Oldest Child Gets the Short Stick

>> Monday, April 19, 2010

Well, not all boys but one in particular is right now.

The first child, while being the oldest with the privileges that go with being the oldest like later curfews and stuff, do not get the benefit of their parents' parenting experience like their younger siblings would. 

With helping my stepdaughter these past couple weeks, and seeing what she is going through, I've decided:

  • If my kids don't date until they are adults, I'm ok with that. 
OK, so that is a joke.  Most teenagers WILL date.

What I have come to realize, seriously now, is that I need to ensure that my children have a well-rounded social life.  By that I mean that none of my daughters will be allowed to wrap their entire existence around a boy, for example, pushing away friends because they have no time/room for them outside of their relationship with a boy, until they think they have nothing left in their world except that boy.  If that boy doesn't treat her right or is even abusive, then it is even worse because now her self-esteem is being battered, she is insecure and anxious, and she has no peers her own age to turn to for support. 

If there is a serious boyfriend (or girlfriend for my son), they will have to maintain grades, maintain extra-curricular activities they enjoyed previously, and maintain friendships.  Otherwise, it's not an emotionally healthy relationship and I am not going through with my three girls or my son what we have been going through with my stepdaughter right now.  It is very sad the differences we see in my stepdaughter from the laughing, healty-looking girl she used to be to the insecure, apologetic, sickly thin girl she is now.

Did we know that for the last year or so, my stepdaughter was in an unhealty relationship?  No, unfortunately, we weren't told any of this until the last two weeks (not sure how long the ex has had misgivings about the boyfriend or plain didn't like him as it stands now).  Can we make it all better for her?  No, there are some things, at almost 18 years old, she is going to have to realize herself but we can be there for her and guide her to the right choices hopefully.  Can we make sure her younger siblings don't end up where their oldest sibling is now?  We can darn well try!


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