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Friends With Benefits & Teen Parenting Advice

If you would have ever told me that I'd one day be serving as a relationship advice columnist in a city newspaper I'd have said that you were  crazy! But here I am, writing for Insight. To be honest, some of the covers or contents are a bit saucy.  I'm kinda like a fish out of water, writing for this paper. But what an open door for me to be a light! I'm so grateful.

 Dustin read my column from last month but he said, "Mom, please keep it with you...don't leave that paper laying around in my room..."   (This month's cover is a little more risque than the one you see at left.) Wow!  That says two things to me: first of all, we've raised a young man of character and godly morals. Second, writing for this paper is an amazing opportunity for me to make relationships with a whole new group of people, have opportunity to speak into their lives, and hopefully make a difference.

I thought I would re-print last month's column here and let my blog readers see how I did answering the first questions. Keep in mind when I received the invitation to be a columnist I was told this was not to be a religious column, nor was I to quote the Bible. However I could write based upon my personal values and am free to advertise my blog and entice readers to come here for follow up. 

I thought it would be fun to share on my blog about the first column. Here were last month's questions and the column in it's entirety.



Dear Deanna: I’ve been in a friends-with-benefits relationship for a few years and just recently started having deeper feelings for him. Testing the waters about how he feels, I sense there really is no hope for anything more than what we already have. I’m starting to feel really down about this and wondering if I’ve destroyed my opportunity for more.  What if anything should I do at this point?
- Waiting for More

Waiting for More: Have you destroyed your opportunity for MORE? No. More of what is the question.  If you want more out of life, it’s absolutely possible. If you want more fulfillment, it’s absolutely possible. If you want happiness, it’s absolutely possible. But like anything else in life, you do have to give up something to get it.  In this case, it’s giving up of the same old thing you’ve been doing.  Literally. You’re into someone who’s not into you long term. He’s made that clear. If you want to get an extremely clear picture of exactly where he stands, cut off the benefits entirely. Let him know at this point in your life you’re pursuing something more. If he wants that, he’ll commit to you. If not, you know it’s time to move forward. Getting more in your life in either case is just one step away from a difficult decision that’s just been waiting to be made. A long term relationship with someone who is fully committed to you is available. But, you have to be willing to let go of where you’re at now to get to what you don’t have yet.  Often, our answers are found in powerful questions. Ask yourself these: what am I afraid of?  What are the qualities found in the kind of person I want to spend my life with? Here’s a tip for you.  When you begin a new relationship do so with physical benefits completely missing from the equation. When sex is out of the picture and you still find yourself enjoying the other person’s company and sharing the same interests, goals and passions, you may well have found Mr. Right!  True relationships of any kind require genuine commitment.  Spending time with a person outside of the context of the bedroom is where we really determine long term compatibility. Start there first, and MORE in every aspect will be possible.


Dear Deanna:  My 14year old daughter has been invited to a friend’s overnight party and I’m not friends with the parents to really know anything about what goes on there. My instincts tell me to be careful in this situation but I really don’t have any facts to give my daughter to tell her she can’t go. I didn’t have the best relationship with my mother growing up. I don’t want my daughter to hate me.  I want her to have friends, to be liked. At the same time, I want her to be safe. What’s a mom to do?
  - Sandy

Dear Sandy:  I understand! I’m a mother of three and have encountered similar situations with my own children. One of the most powerful things you said was, “my instincts tell me to be careful.” Our instincts are very important. They are a gift to us, to guide us as we raise our children, or really to do anything in life.  Something important to remember is that while your daughter has a lot of friends she only has one mom.  Kids in our society are often parented by those who often afraid of their kids’ reaction to a no. Nobody wants to be hated, even temporarily.  The fact is, parenting isn’t for cowards and sometimes it requires being less than adored by your kids to do the right or the best thing.  I often remind my teenage daughter that statistics tell us that one in four girls will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18. I let her know the standards in our household are not without purpose and one of the primary reasons they are there is to keep her protected from harm as much as possible.   Rules without relationship lead to rebellion. Spend time with her doing things she likes to do.  Share with your daughter as often as possible that because of your great love for her, you’ve given these issues a lot of thought and arrive at no decision hastily.  This week you might be unpopular with her but in years to come I believe she’ll thank you many times over, for being such a caring Mom!  

E--Mail your questions for future columns to deannashrodes@gmail.com. Due to space and time every question will not appear in the monthly column, however Deanna welcomes you to interact with her where she blogs daily at  www.deannashrodes.net. Deanna is an author, speaker and certified coach who loves living in the Tampa Bay area with her husband of 25 years and their three children.

Alright, that's last month's column! Whatddya think? Comment here or e-mail and let me know.
This month upcoming I'm tackling two more questions ~ one about parenting strong willed youngsters and another from an adult who's dealing with an emotionally abusive mom. Stay tuned!

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