This is my 2nd time around raising high school girls and it certainly has changed since my firstborn who has been out of high school for almost ten years. And it definitely has changed since I was in puberty. I wonder if what we feel about our highschool kids is what the parents of the past have always felt about the kids they were raising.
We are on day 3 of the new high school year. A sophomore and a junior are sitting with me at the dinner table again, which is actually the best part of my day because let's face it, no family can actually eat dinner together every night at their dinner table. So I sit and listen. I observe so eagerly the actions of these two girls. I devour their conversations filled with laughter and screams. I know it will one day become a few texts once a week and if I am lucky a planned visit two times a month. But that's not what I want to focus on right now. I want to talk about how horrible high school is for these young people. I mean, it's always been horrible, at least for the majority of us who weren't prom queen or king with no hidden secrets (do those species exist?) but it seems to be extra horrible these days. Have any of you tried to actually shop for clothes for your teen girls? It's getting impossible to find anything longer than their belly button, looser than their skin or modest enough to cover the bras that everyone wants to seem to show off these days. My sophomore got "dress coded" yesterday for showing her button. I tried to warn her. But after so many eye rolls you decide to let her take her chance and her punishment. Today she wore a hoodie. Perfect for the 80 something degree day we had. I understand that every generation has dealt with fashion deemed inappropriate for young girls, but somehow this generation seems to have rolled all the risqué of fashion into everything available for them. Holes, holes in everything, holes everywhere, mid drifts, tightness, undergarments and socks with sandals! Yes. The socks with the sandals. I for one actually think it's adorable but I can't decide if that's because it's truly cute or because I am glad to have at least part of their teenage bodies fully clothed!
I have already heard the stories, yes, stories on day 3, of boys calling out "hey shorty you bad" or DAAAAAMMNNNN! I know that kind of cat calling has always been around from boys to girls, sure the word foxy was the word of choice instead of "snack", but it seems to be definitely more widely accepted in the hallways of our schools these days. Even with all the news stories about #me too, it's not changing. But whatever. That is what it is. And to be honest, I know that high school girls actually like it and it makes them feel pretty and helps just a little bit with the insecurities. It's sad. But so true and I don't care who says otherwise. At 14, 15 and 16, they actually want to be noticed like that. They will outgrow it, let's hope, with the guidance of me telling them it's wrong and don't let people talk to you that way, but for now I know inside they like it.
And the phones. The phones never stop. This is partially my fault, wait, it is entirely my fault, because I never took their phones away or set limits. It has become a part of them literally like another extremity off of their body. The few times they do leave the house without them are the few times we see something incredible that I want them to snap or nobody in the car has a phone in case we actually need it.
And let's talk about smoking. I remember the smokers having their section in front of the high school to smoke. No, we do not have that anymore, but my girls have told me that they are one of the few high schoolers around them that do not VAPE. And vaping is being done secretly in class, in bathrooms and in hallways. In the past we just used to have to walk in the smoke cloud to get to our buses after school but now apparently there is no cloud so they are not sure how to avoid these invisible vapors that everyone is letting out and trying to entice them with. My daughter bought a vape (is that how you actually say it?) online, I intercepted, and she told me that she was feeling peer pressure to have one. She then posted it on snapchat, for sale, and her phone blew up! My daughter was able to buy this device, at 16, because she checked the box saying she was 18 and she had her own debit card so no other questions were asked. When the package came, I thought it was either perfume, a vibrator or a vapor. For some reason I knew the box was something bad. So I opened it. And found the vape. "Are those YOUR cigarettes GREG?" in the voice of Carol Brady went running through my head. She couldn't lie and tell me it was her friends. It had her name on the package. So this is another thing we have to monitor. Online spending. I wasn't totally mad when the big pink blanket with the playboy bunny symbol came in the mail. It wasn't offensive to me. A little funny to me because I remember being in high school we all wanted the bunny "tan line" sticker when we "laid out". That's one thing these high school kids seem to not have to be dealing with anymore. The sun. The class of 2018 doesn't say "wanna lay out?"
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