Why won’t your 14 year old daughter talk to you? Why, when you’ve told her over and over if she has a question about sex, she should ask you, does she never do that?
I’m browsing at one of my favorite bookstores, when I overhear a teenager ask, “Mom, can I get this book?” and the Mom says “What is it?” “Umm – just a book about love” the girl replies. “Love?” Mom says, “Why do you want to know about love? Do you have a boyfriend? You know you’re not supposed to have a boyfriend until you’re finished with school.” “Mom,” the girl replies, “I just want to know about it, I don’t want to do it.” “Don’t smart mouth me, young lady,” Mom snaps at her, “And we’re not getting that book – you want to know something, you ask me, or your Dad.”
Right, like that’s gonna happen. Meanwhile, you’ve missed a golden opportunity to enrich your relationship with your daughter as well as guide her into the realities of love and life. Instead, she’ll probably pick up all sorts of mis-information from her pals. But what to do?
When your teenager shows interest in a book about love or sex, don’t panic - read the book together, and discuss it. Now you have an opportunity to educate your child, to talk with her about why you think the way you do, and discover how she thinks. Too often, you impose what you want for your child without taking her through the process that led you to that decision, or taking into account how she thinks.
Teenagers are wonderfully curious – satisfy that curiosity yourself, and they’re less likely to go astray trying to get answers on their own.