Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Parenting your College Student – or Saying No Long Distance

When people used to tell me that the reason I was involved in so much was because I didn’t know how to say no, I would joke, “Of course I can say no! I’m a mother! I can say no without hearing the question!”

It’s a good thing I got all that practice!

Brittany called me during her second week at college to tell me that two of her good friends who were attending different schools from hers had gotten their noses pierced! I have known both of these girls since early grade school and neither is the type I would expect to do this. But, I knew Brittany wasn’t telling me this just to pass the news along. With teenagers there is always a hidden agenda.

And it’s not that she wanted to get her nose pierced herself!

No, it was the beginning of a different campaign.

She loves to take pictures and when she does, she puts them online in folders to share with people. When she sends them to me she makes sure we are both on the phone looking at them at the same time so she can tell me about her new friends.

“Look, Mom! That’s my friend Andrea. I went with her when she got her tongue pierced!”
“She pierced her tongue?” “UH! You took a picture of her tongue???”
“And, Mom, look where Taylor pierced her ear. I think it’s cute! Have you ever seen anyone pierce that part of the ear before?”

Actually I hadn’t. It’s the part of the ear that holds your iPod earbuds in. You know, the part that looks like it would really hurt if you put a hole in it!

Brittany has three holes in each ear (all around the rims) and I’m pretty sure she’s happy with that. So where was she going with all of this?

Tattoos! Yup! Christmas break freshman year she was home for a whole month. She planned to babysit and save the money to get a “small, tasteful tattoo.” (I personally don’t think those words go together.) When she was telling me about it she suggested a tiny pink cross. I told her pink would look like a scar. She said, “Well, maybe teal then.” I wrinkled up my nose.

I told her I would write about this for the newspaper. She said “Wait till I get it and I’ll take a picture of the tattoo to include!” I know she could get one in a place I would never see. I also know Brittany is incapable of keeping a secret from me! So we are at a friendly standoff….it could be a whole lot worse!

If you'd like to buy my book; 'In These Days of Cell Phones, Texting & Social Media ... Can the Nest Ever be Truly Empty?' visit:

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