My daughter has
"When I was a teenager, dating was something that actors did in American movies or something you read about in Archie comics," says Vatsala Sachdev, mother of 16-year-old Rhea. Vatsala is in a quandary about how to handle her daughter's first romance. She says,"Rhea is so young. I feel that she should be concentrating on her studies rather than mooning over this boy. But every time I try to talk to her about it, she says "Relax, mom! We're just friends." I have no idea
what to do."
Times have changed
Parents have to realize that the
world is a different place from the time when they were teenagers. In those
days, a crush was just something you giggled over with your girlfriends
or fantasized over silently. It would have been difficult to take it any
further because things like that were just not done.
But today the rules have changed.
Teenagers of both sexes have greater opportunities to mix freely and the
taboos on friendships with the opposite sex have definitely been relaxed.
Parents are beginning to come round to the view that platonic relationships
are possible between a boy and a girl. However, when their sons and daughters
begin to show a romantic interest in members of the opposite sex, it does
set off warning bells in their minds. In their view, all those raging hormones
in close proximity could cause some serious damage.
What about sex?
Their worries are not baseless. After
all, this is the age when children awaken to their sexuality. Though their
minds may boggle at the thought of their children having sexual feelings,
it is a fact and parents are just going to have to deal with it.
Forbidding socializing with members
of the opposite sex is not going to win you any brownie points with your
children. On the contrary, you will force them to do things behind your
back and you'll find yourself in a position where you don't know what's happening in your child's life. This would be a pity because this is the time for parents to play a strong guiding role and make their children
aware of the consequences of allowing their 'passions' to get the better