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Captive Audience

I have a weekly ritual that I conduct with my 13 year old daughter.  Early on Monday mornings I drive her to her Classical Conversations day-long class.  Because I’m all about a healthy nutritious breakfast, we stop at McDonald’s to get her an egg burrito.  It could be worse.  I’ve been known to order the Bacon Egg Cheese Biscuit Heart Stopper in days gone by.  Anyhoo.  It’s protein.  She’s a tough sell on breakfast.  Unless it’s cold pizza.

I pick my battles.

This week I decided to shake things up a bit.  As she climbed into the passenger seat, I auto-locked the door and stuck a CD into the console.  The minute she heard the subject matter, she tried to exit the vehicle, but HELLO, auto-lock!  The title of the CD I was subjecting her to was Dr. James Dobson’s Preparing for Adolescence: How to Survive the Coming Years of Change.

MOM!  NOOOOO.  I kept checking her to be certain that she didn’t jam her pointer fingers into her ear canal.  Remember, this is the child who when told about the joys of menstruation turned pale and slid down the wall.  I’ve been spoon feeding her information over the years so that she is current with all necessary data.  She has not been a willing listener, most days, because I suppose that she shares my DNA.  Ignorance is bliss, that’s my mantra.

But I thought it was important for us to listen to Dr. Dobson’s series, lest some vital piece of the puzzle slips through the cracks.  I fear that when we really get into the series and cover the REALLY DELICATE information, I may need to have my pointer fingers pried out from my ear drums.  Sometimes this mothering business means you’ve got to put on your big girl panties and be the grown up.

I don’t prefer that.  But whatever.

I got this series from my SIL, Trish, who recently had her older son listen to it while traveling at high rates of speed down the highway.  She had to keep reminding him to get up from the floor board of the back seat, because that position was not at all safe.  Or legal.  She was vindicated when she learned that her son was taking this new found information and discussing it with his dad at a later time.

Emme was equally horrified at the thought of going through this series WITH HER MOTHER IN THE CAR.  But I do want to be available for questions and answers.  And there could very well be stuff that I don’t even know.  Although I won’t let on.

As we were listening, both me and my reluctant prisoner, we pulled up to the drive-through at McDonald’s where the usual teenaged boy was ever ready to offer excellent service upon seeing my beautiful daughter riding shotgun.  As the window lowered, she panicked and hit the CD button, causing the volume TO INCREASE.  This was right before turning it off.  In the nick of time.  My passenger began praying for death to come swiftly.

So far we’ve covered feelings of inferiority and conformity in adolescence.  We’re about to embark on the explanation of puberty, which includes clear instructions that the parents should listen first without the teenager.  I may need a quart of ice cream to get through that one.

I really do think that Dr. Dobson should tackle Preparing for Menopause in his next CD venture.  Which should come with a complementary Prozac and chocolates.  Seriously.  There is money to be made with that idea.

It should be noted that Emme has volunteered to walk to Classical Conversations next Monday morning.  If she leaves at about 10:00 the night before, she just might make it.

Has anyone else listened to this series, and what are your thoughts?


8 Responses to Captive Audience

  • I have not listened to it, but I definitely want to. I did read “Bring Up Boys” by Dr. Dobson, and wrote regarding a delicate question. He answered the way my brother said he would. I did read a Christian book with him about “how our bodies change” when he was about 9, and the family laughed at me as I turned red and he squirmed. His uncle handles all of the questions and discussions now, and it’s my turn to laugh. 😉

  • We had my oldest listen to that one a year or so ago. He actually did so in the privacy of his own bedroom. 🙂 Yes, parental involvement was indeed there, he’s just one who needs to process things and THEN talk about them.

  • I took my girls for a Passport to Purity (a Family Life product) weekend when they each turned 12. The oldest handled it like a champ. The middle child turned 12 shades of red, green, and purple and started trembling. She was obviously not handling it well so I told her we could stop the CD and just enjoy the rest of the weekend together. That was a year and a half ago. Guess it is time to try again!

  • I read the first “God’s Design” book to all three of mine when the oldest was 8 and the youngest 2. The oldest and middle child said, “Eeeeeewwww!” and have since asked a few questions along the way. I plan to read the rest of the series to them, but I loaned the books to someone about 4 years ago and haven’t seen them since. Time to buy a new set.

  • Hahahahaha! That is hilarious! I was laughing out loud at the part where she tried to turn the CD off, and turned it up instead. Hahahahaha! (I made the fatal error of sipping my coffee while reading, and now all of my colleagues are wondering why I’m snorting and dripping coffee from my nose.)

  • I did not use Dobson, but here is my story (briefly!) My girls are 26 and 28. Every single time I tried to ease into the subject they ran fast the other way. Quite honestly, I finally gave up. My 26 yr. daughter has been married 5 years and has 2 children and a wonderful, Godly husband. About a month after she was married I poured out my guilt of not telling her enough and she assured me that she did not need to know any more than what little I told her. And she meant it. I felt relieved. Now, I have my 3rd and last child: a 14 yr old boy. Heaven help me.
    We do preach abstinence and are not advocates of casual dating. And keep em busy with good, physical hard labor….lololol Every family is different and good luck to all of you!! (Guess this wasn’t so brief after all!)

  • My daughter is only 4 1/4 (with a second baby on the way) so I still have a bit to go until I have to deal with “the talks,” but it’s good to know that there are CDs on the subject!!

  • We did Passport to Purity on a weekend away together; dh also had P2P weekends away with each of our 3 boys. We like to do these around age 12. Because it’s part of a really fun weekend away with Mom or Dad, it’s pretty fun. We listen to a section on the way to wherever we’re going, another that evening, one the next morning (then go do something FUN!), and another later in the day… I think there are 5 sessions altogether. Even though there are a few embarrassing topics, they’re handled really well, and they do help open up discussion. P2P has a great little booklet to go along with the sessions – questions to discuss together after listening to the material, and that kind of thing. One ds went on a guided fishing trip, one went to Gatlinburg, one went white water rafting, and dd and I went to a horse ranch. Very fun, and great memories! Someday I’ll get to go on a trip with my little dd, who’s now only 3. 🙂