As generations evolve, the rules when it comes to parenting constantly change.
When I was a teenager, in the 1980s, it was more of a "don't ask, don't tell" culture. Our parents didn't want to know what we were into. If they found out, they were forced to punish us for crossing moral or legal boundaries. Because they didn't know how to talk to us about things like alcohol, drugs, and sex, they simply didn't. It was easier for them not to know.
In my generation of parenting, we are encouraged to talk to our kids about everything. This means we learn things we don't always want to know. It also means that when we tell our children to talk to us and that we will not judge them, we have to mean it. I am working on this one.
To me, this delicate balance of protecting them and supporting them, but at the same time, helping them make good choices that are the foundation for a healthy and productive life, is like walking a tightrope.
I'm not trying to be "the cool mom," but at the same time, I remember enough about being a teenager that I want to make realistic and logical decisions about how to handle my daughters' journeys into early adulthood.
To be honest, I am still figuring it out, one mini-crisis at a time. But I learned from my experience as a teenager that not talking to your kids about difficult topics is not the answer. I intend to keep talking, trying to get information, trying not to pass judgment (something my older daughter says I really need to work on), and trying to help them make good decisions.
I hope they know they can come to me with absolutely anything, and I will support them and help them navigate the situation. In my life and in my job, there's very little I haven't seen or heard. Not much shocks or surprises me.
As my mother used to say once we started really talking in my early twenties, "There's no problem we can't fix."
Isn't that the truth?
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.