Because the letter is filled with lots of positive examples by the Mom and daughter, we asked Jill, the Mom and School Counselor, if we could share the letter and she said, “Yes!!” (the importance of asking first and respecting the answer).
Please take a moment to read her inspirational words and know that, as parents, our children are listening even if we think they are not.
I have had the pleasure to watch your presentation to teens three times. One was in a large group setting with about 500 students and two have been in small intimate settings with at-risk youth. However, my two teenage daughters never had the privilege of hearing your powerful message and impactful advice regarding healthy relationships. Thus, I always tried to come home after one of your presentations and pass on your message to them. I have been worried that they didn’t always hear it because it not only was coming from “mom” who doesn’t remember anything about being a teenage girl and the pressures of dating and sex but also it was coming from “school counselor” mom who has to talk to us about this because it is part of her job.
I would always tell them your story and the reason you got involved in this project and I could tell that intrigued them because everyone likes the personal stories. It brings meaning to the lessons and messages you are trying to pass on. However, I really tried to emphasize the looking out for friends and watching for the signs that someone is involving themselves in a potential dangerous situation especially with my oldest who was heading up to college and knowing that she was already experimenting with alcohol. I would explain the idea of someone asking permission to kiss them. They always laughed a bit at this and thought it would be so awkward if that ever happened to them. I of course told them that I would rather have them feeling awkward about someone asking than the horrible feelings they would have if forced into something they were not ready for. Again, I wasn’t sure if these discussions were having much of an impact until this past week. . .
My daughter who is up at college texted me and told me about a boy she had met. She went on to say how he is so different than anyone else she has met–typical giddiness over a new relationship. She then called me to give me more details and as she is going on and on she tells me that they kissed and that she thought of me when they kissed. Now, you can imagine how surprised I was at this statement and I actually told her I was a bit “weirded out” by her statement. Then, she went on to state, “Mom, he asked if he could kiss me?” She continued and said he actually asked while we were walking if he could hold her hand. She said she immediately thought of me and how I would come home from your presentations and tell them that if a boy truly respects them he will ask permission and not make assumptions about what they want. I asked her if she felt awkward like she thought she would and she said, “No. Not at all. In fact, it was probably the most romantic, sweet thing that anyone has done.”
Now, as a mom, I can tell this boy has really gotten into her heart so now I wonder where this is going to go but there is nothing I can control with that. I do know that my daughter knows how it feels to be respected and in control and now that will be her bar that this boy and any other boy will need to reach from now and forever. I also know that she was listening and as much as she didn’t think I knew what I was talking about she now has a real life positive experience to prove that this is the way that people should treat each other and I know this is a message she will not keep to herself.
Thank you for all you do and teaching young and old about how we should respect and communicate with one another. More importantly thank you for giving me the tools and words to use with my students and my own daughters.
School Counselor and Mom