It's the "hold on to" part that worries me the most. I vaguely remember being a teenager. In fact, I think I spent most of my adolescence being aloof. I was there but not really there. What the heck was I thinking? Even now, 30 some years later, I still don't know for sure. Teen help was not readily available. Certainly not from my peers who seemed to be more aloof than I was. If anyone needed teen help it was me. I constantly look for the signs of aloofness in my soon-to-be-teenage daughter. I haven't seen them yet, but I know they are out there. I have no doubt that one morning soon, my daughter will awake from a good night's sleep and my wife and I will cease to exist. Oh we'll be around to pay the bills and help out in a generic way. But like all teens, my daughter will cross a line and leap into the bold unknown of growing up. I hope that she will look for teen help in her parents. I should be so lucky.
My kid has a pretty good relationship with both of us. So it would be ideal if she were to seek teen help from either me or my wife. I wonder at what point as a teen I no longer regarded my parents as individuals who were once teenagers. To even think that they experienced similar ups and downs going through the dating process is almost too much to consider. They were, after all, parents. Who did they get teenage advice from? I'm sure there is a scientific explanation for the process that occurs where parents forget that they dated, experienced their first kiss and subsequently tried to have sex. I haven't seen this transformation in myself yet and I fight any inclination that it may even occur. But eventually my daughter will bring a boyfriend home with her. And then I'll know what it means to have an intruder in my household. I think in that instance teen help won't by nearly as important as parental help. Namely for myself.
I hope that my daughter will introduce her boyfriend or first date to her parents. Is this old fashioned? I don't even know what old fashioned means anymore. But I hope she goes the extra mile and brings Johnny home for me to meet. If I could give her some teenage advice that would be it. Bring Johnny home and introduce him to Dad. Let me see the young man who wants to get in my daughter's pants. Whoa! Where did that come from? Some voice in my subconscious rearing its ugly head no doubt. I will be pleased to meet the young man. I will do it as a sign of respect to my daughter. I will do it because there is a loving relationship between her and your parents, and it will increase the trust between my daughter and us. I will also do it because I want Johnny to know I am watching him at all times.
Relationships are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to growing up. Like all parents I can only hope that my daughter seeks her teen dating advice from her parents or from someone else who's been there that she can trust. At the end of the day all we can do is throw the dice and hope that fate deals her and us a winning hand. Teen dating is tough. And teenage advice from other teems can be even tougher. A relationship can be extremely rewarding. Hopefully my kid will remember that with each relationship, she'll make many mistakes. But she'll also learn from these mistakes, which is excellent for strengthening and improving future relationships. What a vicious cycle. The concept of "heartbreak" as a learning tool!