I feel sad for my daughter. She is 13 and in the 8th grade. Here that is middle school. Next year she will be in high school. At her bus stop, a high schooler waits for a different bus but sits on the other side of a busy street. Once Sarah’s bus arrives, Sarah crosses that busy street and gets on it. I have given her permission to cross over and socialize with the high schooler. Ok, uncool! But social networking is a terribly important concept to learn for success in life. However, after creating different encouragements for her to meet this high school girl and pointing out some of the benefits, like already knowing an upperclassman when she enters, I gave up.
This morning she was late so I offered her a ride to school. Instead she just wanted a ride to the bus stop. As we approach, there is another girl waiting on the right side of the road. I’m surprised and ask Sarah if she is always here and I get a wishy washy answer about "sometimes." I ask her name and Sarah doesn’t know. I encourage her to find out then Sarah gets out of the car and walks to the left side of the street. I roll down the window and ask, "how will the two of you talk if you are over here?" She replies, "I always wait on the left side of the street."
My wife’s response will be to tell me that she is just a teenage girl and to butt out for a few years. I want to help my shy, obsessive compulsive girl break out of her shell. I know she has her own path to walk and I will let her walk it but I will continue to offer forks in the road, puzzles, challenges, and mind expanding opportunities.