I am the parent of a tween, and I am exhausted. The world is moving at a pace that I find it hard to keep up with, and even harder to stay on top of as a parent. The wide variety of topics that we talk about over the course of 24 hours is pretty amazing and while I love it, and the discussions that we have, it leaves me a bit weary.
In the past day, I have discussed the following with my tween:
- How the Morrill Tarriff Act contributed to the American Civil War;
- Why Seth MacFarlane singing "We Saw Your Boobs" at the Oscars was wrong, and that it was wrong even though many of the ladies whom the song was about were showing portions of their breasts as a result of their dress selection;
- That women and their bodies are to be respected regardless of what they are wearing;
- What amount of skin is appropriate to share with the world;
- The world is not always as we would like it to be so if you don't want specific body part(s) discussed, do not flaunt it/them;
- The definition of pornography;
- What I consider to be an appropriate response if she is ever shown pornography;
- How to multiply fractions;
- Why movies based on books are never quite as good as the books themselves;
- How cutting and pasting text, including the lyrics to Dixie, can be awesome when making a PowerPoint presentation;
- How salt lowers the freezing point of water and therefore helpful in making ice cream, including ice cream from snow;
- When I went to Sea World as a child, the dolphins weren't interested in my brother and I feeding them because they were too busy having sex;
- That standardized tests don't determine self worth and are not the be all, end all;
- Said standardized tests are also not to be blown off;
- The importance of internet safety;
- The meaning of the spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot";
- Why wearing short sleeves does not make sense on a day when 7 inches of snow is predicted.
I love that my tween will talk to me about anything (and as this list illustrates, that means anything and everything) I wouldn't have it any other way, but wowser, there's some mental gymnastics involved in this parenting, both in dealing with the topics themselves and the mental shifts from one to another. I think that I need a nap. Or a drink. First a drink, then a nap. There's no school tomorrow, so I need to prepare myself for another day of tween parenting.
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