One of the advantages, or disadvantages, of having a teenage daughter is the plethora of teenage movie and television drama’s. Just take a look at the CW or ABC Family which cater to the teenage girl. There is a vampire show for every love torn teenage girl’s fantasy boy and/or a show based in fantasy land high school where love conquers all and the mean girl always loses.
As a mother who chooses her battles wisely, I was aware I would never win the battle of the teenage girl heart and taste for the love torn so I bribed instead. She is watching and learning football with mom and I, in exchange, watch teenage girl shows and movies with her. The bribe does seem to be working in my favor. We have passed the basics of football and she is moving right along in learning positions and plays. God bless some poor teenage boy who thinks he’s getting off easy with the dumb pretty blonde. Oh wait- her favorite restaurant is Waffle House, she likes the taste of beer and she knows football. Maybe the teenage boy is getting off easy and we should all be blessing her father and brothers instead! 🙂
So back to the teenage girl drama’s. Since I haven’t watched this many since I myself was a teenage girl I am finding myself in a quandary. On one hand I am very nostalgic. It’s similar to listening to the radio and an old song comes on which brings a smile to your face. You listen and remember a certain party, old boyfriend or experience and suddenly you are back to the age of 17 and all the emotions come rushing back and you smile because if only you had the wisdom of today. I watch and remember my youth when cute boys, parties, and small drama’s made up everyday and I thought life was difficult. The only difference now is I smirk.
On the other hand do I pass on my wisdom to my baby girl? Do I tell her they are fantasy land? Do I tell her the reality of sometimes the mean girl does win and sometimes, by accident, you are her or that teenage boys are not pining away in their rooms for you because they have “other” interests and by other interest I don’t mean football? Should I tell her their brains come back at 25 and it’s in her best interest just to wait? Should I tell her that life is much more complicated than a movie and that sometimes love doesn’t conquer all at 16, but when she thinks her life is over it’s just getting interesting?
To alleviate my quandary I decided to spend a little time sharing with my baby girl the teenage movies of my age. We watched Breakfast Club, About Last Night, St Elmo’s Fire and so on. Then I decided to watch the teenage movies of my moms generation. I watched Where the boys are and Beach Blanket Bingo (yeah for Netflix and On-Demand) and I had a epiphany.
Teenage movie’s have had the same message forever and who am I do try to change the message or teach a different perspective. Even if I could would she even listen or get the point? I remember how I thought my mom had “NO IDEA” of what I was going through. I remember thinking “She’s old and married what does she know about teenage boys”
Well it turns out now that I’m old and married and it may of taken 30 years and a teenage boy of my own that I now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I do know a few things about teenage boys. I got all excited and was planning my speech to my teenage girl and then I surprisingly had an epiphany.
Who am I to tell her the reality? These movie’s and drama’s have had the same message since Shakespeare. What if there is a valid reason for the message? What is wrong with letting her believe he’s pining away for her in his room? What is wrong with letting her believe the mean girl always loses or that love conquers all? Reality will be here soon enough and maybe my job is to just be her mom.
My job is the shoulder to cry on and the voice in her head that says Prince Charming will be here soon and she’s better than him. Maybe I am supposed to be here for the moral compass when she’s accidentally the mean girl and tell her it’s o k when the other mean girl wins. My job is really just to watch them with her, be sweet to her when she’s confused, and get her through the next 10 or 15 years so when she’s nostalgic she can smirk.
My epiphany is sometimes you just have to learn the hard way. I have decided I’m going with this plan. First, it’s nicer than she won’t listen to me anyway and second she’ll grow up soon enough and I should just enjoy the time. All I can really do is pray that one day she’ll really understand the lessons I’ll give her this fall on the concepts of football. Every girl needs a line to block for you and a strong safety to have your back.
Maybe my mom wasn’t so clueless after all!!