This is the time of year most parents look forward to…is that so terrible??? Let’s face it: entertaining children over the age of 5 for two months straight can be very costly! And if you don’t have the loot to KEEP them entertained, most of those days (and NIGHTS) will be filled with incessant cries of “I’m bored”. My answer to that has always been, “Really? Then go clean your room.” Yeah, that usually shuts ’em up.
My big girl is starting middle school this year….aye!!! Just about every time I think back to my own years in grades 6-8 (mostly grade 6 when we were the new kids, just ripe for the pickin’) I have a mini-panic attack. Then when I think about my OWN child being in middle school in the year 2011 when kids can’t even go outside to play without adult supervision…well, let’s just say I try NOT to think about that.
On the plus side, she will be in the honors program, thus surrounded by kids who are a bit more inspired to succeed rather than pulling the fire alarm whenever it fancies them or trying to sneak a smoke in the bathroom. I don’t think I need to elaborate much more on what else goes on these days in middle school. Did you know that the recommended age for administering the HPV vaccine is 11?! Oh yes…11 years old! Why, you may ask? Simple: Because in today’s society, 11 is the average age which girls become sexually active! I just about fell over when the pediatrician told me this! Ok, so HPV is a precursor to cervical cancer thus any precautions that can be made, SHOULD. Hmmm…how about explaining to our daughters that although there will come a time when they will be curious about sex, and even pressured by boys and possibly mocked by their own female friends that they are a “still a virgin”, there is NO TEST for HPV among males, thus condom or no condom, this disease can still be easily spread and become DEADLY. Further, the girls who taunt their friends to “try it” have likely ALREADY tried it, with more than one partner, by the age of 14! WHERE HAVE OUR VALUES GONE AS A SOCIETY????
Here’s something I learned through observation by my early 20’s: guys are less likely to want the girls who everyone else has already had! There is greater intrigue in the girls who value themselves enough to WAIT…and I don’t mean waiting until they’re married, because as righteous a concept as that it is, the truth is that sex is a very natural urge and a part of mankind’s hierarchy of NEEDS; however, holding on to her virtue is not only a very admirable thing for a young woman but it is also something that will absolutely set her apart from the rest of the girls ready to give THEIRS up in hopes of seeking approval from horny young men and quite simply, to be liked! Regardless of the “bad boy” image some young men give off, any boy who has been raised to respect women will surely value a young lady who values HERSELF enough to remain abstinent. Whether she realizes it immediately or not, this makes her different than all the rest…this makes her truly SPECIAL.
I have been teaching my daughter this important lesson since she was 9 years old and the pediatrician first mentioned the HPV vaccine. Naturally, it’s an uncomfortable topic but it’s MY JOB as a mother to educate her on the facts of life. I’m not naive to the fact that as she approaches adolescence, my words may very well go in one ear and out the other. After all, teaching our children the very best we know how is all we can do. Eventually, THEY WILL MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS! This possibility will not deter me from being diligent in my task, nor will it take away my hopes that maybe, just maybe, my words WILL sink in.