets warned about them too; but a girl (and her evil sidekick Puberty) is… equipped to make him lose his mind.
And yes, he has to live his own life – but what is the sense of me having key information if I don’t pass it along to make his path as drama-free as possible? That's what parenting is, right? I still expect him to be the kind guy who respects himself and anyone he chooses to spend time with but that doesn’t mean he has to be ‘the nice guy’ who gets taken advantage of just because he likes someone.
So the way I see it, I must abandon my female code and pull out my playbook…
Gotta do it.
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