My daughter turned 18 in July. I do remember 15 well. I was an awkward time. I based my virtual connection (anything that connects online) on something that was supposed to be a joke. I saw it on Colbert Report.

I’m looking over your shoulder, but only because I got your back

I checked up, but allowed her the illusion of privacy. No comments, no following, no mention of anything she wrote or did, unless I got some indication things could harm her. I gave her the space to vent without her feeling I was watching. But I was watching.

I would say; allow her to choose who she is vulnerable to. Try not to take it personal if it’s not you. Only intervene when you think you are seeing signs of grooming by predators of anything self harm. Being important to her is a double edged sword. At that age the fear of judgment, of saying or doing something that would make her seem less in your eyes, is a huge burden. If she wants you to think of her as a ‘better’ version of herself, no matter what ‘better’ means to her, don’t let on you know it’s a mask. She is trying to be the person she wants to be, getting the impression that she already is this person in your eyes helps. Helps her get there.

I think the most important thing, if she ever does come to you with a problem, do everything within your power to not freak out. If you panic, panic silently on the inside. This will be an Oscar winning performance to be sure. But she is already worrying about her own reaction. If she will on top of that have to worry about your reaction, that is the surest way to prevent her from coming to you with problems in the future.

Writer of fiction, blogs and erotica. Frequency in that order. Popularity in reverse.

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