Rude Awakenings

We all have those rude awakenings in life, like when you find out there are no school busses in your local school district, or when you find out an old friend is a Werewolf.

Or as a mom when you’re driving along with a car full to teenagers (because you’re the cool mom and they feel comfortable talking around you) and they start talking about slut shaming. It is a huge issue at their school. I’m surprised by it. I shouldn’t be because I’ve heard it all before but it makes me sad.

And then the conversation turns to the following overheard conversations:

Guy: Have sex with me.

Girl: No.

Guy to his friends: She is such a slut.

 

or

 

Boy #1: She is built. Skinny girls usually aren’t built like that.

Girl: She has a push up bra.

Boy #2: In her swim suit top?

Girl: They make them that way.

Boy #1: Oh man, I thought they were real.

Girl: You’re disgusting.

 

The conversation moved on to clothing. Male fashion. They’ll talk about it if they don’t feel like someone (other guys) will jump all over them for it. Hey, every girl’s crazy bout a well dressed man.

Then they went on to talk about strippers and not seeing the point of the profession. One kid said “it like having cake in front of you then being told you can’t eat it.” Out of the mouths of babes.

I could write another 2,000 words on the subject but I’ll just leave it. All sorts of memories of stories of decades past come up and I truly do not want to rehash it today. Maybe another time but not today.

Today has been one of those days… it has been like that for many many many days, weeks, months… my regular readers I’m sure have noticed.

 

Things You Never Want to Ask A Vampire

Do you like sleep in a crypt or something? I sleep in a bed. A nice bed. 

Can you make me into a Vampire? The answer will always be no.

Why not? You don’t need to know.

Why not? You’d be a horrible Vampire.

Why do you say that?

Alright at this point expect nothing good to come out of that conversation. I’ve done lists like this before. No good comes out of pestering a Vampire.

Just like no good comes out of pestering someone about sex or because you have weird notions about their body or sexuality or personality. Just chill. I let my kids know that sex is something between consenting ADULTS. It isn’t something one uses for control or games or to get something you want. That again is another 2,000 words I won’t go into tonight.

The good point of this is that all the teens in my life feel comfortable talking around me. I’m not going to flip out over every little thing. At the same time I am the adult. If there is something I really do need to be concerned with I can act on it, or at least get the discussion/conversation going.

So it all wraps up to what I always say about everything. Talk to your kids. Talk with your kids. Let them talk. Listen to them. Savor those funny stories. Savor those discussions about life. Don’t act like you know it all either or be too opinionated – let them talk. If you let them talk they’ll let you listen in. Think about it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (who is celebrating the fact that this is my 800th post! Now go back and read the back posts – you’ll be glad you did. This is your summer reading assignment.)

 

Vampire Teens of Olden Days (still having fun after all these years)

Vampire Teens of Olden Days (still having fun after all these years)

 

 

 

Dealing with Disappointment – Vampire Parenting 101

What’s one of the scariest things you can do to your kids? 

What is one of the dumbest things you can do to your kids?

What is one of the smartest things you can do to your kids?

Get their hopes up.

As a creative type I have to say that my life has been one big game of getting my hopes up only to have them dashed on the rocks of disappointment (well that was bad writing).

On the other hand, my kids aren’t me. I’m not my mom. But the real lesson in all of this is that 1. It will happen. 2. Most things in life are subjective. 3. If you don’t ask or try the answer will ALWAYS be NO. 4. If you do ask there is a good chance the answer will be yes.

This applies to all situations from getting that part in the school play, to love, to college applications, to job applications, to sporting events and just about everything.

The sting of  disappointment is brutal. But when something good does happen, which more often than not, it does – it’s a wonderful thing.

This is one are where I teach my kids to expect a lot, but also expect to be disappointed sometimes. It HURTS, but buck it up and get on with life. It isn’t the end of things. Use a bad experience to make yourself tough.

There again, it all comes down to talking with your kids. Share with them what they feel, honestly and realistically.

As our cowboy friends would say “Get back on that horse and ride.”

As our Vampire friends would say “Dusk will always turns to dawn.”

Dusk always turns to Dawn

Sit and chat for a while

Yesterday my 8th grader was upset about school. She has been upset about school all year. Part of me wants to be angry (which I was and still am about some issues). Most of me knows this is a learning experience that all of us must go through. Life isn’t fair. It isn’t all puppies and lollypops and unicorns.

These kids know that – they’re reading Hunger Games and Shelter (and girls in my youth were reading nothing more exciting than Little Women). But, life can be difficult and totally and completely unfair for the average 13 year old.

 
So my point being is that it is so important to TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Yes, that was ALL CAPS and I mean to SHOUT.

So often I hear from my kids “other kids don’t talk with their parents like we do.” I find that baffling at best.

They talk TO their kids. They talk AT their kids. They don’t talk WITH their kids.

Childhood is a time to prepare out children to be adults – especially the teen years. I’ve always thought that THIS is the time you need to spend the most time with your kids. They are now, more than ever learning about the real world and issues they’ll have to face.

They’ll learn that life isn’t fair. They’ll learn that jerks grow up to be jerks. They’ll learn that there are brown- -nosers and teacher’s pets and people who are going to be less than nice. They’ll learn about game players and liars and all of the other people that might end up as their coworkers someday.

 
But they will also learn that they can make a difference through their actions and words. They’ll meet the best friends they’ll ever have – and still have those friend when they are 100 years old. They’ll be inspired by remarkable teachers (I’m thinking on one History teacher). They’ll be curious. They’ll discover new and wonderful music. They’ll laugh like they invented laughing. And they’ll know joy like no others.

So now it the time to talk to your kids. Now is the time to LISTEN.

In the mornings discuss the news. Find out what their opinions are. Ask your teens “What do YOU think?” Don’t judge their answers. Allow them to TRUST you.

And if they are upset about school or sports or relationships or anything – listen to them. Listen, and ask questions, but don’t judge until you have heard what they have to say. Let them find an answer or come up with an answer together.

Yes, of course there are times when you have to be firm and take charge because YOU ARE THE PARENT. Like when your daughter brings home a freak for a boyfriend (tell her NO) or when your son gets a speeding ticket (show him his bicycle). That is your job. You are allowed to say NO.

Your job is to set limits. But your job is also to guide and discuss issues so your teen will be prepared to make the best decisions they can.

And no subject should be off limits. If you are uncomfortable talking about sex or drugs GET OVER IT. You are doing your child harm by keeping them in the dark. They’ll find answers on the street and more than likely the wrong answers. Allow them to speak with comfort about these issues so YOU will be the one they turn to when they have a question.

Being a parent means teaching your child to be an adult. So your assignment is to keep the lines of communication OPEN so your kid will be the kind of adult you want your child to be – the kind of adult you want to be.

~ Juliette

Also see: Middle School 101- Life Isn’t Fair – Brown Nosers, Shallow Geekery and Nepotism.