Friday night I got the opportunity to spend the evening running errands with just my daughter. It was great. We got to spend time with one another talking about life and just hanging out.

In the car on the way there and back, we were listening to music – as always. On the way home, Fifteen by Taylor Swift came on and I was suddenly overcome with the need to talk to Anne (again) about boys, sex, kissing, choices, and more.

We’ve talked before. She knows that I think it is a good idea to not date until after high school. But as we were listening to the song, I was thinking about all the girls (and boys) who at a very young age are already making decisions that are going to affect their lives forever.

So we talked. Or rather I talked. I told her more about my story with boys and why I think dating in high school isn’t worth the heartache. We talked about staying pure – even to the point of not holding hands or kissing a boy. We talked about consequences of not only sex, but of giving your heart to someone before you are mature enough to handle it. And I tried really hard to make sure that no matter what, she would always see that the lines of communication are open. She assured me that if and when she has questions, she’ll talk to me, and I hope that is true, especially in these upcoming teen years.

For some, conversations like this may come easy, but not for me. It makes me nervous. I don’t want to scare her. I don’t want to scar her. I don’t want to give her more information than she is ready for, but I don’t want to hold back and not help her understand these things BEFORE they come up in her social circles. To me, this is one of the trickiest parts of parenting.

I don’t want to make my kids feel like if they mess up they are breaking a law and I won’t love them anymore (in any area – not just sex), but I don’t want to approach it in such a nonchalant way that they don’t see that there are multiple reasons to choose abstinence.

And I definitely want them to hear me before they get to the place where the voices of their parents get drowned out by the voices of their peers and society.

So, as uncomfortable as it is to start the conversation, I dove in yet again.

And it was good. So good.

How do you keep the lines of communication open with your children when it comes to these hard topics?

Fifteen by Taylor Swift

You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors
It’s the morning of your very first day
And you say hi to your friends you ain’t seen in a while
Try and stay out of everybody’s way

It’s your freshman year and you’re gonna be here
For the next four years in this town
Hoping one of those senior boys will wink at you and say
“You know, I haven’t seen you around before”

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
And when you’re fifteen feeling like there’s nothing to figure out
Well, count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know who you’re gonna be

You sit in class next to a redhead named Abigail
And soon enough you’re best friends
Laughing at the other girls who think they’re so cool
We’ll be outta here as soon as we can

And then you’re on your very first date and he’s got a car
And you’re feeling like flying
And you’re momma’s waiting up and you’re thinking he’s the one
And you’re dancing ’round your room when the night ends
When the night ends

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
When you’re fifteen and your first kiss
Makes your head spin ’round
But in your life you’ll do things greater than
Dating the boy on the football team
But I didn’t know it at fifteen

When all you wanted was to be wanted
Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now

Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams of mine
And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy
Who changed his mind and we both cried

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
And when you’re fifteen, don’t forget to look before you fall
I’ve found time can heal most anything
And you just might find who you’re supposed to be
I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at fifteen

Your very first day
Take a deep breath girl
Take a deep breath as you walk through the doors