My daughter just told me she’s in her very first relationship, and it’s with a girl

Modern Parent

She’s about to turn 13 and has been back and forth with who she is (as any normal kid) and who she’s attracted to. She told me as I was getting coffee this morning that she’s no longer single. I asked her if it was a boy or girl and she said the girl. Someone I happen to know. I told her congratulations because she was ridiculously happy about it. (I honestly couldn’t care any less as long as she’s smiling like that)

I’ve always allowed almost free reign of creative self-expression- hair dye, haircuts, clothing style, etc. It hasn’t always been my taste, but I want them to figure themselves out (I have 2 girls) through Trial and error, which is where I’ve always collided with the dad and his side of the family. They are VERY conservative, very religious people who have never minded hurting her past feelings over a simple hairstyle. So I’m terrified. If her father’s side of the family finds out, she’s going to be crucified.

She already called me crying at least once a month with her feelings hurt or with a problem. When I confront her father about it, he denies it or says she’s just too sensitive. Apparently, she’s reprimanded for calling me, so I no longer defend her because she doesn’t want them knowing she’s upset.

I’ve worked so hard to build her self-esteem and teach her to ignore their low blows, but I’m terrified of what she will endure if they find out. It’s a tiny town, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it will get out.

I don’t make her go. She chooses to. Sometimes it’s simply to keep from hurting her dad’s feelings, but it’s her choice at this age.

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