Unlike the American teenagers I interviewed, who said they felt they had to split their burgeoning sexual selves from their family roles, the Dutch teens had a chance to integrate different parts of themselves into their family life. When children feel safe enough to tell parents what they are doing and feeling, presumably it’s that much easier for them to ask for help. This allows parents to have more influence, to control through connection.
And this was the last post I put here with links to discussions on teenagers and sleep-overs.
Hmmmm boy-girl sleep-over dilemmas, or girl-girl or boy-boy if your child turns out to be same-sex attracted. Yes, well here is how the quandary goes when your child is 6 rather than 16 and she wants a male friend to sleep-over…
You tuck Lauca and her male friend into her bed together and read them some stories, ensure they have their favourite soft toys each with them, check that they don’t need to go to the toilet before you turn the lights off and then you toddle away. You then return some time later, around 2 a.m, to the sounds of “the noise, make that noise stop, that noise” and you apologise to the little boy who is whimpering with his hands over his ears while curled up in the foetal position, and you say “yes, Lauca is a bit of a snorer isn’t she, my goodness” and then you scoop your daughter up and take her off to your own bed, which is now very crowded as it is already occupied by two males (both tall for their ages – a toddler and a man well over 6 foot). You squeeze into your crowded bed with your daughter snuggled up tightly to you so that she may better snore directly into your ear and you wonder what the fuck am I doing agreeing to sleep-overs?