Courage Integrity Assertiveness Confidence Restraint

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where do you draw the line?

It's been a big week for young girls talking about BOYS. Maybe it's Spring. Maybe it's the moon. Who knows but I am a firm believer that there's a reason for everything and if one girl reads this post and learns something, well, then the reason for all that BOY talk was to inspire me to lay it all out for you to read.

I have a friend who counsels teens, a couple friends in the local school system, numerous friends who are parents of teens and I mentor teens online throughout the week. I hear it all. Nothing shocks me but there are so many things that make me sad about girls and their mindset on BOYS.

If I could rent a car and a bullhorn and travel every road in the country shouting out guidance that would keep you true to who you were meant to be - I would do it in a heartbeat! My own children might change their names - can you see me?

So, you see where I am going with this...

I talked to a young girl this week who was concerned for a friend who was letting her boyfriend's hands roam at school. When I asked why she thought her friend would think this was OK, she said because they do more than that when they are alone. I asked why her friend thought THAT was OK, she said because when she talks about it at school, the girls react in a "you're so lucky" kind of way. This girl is 12.

Someone shared a story with me about a 14-year old girl who wanted to know when was an appropriate age to "give" herself to her boyfriend. Well, I have to say, the right answer is "NOT 14!" (Don't get mad... keep reading... let me explain) However, this girl said she thought it was her responsibility to give herself away..."It's what girls do, right? We are just supposed to, aren't we?"

I have talked to many girls over the years that want to know how far is too far, how much is too much, what's OK and what's not... I make it a point when I talk to girls about this subject to let them know I don't judge - I don't think less of you because of what you've done....I am here to help, no matter WHAT stage of this dilemma you are in. Whether you are considering the next step with your boyfriend or you have already taken that step, I am here to answer your questions. What would judging do? Nothing.

Here's how I look at it...
I relate it to butterflies.

Each time you let someone cross the line - whether it is in the way they treat you, something they say that is uncalled for, a rumor that's spread - you let one of your butterflies go. Your butterflies help you to float above the muck of life. With each butterfly that escapes, the closer you are to getting will get messy. You can chase after the escaped butterflies when you realize you should have stood up for yourself and held on tighter to your self-respect...but that takes time and alot of effort to get them back. It's worth it. But it's not easy. Much easier to just hold onto them to begin with.

Teenage boys are truly just a giant mass of hormones - their bodies are raging with hormones they don't know what to do with. These hormones make them do and say stupid things (now, keep in mind, most boys are not bad...for the most part they are as confused about their actions as you are) and these hormones make them WANT to try things that they think that make them cool.

Some boys just act goofy, some sprinkle curse words in every sentence, some Google not-so-good images and some experiment with what they can get away with with girls. Roaming hands, telling you they love you and if you love them you will ... (fill in the blank).

THIS is where you draw the line...when it comes to your body.
Whose body is it? YOURS!
Whose? YOURS!

One of the biggest mistakes girls make when they are young is associating "giving in" to a boy as showing her love to him. Well, let me tell you... that is not what the boy is getting out of it. He is not thinking, "Wow! She really loves me." The only thing this is communicating to the boy is, "Wow! That wasn't difficult. Wonder how far she will go next time."

When you give one of these butterflies away... you can't get it back. There is a piece of you that that boy will carry around for the rest of his life.

The void you feel from the LOST butterflies hurts...

When we lose something what do we do? We try to find it. When we can't find it what do we do? We try to replace it.

Because at 12 or 14, like the girls I mentioned above, your brain is not fully developed it is so hard to make sense of that void... that hole that you feel in your heart. Your critical thinking and problem solving skills will one day be located in the frontal lobe of your brain which does not mature until you are  in your mid-20's.

Your brain will tell you to find something to fill that void.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Your brain will tell you that going farther will fill that void... and so the cycle begins.

When that boy has long gone... you will still be searching for what will fill that butterfly-shaped hole in your heart.

So, my message to you is...


Are you hearing me through that bullhorn? I am right outside - yelling to every house on your street.

Hold onto those butterflies so they can help you FLOAT when life gets really tough.

So, what about those of you who already have a butterfly-shaped hole in your heart? You can't go back...but you CAN learn from your mistake and this is when you fill that hole with YOU - invest in getting to know yourself better. Take some time to spend with you... take a walk, let yourself vent, talk about how you feel. Learn from your mistakes and promise yourself that you won't repeat them. Journal your heart. Write a letter to the boy who pushed you a little too far - don't give it to him (rip it into tiny pieces and flush it) but get those feelings out so you can start to heal and so you can see clearer and make better choices when a similar situation arises.

You're going to be OK, I promise - you can come out of this stronger and more aware.

Leave me your comments, tell me what you think.

As always email me if you want to chat deeper about this subject.


  1. I love it. My body is MINE, and with all the influx from people around me and the media saying otherwise, it's so wonderful to read your blog. <3

  2. :)) Your body IS yours!!!!!! Celebrate that control! YOU have the only say in what it does!!