My oldest daughter turns 7 this Friday. It hardly seems possible given the fact that she was just born yesterday, but it seems that yesterday was actually 7 years ago and time simply will not slow down. As my husband and I approach the weekend of her birthday, we realize that she’s growing up so much. Gone is the tiny little blonde hair, blue-eyed girl that stole our hearts the second she was born. In her place is a little person; a little girl quickly turning into a person. She’s turning 7 Friday, going into 2nd grade in three weeks, and she’s not the same little girl. She’s growing up, as evidenced by the fact that she’s chosen to forgo a birthday party this year in favor of a weekend away at her favorite hotel with us, her brother and sisters, and the two families we are closest to and their children. She’s asked if she can choose her own school clothes when we back to school shop this year. She’s mentioned that she hopes a boy from her kindergarten class who did not end up in her first grade class is in her second grade class this year.
Boys? Um, no, sorry sweetie. Not until you are 75 and mommy and daddy are long gone! It seems too soon, but we’ve been told it’s not. It’s life, and it’s changing too fast for our comfort. She was born yesterday, she’s going into second grade in a few weeks and before we know it she’ll be entering high school (and hopefully still excited to have us as her parents!). One day she’s going to be a teenager and she’s going to high school, and she will discover high school boys – God help us.
When I think back to high school, I do so with fond memories and no regrets. I’m happy to say that I was very true to myself in terms of boys, and I never gave in to any peer pressure. My personality makes that possible for me, since it’s a strong one. I’ve never been too worried about what others think of me, but my oldest daughter might not have that same personality trait, and there are so many things that I want her to know about high school boys. Not yet, but when the time is right; and since time is passing so quickly, I’ve been thinking about the 10 things I want her to know about boys at that age for quite some time now.
Boys are Often Immature
It’s the sad truth; and I know this being the older sister of a former teenage boy, the wife of a former teenage boy, the aunt of boys, and the mother of a young boy. Boys can be silly, dumb, really ridiculous and quite immature (and so can everyone else, really) and that’s something to keep in mind. Boys in high school might make up stories about you to impress their friends. They might treat you poorly to impress their friends. They might do things they’re uncomfortable with because they are immature and want to maintain their ‘social status’ and that’s something to keep in mind – always.
Being Scantily Clad and Dressing “sexy” Does Attract Boys – The Wrong Kind
When I was in high school, we dressed trendy and cool. But we were not allowed – even outside the classroom – to wear anything suggestive or ‘sexy’ at that age. You might want to wear these type of clothes because you feel that you will attract boys if you’re ‘sexy’ and it’s true. You will. But trust me, darling; boys that like you because of your cleavage or your short shorts or your barely there dresses are not the type of boys you want to date – ever.
Never Provide a Boy with Suggestive Photos even if he Asks Nicely
I see it so often on the news, on social media and everywhere in between. Thank goodness this was not an option when I was growing up – I know social media and cell phones and all that make life so much more difficult for kids these days. However, if a boy ever asks you to provide him with a ‘special’ photo just for him, do not do it. In fact, do not even associate with him. Trust me when I say that a teenage boy will never, ever, ever keep that to himself. Darling, your father and I have been married and decade, and I’ve never even sent him a suggestive photo in our 14 years together, and I never will.
If he makes you Laugh Without Being Cruel, he’s a Keeper
Humor is a must. I have no idea how people deal with anyone without a sense of humor. If you find a boy that can make you laugh without his humor being at the expense of someone else, he’s someone to keep. Even if you’re just friends, this is a guy you want in your life.
Boys who Pressure you are NOT Worth your Time
End of discussion. If he cannot accept no for an answer (and even the nice guys will ask, trust me), he’s not worth your time. Never let a boy pressure you into anything. If you say no about anything at all, and he does not respect your decision, ditch him.
Boys that Announce they Hate Drama are Usually the Ones who Have the Most
The same goes for girls. We all hate drama; but there’s a little bit of a secret to this statement. Those of us without drama in our lives do not feel compelled to ever utter the words, “I hate drama,” in our lives. However, those who use this phrase regularly are almost always the people constantly in the middle of the most drama. So whether it’s a boy or a girl saying this, it’s probably not someone you want to have in your life.
Don’t Change your Personality for a Boy
Ever. A boy that does not like you for you is not the boy for you. You are smart, beautiful, intelligent, lovely, funny, sweet and so many other wonderful things. If a boy in high school does not like those things about you, he’s not for you. Be yourself, always.
Sometimes the Boy you Meet in High School is Your True Love and your One and Only
Sweet daughter of mine, I met your father when I was a senior in high school and he a college freshman. We began dating the night we met. I broke up with my boyfriend 5 minutes after I met your father, and we’ve been together ever since. It’s been 14 years now, and he’s still my favorite person in the world. He loves me for me, and he makes me laugh. He’s kind and generous and respectful and funny. He’s smart and driven and intelligent and he loves his family more than anything in the world. We met when I was 18, and he proposed to me a year later. We were smart about what we did after we got engaged – finishing school and building a house before we finally did tie the knot. We waited years to have kids, and we really established our careers and our marriage, and we are so thankful for that. Your father and I want you to be happy – and we want you to have whatever it is that makes you happy. Do we necessarily want you to get married at 21? No, but as long as you are on the right life path and making intelligent, smart choices, we will be okay with whatever you choose in life.
And sometimes, honey, sometimes the boy you fall in love with in high school is the boy you will marry and spend your entire life with. And sometimes he is not. Do not discount anything, but do proceed with caution.
If We Dislike him, It’s Probably for a Good Reason (not that you’ll understand that right away)
My parents hated one particular boyfriend I had in high school, and I did not care; but now I get it. I was smart enough on my own to realize it before too much time passed, but I do look back and realize that my parents always had my best interests at heart. If your family thoroughly dislikes a boy, chances are very good that he is not good enough for you. Believe it or not, we don’t just arbitrarily hate boys because of their existence. We just aren’t immune to their faults and flaws like a young girl in love. We trust that you will recognize this on your own, but do heed our advice and please understand we don’t want you hurt.
Boys aren’t that Important Right Now
Seriously, they are not. Aside from being a senior and meeting your father, my fondest high school memories include things like sleepovers with my girlfriends. Cheer competitions, proms, homecomings, football games, weekends with my friends floating down the river, hanging out on the boats, playing softball and just being a carefree teenager. Boys are always going to seem more important than they are but if you remember that they’re not all that important even just a few times, you’ll be good to go.
Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images