An open letter to my 8-year-old daughter,
Hey, kid. It’s your mother here. You know how great I think you are, and how much I love you. You know I admire what an incredible mind you have, and how funny you are, and that I think you’re beautiful. What I can’t believe is that you’re almost 9, and in 4TH GRADE. Woah. Before either one of us knows it, you’ll be starting middle school, and hitting (gulp) puberty, and it will be time for you to start falling in (puppy) love.
Relationships are a tricky thing, and getting into them can be scary if you don’t have any guidance. Lucky for you, I’ve made plenty of relationship mistakes in my life that we both can learn from.
1. Don’t be embarrassed if you like someone and they don’t like you back.
When you hit middle school or high school, and you start to have crushes on people, don’t worry about trying to hide your feelings or wonder if you’re cool enough to like the person you like. If you like someone, it’s OK to show it. Having warm feelings for someone is a gift, one that is meant to be offered to the person you have the feelings for. If it turns out that they don’t feel the same way, that’s OK. Hopefully they’ll express that kindly, but even if they’re jerks about it, don’t take it personally. There’s nothing wrong with sharing a little bit of your heart’s love with somebody. If they don’t like you back, someone will. Don’t take that kind of rejection as a sign that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re not good enough. Just view it as a simple compatability issue and move on with grace.
2. Don’t lose your virginity too soon (or for the wrong reasons).
Having sex with the right partner at the right time for the right reasons is a wonderfully positive, fun experience. However, there isn’t a human being alive who hasn’t had at least one negative sexual experience, and that’s because sex is a very intimate act people engage in while highly vulnerable. It’s a delicate thing. So before you decide you want to go all the way with someone, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and that you feel truly ready. You might be ready to have sex if you feel safe, secure and loved in a relationship, if you’re physically and emotionally mature enough to understand how sex deepens the bonds between people and therefore changes the relationship, and if you know your partner feels the same way. Some of the wrong reasons to have sex include wanting to be cool, feeling lonely and needing affection, feeling a need to lash out or rebel, or just wanting to lose your virginity before “it’s too late.” It’s never too late! Watch “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and you’ll see what I mean.
Read the Rest Over at Your Tango — 10 Relationship Mistakes I Hope My Daughter Never Makes
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