Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PYHO: OPERATION: PARENT . . .

Hi, my name is Michelle.  And I'm a Mom.  I LOVE being a Mom.  But if I'm being honest, it scares the holy hell out of me.  (Sorry, I gave up cussing for Lent, but since I TYPED that instead of SAYING it, I'm hoping it doesn't count)!  :)

My oldest is now 11; soon to be 12.  He's in 6th grade.  And he just had his first girlfriend a couple of weeks ago.  Now he's on girlfriend number 2.  No, he's not a "player", I just think this is all new to him and he's still trying to figure it out himself.  His first girlfriend was a neighbor that he was friends with first.  That didn't last long.  After they started "dating", they stopped talking to each other!  It was actually quite comical.  Anyway, his new girlfriend is someone at school.  At least he THINKS she's his girlfriend.  He said she's hugged him 8 times, (yes, he's obviously been counting), and his friends and her friends say they're "dating."  Keep in mind.  He's 11.  And in 6th grade.  And he only sees her in school.  My friend calls it a "business hours only" relationship.  And I'm okay with that.  Plus, I'm thinking based on how long the first one lasted, this one probably won't last too long either. 

But the point is, this is all new to me.  He's my oldest.  So I'm just now starting to experience these things.  And the first girlfriend freaked me out pretty bad.  Not because I don't like her.  I actually ADORE her, and her mom is a very good friend of mine.  But it freaked me out because it was all new to me, and I honestly didn't know what to expect and what was going to happen next.  Now I know that they last about 2-4 weeks at this age.  This time, I didn't freak out too much.  Plus, with her being at school, it's not like he will see her any other time.  I asked him what "going out" meant, and where he thought they were "going."  His response?  I don't know.  So yeah, I'm a little less stressed about this girlfriend than I was about the first one.

But this is just the beginning.  I know things are going to get more complicated and be more difficult to deal with.  So how do I handle these situations?  What do I do?  Do I freak out?  Do I pretend like it's no big deal?  I DON'T KNOW!!!  Enter Operation: Parent.  They came and talked to us during one of our PTA meetings.  This is their Mission Statement:  "Supportive Parents Involved In Raising Incredible Teens"  Their flier says:  Operation: PARENT is on a mission to educate, encourage and engage parents of teenagers!  We are dedicated to parents who need a little help and encouragement to stay connected to their teen during the challenging middle and high school years.

It started with one mother.  She has 5 kids.  And she felt like she was missing the boat and not doing the things she should be doing.  So she went and talked to her high school principal, and it just evolved and took flight from there.  In Oldham County.  And now they're bringing it to Jefferson County and they are also in Florida. 

And now we are bringing it to our middle school.  Another parent and I are taking the class starting next month, and then in the next school year we will start facilitating the classes.  I'm very excited about it.  I don't know what to do.  Like I said, this is all new to me.  I'm looking forward to interacting with other parents and finding out that maybe I'm not such a bad parent after all.  Maybe I AM making the right decisions and doing the right things for my kids.  There are so many issues out there now that kids have to deal with, that we never did.  How do we handle those situations?  What do we do if and when they come up?  I'm hoping Operation: Parent can help with that. 

One thing I do know for sure - I LOVE my kids.  And I want to do what's best for them.  And maybe that's not the same thing you would do.  But that's okay.  Because we are different.  Our KIDS are different.  But I want my kids to know that I am here for them.  I want them to know they can come and talk to me about anything and everything.  I might not always agree with them, but I still want them to be able to share with me.  And I want to not freak out about every little thing that happens.  Because it's going to happen.  Like or not.  So I need to know how to react when it does.  And I need to be aware of what "it" might be.  

Why can't they just stay 3 forever?!

4 comments:

From Tracie said...

Are you trying to tell me that my daughter isn't going to stay seven? Because I've had enough issues with seven and kind of thought that she would stay there for at least the next ten years.

Operation:Parent sounds like a great program. I love that you are getting involved with it right away, taking classes and then teaching. That is awesome.

Kimberly said...

I found you through PYHO and I'm now following. This sounds like a great program & I love that you're so active in it. I want my kids to know that I'm here for them through anything, as difficult or awkward as it may become.

My son will be 11 next month, and thought he hasn't had a girlfriend yet, I know it's coming. & it's coming much faster than I'm ready for!

Shell said...

Wow, what a fabulous program! I can't even imagine what it will be like to parent tweens and teens!

Amy said...

Because if they stayed 3 forever, you'd never be able to get rid of them. ;)

I have one supposedly moving out this week. At almost 19, I'm torn between knowing that he needs to make this mistake and throwing a party at the thought of no more dirty boxers lying on my bathroom floor and arguing with him about him thinking he's slick and I'm too stupid to know when he smokes out his window.

Another chapter will begin....