Monday, January 2, 2012
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Anyway, I bought 10 Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) while waiting in the car for my mother to get finished with her shopping in BN. We were taking turns because the kiddo was asleep in the back seat; in her defense it was naptime. In our defense, one time we took her out when she wasn't fully awake yet...doing that with a baby (easy), doing that with a 12-month old (with a stroller=easy), doing that with a two-year old (stroller or not...hard as H-E-double hockey sticks!).
So, I waited, coffee in hand and surfed through the BN deals on my new Nook Tablet (Merry Christmas to me, from Christopher=husbands can be so sweet)...I ended up buying 4 YA novels each for less than a buck, one of which was this book; a book I wanted to read, but wasn't really in the mood to pay $10 for, a book I would have borrowed from a student, only I saw no student with it...
Anyway, I would have started it then and there, but the tiny person woke up and we went into the store to look at books and wait...
I started it yesterday morning and with all that was going on yesterday (2nd family, or was it 3rd?, family Christmas) I finished it yesterday evening.
Sadly, because I teach high school, I believed every word. I believed that lots of really nice girls who make good grades drink and party (I've had said nice girls in class and some of the stories I've overheard make me never want to have a teenage daughter), I also believe that teens no longer see sex as a stigma (it isn't only party girls that have sex)...I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it is, I believe that teens understand the proper use of birth control, but not how they can still contract an STD and I believe that parents busy with living their second lives (ie. life after a divorce) don't notice the teen in the room who is screaming for them to lay down some rules and laws.
I like to think of these kinds of books, these modern day YA novels that have a teen girl protagonist, as lessons for me in how to raise a teenage girl...10 lessons I learned from this book:
1] Holy WOW! teach your kids about sex. I'll be teaching my daughter that she shouldn't have sex until she's older and mature and, hopefully, married, but I will also teach her about sex and STDs et cetera, if I don't she will learn from her friends, her teachers and life...and, I will look ill-prepared and naive.
2] I will not overshare my sex life with my teenage daughter (ick!) that's why parents have friends...
3] I will talk to my daughter like she is a person, I will ask her to tell me when she thinks she is ready to have sex, so we can talk...I will do this when she is 12, although in my head that seems a little young.
4] She will know she is loved, I will tell her often. She will know she is loved even if she does things that I do not like.
5] I will never take a job that requires me to leave her without adult supervision...even if that means I put my dreams on the back burner.
6] I will not move her away from her high school and her friends, even if that means I have to turn down a job (I have always firmly believed this!), however, if for some strange reason we have to move...she, kicking and screaming and pouting and moping, is coming with us.
7] I will trust my kid, but will actually meet parents face to face. I will not trust text, emails, running showers...
8] I will not impose year long punishments.
9] I will never get rid of my daughter's pet, even if we move overseas and said pet has to be in quarantine for 6 months.
10] I will give my daughter an allowance and have her tally up how she spent said allowance at the end of every month...what a good way to learn to budget, something I never learned...
OK, so I loved this book cussing, drinking, sex and all and heck, I'd let my daughter read it. I know I would have read it when I was a 9th grader...I read Forever by Judy Blume at that age.
If you've read this book what lessons did you learn? At what age do you think it's appropriate for kids to read?
Seriously, the best kind of book is a book that just seems fun and pointless, but then you realize that you learned something from it, this is one of those books.