Category Archives: Parenting
I just found out that Diva, my 16-year-old daughter (not her real name), watches “Orange is the New Black”. I’m sure you have heard of this superb Netflix drama. The basic premise of the show is life in a woman’s prison. The main character is taken from a middle/upper class environment and thrown in prison for a crime she committed several years ago. The writing is excellent and the acting is great. You get to know all of these women and their back stories make for interesting watching. “Orange” gives you everything from drama to comedy to tragedy. I binged watched the entire first season over three days. I was hyped about watching the second season.
And then Diva dropped an OITNB reference and I froze. My first thought was to cancel the Netflix subscription. This show has language, violence and nudity. And sex. It is not suitable for children. Is it appropriate for a teenager? No. I was going to cancel Netflix. (Right after I watched Season 2, of course. Priorities, people.)
Then I decided to do something revolutionary. I talked to my daughter to see what it was she was getting from the show. She was getting an in your face manual of what happens when you make wrong decisions and follow the wrong people. She was getting an illustration of every lesson I have been preaching/teaching. OITNB was acting as a teaching tool for some serious decisions.
Netflix stays. My season 2 viewing is saved. And I have a better understanding of the way my daughter thinks about life. Thanks to OITNB. Or I could be a really bad parent. Who knows. Diva just wants me to catch up on the season so we can discuss.
My daughter, Princess, got her navel pierced about a month ago. It’s taken this long to analyze my feelings about it. Was I surprised? Yes and no. She has been rambling about wanting to get one for some time.
Princess: “Mon, I think I want to get my navel pierced.”
P: “I like them.”
M: (again) “Why?”
P: “I just do.”
Some variation of this conservation continued at random intervals for months. And then she turned 18. That means she didn’t need my permission to have it done. Then she came home with one.
My reaction was mixed. I believe in giving my girls the confidence to make decisions about their own bodies once they reach a certain age. They have to make decisions for themselves. It can be as simple as considering a new hair cut or the complex decision of whether or not to have sex. I tell them the decision is theirs. It is not left up to peer pressure or to win the affection of some boy. I want them to be comfortable in their own skins and learn to trust themselves.
I didn’t make a big deal about the piercing. I told Princess I didn’t like it but it was her body. I advised her to make sure to keep it clean.
The world kept spinning. But I can’t help but notice that my baby is growing up and inching closed to adulthood. She is becoming more and more independent. I am at times proud and terrified.
The other day Princess started a random conversation.
Princess: “Mom, would you be mad if I got a tattoo?”
Me: (deep breath)
Somebody pass me the antacid.
As soon as Princess got a job, I took her to open a checking and savings account. What a great way to teach money management, I thought.
Princess: “Mom, I was checking my account and they took $5 out my savings. Why did they take my money?”
Me: “I’ll check on it. Probably since you turned 18 they changed your type of account.”
Verifies what happened. Yep, the bank did in fact change her savings from a free account to charging a maintenance fee.
Me: (calls back to explain the way banking works.)
Princess: “But they are taking $5 a month. That’s 60 dollars a year. I work hard for that money.”
Me: “Yes, I know but that is their maintenance fee.”
Princess: “Maintenance for what? I didn’t ask them to do anything.”
Note: You know she closed that account, right? Princess is serious about her money.
Today my daughter’s, Princess and Diva, had an argument over who was the favorite.
Princess: “I’m the favorite. Mom knows she likes me the best. ”
Diva: “No she doesn’t. I’m the favorite.”
Princess: “She’s known me longer. I have to be the favorite. It’s okay to admit it, Mom.”
Me: “I don’t have a favorite. I love you both the same.”
They went back to eating cereal and all was well for the moment. But I was left with a thought. Do you have a favorite Child and is it okay to every admit it?
I think as a parent you love your children equally. You just like different things about them.
As for the favorite argument, I think I am the only winner. They only have one mom. I know that I am their favorite.