Driving, dating and drugs - three things daughter's 16th birthday bring to mind - New York News

Driving, dating and drugs - three things daughter's 16th birthday bring to mind

Updated:

By: Lois M. Collins, Deseret News

My oldest daughter just turned 16, which puts her in the 3-D danger zone: driving, dating and drugs. Of the three, the one that makes me most uneasy is dating.

I've tried their entire lives to prepare my two daughters for the temptations and dangers of substance abuse. We've talked about addiction and responsibility and house rules. They know a lot about brain development and how alcohol and drugs can thwart it.

I've also tried to prepare the girls as much as you can for the day when they will get behind the wheel. Driving is a wonderful, terrifying thing, because you always have to bring your A-game to it. You have to pay attention to what you do – and to what others do, as well. Sometimes, no matter what you do, it just ends badly.

Dating brings my heart up into my throat because it's not as simple as setting rules. Any time you have two different humans interacting, the variations are unpredictable and unique. I have a little personal experience with that truth.

In my single days, one of my relationships was controlling and potentially dangerous, but it took me a while to recognize that fact. When I did, the extrication process was ugly and painful. The irony was that at the time, I was a reporter who covered, among other things, domestic and dating violence. I knew the warning signs, but it turns out that dating violence is a process, not an event.

So I am woefully aware that you can't teach someone a “right way” to date beyond a certain point. I've talked a lot about my expectations when it comes to when my daughter has to be home, what kind of activities I will support and general house rules.

The scariest thing that can happen in a relationship is also the very thing you don't see at first. If potentially abusive dating partners showed their true colors when you were starting out, you could bow out before anyone felt invested enough for a relationship to get ugly.

When I hear men or women talk about jealousy as something that's “cute” or “romantic,” I shudder. I remember being flattered that the young man in my life was jealous when I talked to other men. I actually thought he was kidding with it. Then he was jealous of time I spent with my girlfriends and family, too. And he was serious about it.

When I found myself avoiding certain things and people I really enjoyed just to skip the “discussion” that would follow, it finally hit me. He wasn't viewing me as a prize, he saw me as property. Getting clear was an awful process, but at least it never escalated to physical violence. I believe it would have.

I'm trying to teach my girls that they belong to themselves, not someone they're dating. They must have relationships within their comfort zones and realize that no one has a right to isolate them or control them. If I had sons, I'd do the same for them, because domestic and dating violence is not a one-gender issue. Females can be as controlling and abusive. I have tried to teach them not to be controlling of others.

Our society tends to blame the victims, expecting them to get themselves out of situations before they escalate. It's never that simple.

This week, Barbara Brotman wrote in the Chicago Tribune about a “Silent Witness” exhibit of lifesize cut-out figures of real people who were killed by domestic violence, each bearing that person's story. Communities around the country host them, providing their own too-frequent, too-tragic examples, some high profile and others not.

They never have to search hard to find women, children and sometimes men destroyed by a person who should have cherished them.

Original post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Homeowner interrupting burglary is fatally stabbed

    Homeowner interrupting burglary is fatally stabbed

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:35 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:35:46 GMT
    A 67-year-old homeowner was stabbed to death and his wife injured after they came upon a burglary at their Staten Island home.
    Police in New York City say an intruder stabbed a couple who interrupted a burglary at their home, killing the man and injuring his wife.
  • New MTA bus routes take effect

    New MTA bus routes take effect

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:09:54 GMT
    MTAMTA
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
  • Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:11:38 GMT
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices