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Middle Schooler Issues

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by Priya16, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi all,

    I have no clue how to write or where to start.

    But, we live 80% white neighborhood, where sexual orientation is high even from the middle school itself.
    Even my middle school accepted to create an LGBTQ club in the school.
    My daughter is getting involved with it and she talked with me 6months back saying is she is bi-sexual. I literally lost. Still, I am.
    I am not able to come to terms with kids at this (13 years) exploring sexuality. Google says it's a good thing.
    As a mother, I am not able to digest it.
    I have been thinking, should I change school? She is a very strong young lady and can't lift my finger on her.
    She is very social in school and gets good grades. All are good, other than involving with the group who is part of the LGBTQ community. I told her I am ok with to be friends but don't involve with it at this age.
    I have nothing against anyone but I believe this is not the right age for her.
    Those are choices she is making from the influence of other kids.
    What do you guys think I should? If she grows up and makes decisions, that's a different story.
    Am I missing something to do as a mother? I am losing my sleep over it too.
    Anyone faced similar issues ?
     
    KashmirFlower likes this.
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  2. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    It is hard. I would do the same initially. My kid is not that age yet, but I started thinking about it now. may be your kid is exploring the freedom she has. May be she will change in the coming years or not. As a mom and a person who loves her, first thing is that you have to make sure the communication line is open all the time. she needs to feel it is okay to come and discuss with you. But talk to her about how in teen ages kids explore this topic and talk about pros, cons, and how it affects the sexual and emotional life later etc. No matter what, you will love her and tell her that. May be this is a stage and it will pass. Teen ages can be aggressive and a lot these things come from peer pressure and comparison.

    I am curious to find what other ILites (who has older kids) have to say on this.
     
    Laks09, Rihana and Priya16 like this.
  3. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    She likes to talk about things.

    About her:
    She is very socially active
    She always likes to help others.
    She has too many friends in school.
    She is also a drama queen(so I am not sure, is this thing is exciting for her without really knowing the consequences of it)
    she likes to support people in the cause
    she is showing interest in journalism

    Me:
    I am a very typical Indian mom, but I am ok if people have a problem physically but not physiologically.
    I am still not ready to accept relationships based on choices.
    So far, I haven't done any drama about this., trying to be calm. Hoping things will change in the coming years.
    but, keep telling her, this is not the age for you to think about what you are.

    If I talk more openly about it with her, I worry it's like a green signal to her and she may think my mom is ok with it.
    I am literally trying to avoid to talk. She always says they are good people. I told her I have no problem to be friends with them but you don't have to become one. She told me they help her to understand things better and she is running out of the time(not sure what it means).
    I constantly thinking should I change her school? I know it can backfire on me bad.
    Planning to start on balavihar. I am not really a faith-based person.
    But I read, religion also plays a role in making these choices.

    I am not a good communicator and I am literally struggling to deal with this.
     
    Laks09 and Angela123 like this.
  4. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    I was about 13 or 14 years old when I discovered that reading the last few pages of a Mills & Boon book could bring me a pleasure I didn't understand. The feeling was both mental and physical. Without the internet or even other sources, I happened to notice that I could achieve that same mental and physical state by myself. My mother's response was understandably, "Chee chee... don't do that." End of discussion.

    Your reaction is understandable. It is mostly the first few such shocks with the first child that put to test our "I am a cool, modern thinking parent who doesn't mind this/that."

    When you live in a country like the U.S.A. at a time when LGBTQ awareness is at a historical high, you cannot lay down expectations like "be friends with them but not like them", "not at this age, this is not the right age." Lay them down and lose the communication that you are lucky to have ready-made. Not all teens want to talk so much with their parents.

    What I would do if I were in your place is this: take deep breaths. Daily thank my stars for a child who is so articulate, cares about others, and willing to talk things with mother. And:
    - keep the topic alive. By avoiding it, child's interest in it will become stronger.
    - remember that kids crave parent's approval. Use this wisely. It is our job to listen to all they say, discuss endlessly, and gently guide them to a decision that is good for them, and that they feel they are taking themselves. Be fair and only influence them like this if their own choice is physically or mentally harmful for them.
    - Google is your best friend. Read up. Ask your daughter questions. What is the club's aim? Are any teachers against it? Are there more boys or more girls? Just be curious.
    - You don't have to know everything about LGBTQ to deal with this parenting challenge. Learn with your child. Read about celebrities and talented people who are bisexual. Discuss their challenges.
    - The hardest for me was to not place high importance on my child (son, daughter) not being sexually active till at least they went to college. I was willing to settle for 12th grade in a pinch. : ) DH talked to me a few times, and said, "Child's sexuality is his/her business. You and the school will teach them about being safe emotionally and physically, and the resources to use. After that, you have to trust you did your job right and leave it at that."

    - Pediatrician: Child should start seeing pediatrician alone for some of the annual appointment time. Step out during the physical exam. Tell the child at home, and in front of the pediatrician, that the child can call up the pediatrician at any time with any questions, and that ped. will respect confidentiality, and mom will not pry. Tell the child that if she wants to see the ped. in person, you will drive her and stay in the car or the front lobby unless ped. or child want you in the room for a bit.

    Above all, relax, hard as that can be do to do. High school is a year away. Many things change by then, including friends. There will be many more clubs in high school and existing LGBTQ ones, and academics and activities make life so hectic they barely have time to sleep.

    As an immediate step, I would read up a little, and gently focus on the "time is running out" bit. What she means by that.

    Research safe sex practices for male-female and other combinations, and casually go over them with child. Also look into taking care of one's emotional well-being in any relationship.

    Balvihar - too late to start that and more so when you are not very faith-based yourself. It might backfire if she asks some LGBTQ questions to the volunteer-teachers there. : )

    One rule that I lay down (DH didn't disagree but didn't support either) was: wait till you are at least 16 to be physically involved with anyone. I honestly don't know if dd and ds followed it. I don't want to know.

    I also found that us parents talking about our teen years helps. Our mistakes, crushes, parental rules, and so on. I tell my kids our parents only wanted what is best for us. I also wish the same for them - happiness, health and help them grow into responsible, thinking adults.

    My close childhood friend's daughter had a white boy-friend in 10th grade. My friend accepted that relationship, hosted many parties at home, allowed the kids to dance together to slow music and post about them as a couple on social media. Turns out, the kids knew it would not last beyond 12th grade and now each is most likely bound for colleges in far-away states yet making the most of final semester of high school.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    SunPa, Priya16, SinghManisha and 3 others like this.
  5. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    It is indeed a challenging question. She may be curious to understand what it’s about and just wants to discuss about it. It could be just a phase. Few times you yourself have written- she likes to talk. That she is talking this over with you is a good sign.

    Don’t over react. Don’t change the school and don’t forbid her.

    If she is turning to you with these personal questions it means the bond between you is strong and she trusts you. So honor her trust.

    Keep communication channel open. Tell her I am really puzzled why are you asking all this? What happened in school? Get the real context of how the question arose? Who said what? Why she said running out of time? This will help you gauge what is really the issue.

    Also talk about how it usually is - your experience. She is a kid and she has no idea about this right? In the form of interesting stories, tell about your teenage what all you did, your siblings, the naughty etc. Laugh together about it. It will be a grounding experience for her because there will be aspects she will relate to within herself. Indirectly through the stories communicate your expectation about when you feel sexual activity is okay etc?

    Main thing is just because she asked a question about sexuality doesn’t mean she wants to do! Please keep that front and center.

    One time my kids classmate a girl’s mom shared her then 6th grade daughter asked her ‘if a boy asks me out what should I say?’ That lady was ranting to us her friends saying ‘omg, can you believe? where is her head? What’s wrong with these girls blah blah! oh God! This that! ( not that you are the same please don’t be offended) she became extremely strict with her daughter also. That poor girl-it was just a innocent question. She was curious that ‘suppose’ ‘IF’ then what. That girl graduated, also in good college now and to my knowledge her question remained hypothetical only! :)

    So the anecdote was to make you feel better hope it helped you!

    In my opinion girls are more advanced, more intelligent and curious than boys so they often ask such hypothetical questions with mom as unable to answer themselves. Possibly also because school environment is like that. If she asks you ‘how will I know?’ Tell her ‘when the time will come you will know clearly.’ And that’s all she really wants to hear from you, you know? You can also tell her about when you came to know about yourself or felt attracted to someone ( movie crush, college senior, friends bro) and how it was later, much later, college or degree or whatever, and that THAT IS OKAY! and TO KNOW SO LATE doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or her. It’s QUITE NORMAL. Allay her fears. She may just be worried how come classmate knows so clearly and she doesn’t. Tell her we are all different. Each develops at her own rate. You are probably like me or your Dad and we came to know at xx and yy age. Use this as another opportunity to bond. Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  6. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    @Priya16 I couldn’t understand what you mean by the above 2 statements.
     
  7. Laks09

    Laks09 Staff Member Finest Post Winner

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    @Priya16 - Seems like @Rihana and @1Sandhya have covered most of what I have in mind.
    Look at the positives. She’s able to talk to you about this and open up. You have a good relationship with her. I wouldn’t stop talking about it if I were you. Open dialogue is a good way to know what she’s thinking.

    My children have taught me time and again that they are here to reset my boundaries, values and opinions. I have ended up accepting a lot of things that I thought was completely out of bounds for me. I do know that they value our approval though. Don’t shoot it down and make it seem like you don’t want to have a dialogue. She will shut down and you will lose your valuable bond.

    I had a very hard time accepting a lot of things that I didn’t grow up doing. My DH was asking me if it was better that she did it behind my back. He told me I didn’t have to be approving and going after everything she says and does but keeping the disapproval down wouldn’t hurt. I think we moms have a very hard time being rational.

    I would gently probe about the time running out comment. She just got into her teens. Time is definitely on her side.

    Changing schools may back fire. She is at a vulnerable age. She has formed her peer group. She will find it difficult to get there in the new setup. That may impact her in other ways. Plus she will see it as your way of changing her and that’s not going to go down very well.

    I’m not sure about religion but I do know that my DD has friends in the ultra conservative homes(from different cultures) who have come out as differently oriented. You can always try the class and see how you all like it.

    Try not to be too scandalized or make a big deal about things she’s sharing with you. It’s hard but I’ve noticed when I react the information flow slows down.

    Hang in there, you will both figure this out.
     
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  8. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    I got eased after reading all your responses and thanks a lot for it. I am glad, I posted here.

    The main point from all of your responses is to keep communication open, I will try to do my best.

    Typically 7th grade is the hard year from many kids where they go through different things. This happened beginning of the 7th grade and it's not a what-if question. She is a vivid writer and expresses things in the diary.
    But anyway I don't want to go into too many details because of privacy issues.

    But today, myself raised the issue and I told her I wanted to understand you better and be there for you. I asked her do you like anyone in particular? She said nothing like that but she thought that what she was.
    She also told me, she doesn't want to bring this discussion as we were getting into argument. I said I won't do it again, please come and talk to me if you need anything. This is the starting point and I believe I did my best.

    I won't think about changing school. The culture is widespread everywhere. It's unstoppable now.

    All of your responses put me at ease. Thank you all.

    My main worries- we have group Indian friends whom she is friends with in the same class and studies with them.Main thing,I worried what if they start eliminating if they learn about her. As Rihana said this may not last long,who knows. Now itself, I can see she didn't have some degree of intensity as she had 6 months before.

    This bi-sexual idea can open a can of worms with our Indian friend's circle until they go to colleges.No one knows what each kid goes through in colleges. But mid-school and high school, things can spread.

    She has some field trip, typically I won't say no. But, now I started to say no.

    She understands my worries and she is not arguing with anything. I really appreciate her for that.

    She really likes so many things but I am really putting breaks for all of those as other kids will be there in those activities.

    Hopefully, things will change or I may start to get equipped with better to deal with things.
     
  9. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    On a practical note, you might consider adding vaccination to your list of topics for discussion.
    Additonal info: FDA.
    :beer-toast1:
     
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  10. mangaii

    mangaii Platinum IL'ite

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    At 13 she may not be completely equipped with all the information to make decision about sexuality . You can continue the discussion but at the same time let her know that nothing is going to change if she can wait for few more years. I don’t understand what she means by she is running short of time . That looks little dramatic .IMO she might see this as way to fit into the existing culture at school . It might be her reflection on how to relate to her friends at school . One thing I have realized after my few years of parenting a strong willed girl in this country kids are more conflicted than parents when there is diametrically opposite culture inside and outside home . I never realized this until it hit me sometime that I cannot expect my daughter to grow up like kids back home because she has to fit in this culture and she needs to do things which she can relate to her friends . WRT to Bala vihar I’m not a big fan of classes like that but instead my daughter goes for cooking at local shelter every weekend. What is her typical schedule ? Does she have time to do more activities now ? At this age friends influence a lot . They just want to follow what others do . Does she always seek for validation from her friends when it comes to making decisions?
     
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