Know Your Worth

Last night I got a phone call from someone {we’ll call her Harley for the sake of anonymity and because I always wanted a girl named that}. She’s a pre-teen {insert sighs and prayers} with a boyfriend who we’ll call Jerk {ya know, for the sake of anonymity}.

Without much elaboration on either kids’ past or personalities or circumstances, I’ll give you the lowdown.

Jerk has been jerkish to Harley for some time and called her ugly numerous times. Pause a minute and refer back to my term “pre-teen”…They’re 12. Which is a lot different than name-calling at even 10 {which is also pretty pre-teen these days, right?}.

They’re right at that beginning of “actual” boyfriend and girlfriend relationships. It doesn’t seem like they’re that mature when you’re thinking as an adult and referring to the kids you now know at this age. But think back to when you were 12. We were divided between girls who still carried Lisa Frank trapper keepers and girls who were carrying car seats. I dunno about you, but that was pretty much the worst time of my life. And every single friendship and “boyfriend” I had was basically life or death in my mind. I feel pretty confident in assuming that’s normal, even though it didn’t seem like it at the time.

So back to Jerk calling Harley “ugly” among other things I’m sure she may not have told me. One of her excuses for tolerating the behavior was “well I didn’t tell him to stop” and was grasping at straws to validate keeping her boyfriend.

Oh no no no, girl, just no.  christinayang

As you can see, I’m still obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy.

Back to jerky men {and twelve year old hormones}.

  1. You don’t talk to anyone like that, much less someone you are supposed to like and care about {I talked to her like she was 15-16 because, well kids get boobs like 5 years earlier now so I assume their heart and brains mature faster, too}.
  2. Manipulation begins with breaking down the self esteem of the other person. Most 12 year old kids barely have any of that to begin with, so crucial age and all that. It starts with calling you “ugly” and before you know it, you’re the girl who has to stare at your feet when you walk into a room full of people.
  3. Set standards. You want to be in a fulfilling relationship. One that’s happy and fun where you learn and grow and enjoy each other… not one where you’re convincing someone else to love you, to treat you right, to put you first, to not hit you, to have ambition, to do his part, to man up, to speak to you the way you deserve, to make you a priority, to take responsibility for his actions, to love you.

Ok, so I didn’t tell her all that {although I probably should have but I was in the middle of the grocery store so didn’t wanna bust out too much Dr. Phil}. I’m telling you that. If you’re reading this and on the receiving end of mental, emotional or physical abuse… leave.

I know, it’s not that easy. You have kids, he’s dangerous, you don’t have money to support yourself, he’ll change, you love him, he’s a good person, etc. etc. etc.

I will not claim to have ever been in a relationship like this because I haven’t. I’ve had heartbreak, but I’ve never been in an abusive relationship on any level. Maybe I don’t have the personality for it, maybe I just never got involved with boys or men like this.

I believe men who tend to have those tendencies know when a girl will put up with their crap and when they won’t.

Be the girl who won’t.

Be the girl who knows her worth.

Be the girl who isn’t scared to be alone.

Be the girl with ambition and drive.

Be the girl who loves herself enough to not put up with a man who doesn’t, no matter how much she loves him.

And now I’ll stop preaching. Because one thing this phone call did was reiterate how close I am to my girls in tears over boys and I mean, that’s way more stressful than listening to them cry over the wrong color cup. So now I’m googling “how to raise girls with high self esteem” and “local all-girls schools”.

Another thing I have is a son and I’m well aware these relationships go both ways.  sheldon

So top of my parenting to-do list is raise kids who have enough respect for themselves and others to know what to accept and know how to treat people. newgirl

 

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