Last weekend, my 14-year-old daughter and I went away together overnight.
The purpose was to spend some time talking about teenage issues like peer pressure, dating and purity. I like to say purity rather than sex because I’m kind of hoping my teens go that route, but yes, we did talk about sex.
This is something we plan to do with all of our kids and have for three of them. I took our oldest daughter away a few years ago and my husband took our son last year. Lilly has always seemed so innocent, so I waited a bit before taking her, and I’m glad I did.
The kids get to choose where they want to go (within reason) and what they want to do. Maggie and I went to Washington D.C. Adam and Chris went to Gettysburg. Lilly wanted to go sea glass hunting, so I booked a night at a B&B on the Eastern Shore that backs up to the Chesapeake Bay and a nice sea glass beach.
Lilly is the opposite of me — she’s quite and introverted. But we both love to hunt for sea glass, so it was perfect for our weekend together. Never mind that it was 26 degrees and blustery both days, we are die hard sea glass hunters. And there was a fireplace in our cozy room at the B&B.
There’s nothing better for a busy working mom of four kids than to take time out to get away with just one. It was heavenly. There wasn’t a ton of chatter, but it was nice just being together. We shopped at the outlets, hunted for sea glass, had a yummy dinner out and lounged in bed watching “Pride & Prejudice” before breakfast.
For the “teenage talks,” we followed a program with CDs called “Passport to Purity.” It’s pretty conservative and is geared toward slightly younger kids, but it was good at guiding our conversation, and it did hit on some weighty topics. It helps kids think about situations before they encounter them so they have a plan when the time comes. The CD’s included interviews with teenagers who had experienced the pressure to drink, and they hit on the topic of sex and all its baggage.
I know Lilly came away with a lot to think about. She probably would have squirmed discussing these topics even a year ago, but this seemed to be the perfect time. I don’t know what curves life will throw her way or what choices she will make down the road, but I know I’ve given her the best information I can. She knows so much more than I did at hear age — mainly that she is an amazing person and that she should never let anyone convince her to compromise that.
When it was time to go, neither one of us wanted to leave. There’s something heart warming knowing your 14-year-old enjoys spending time with you. It’s a memory I will always treasure, and I hope she will too.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 14, Adam, 14, and Jonah, 10.