My parents pretty much dropped the supervision ball with me (last kid, they were pooped) when I turned 14. I had no curfews, no chores, no limits, no consequenses, and did a LOT of dumb things. So it shouldn't have surprised me that, when my teens turned 14, I suddenly lost my moorings and felt I had no idea how to be a good, effective mom to them. After floundering for a while, I found a child and family therapist, and once a week I go and ask him really nuts-and-bolts questions: How much academic supervision does a 9th grader need? How much allowance should they get? What chores should they be doing? It's been really helpful to have someone to go to and cover all the lame-brain basics that no one covered with me.
But last week I finally got around to talking about the big stuff - sex, drugs. And the bummer is that, when it comes to the tough stuff, even an expert can't, finally, be expert for me. I have to figure it out myself. Shit! I hate that! Because the risks are so dire now: Drugs offenses are prosecuted more seriously; unprotected sex can be deadly.... And we can say (as the therapist essentially reccommended I do) NO, NO, NO!! Don't ever do drugs, don't have sex till you're in a committed, monogamous relationship with someone who has tested clean for everything. But to me that doesn't seem like a very nuanced, realistic answer to the very tough questions and challenges ahead of them. Which means I have to delve into my heart and figure out what I really believe and cross my fingers and hope i do OK for them. Scary. So this graffitti made me laugh. And really, it's not a bad anti-drug argument!