Hey mom can I ask you a question?
This seems to be somewhat universal from discussions I have had with my group of mom friends. Great strategy on the kids part - for all the reasons stated above. They got you where they want you.
This past weekend I was driving my son and a few of his friends to a movie which reminded me 1) that they are growing up since they are requesting songs that either get bleeped on radio or have full on lyrics on Spotify leading me to ask if their parents are ok with them listening to this as I really do not have an issue with it 2) making sure that they understand that some songs really should be taken at rhythm value as no woman likes being called a ho no matter what the lyrics said 3) cracking up with them because they are a good bunch of kids who are funny and still goofy in so many ways.
Afterward it was down to my son and his good friend, most of my sons' friends have been around since these kids were toddlers or younger which means I know them well and their parents too - totally takes a village approach to parenting them, in my car. We are driving along listening to music and all of a sudden ... "Mom can \we ask you a question?" followed by "Yes Mrs J can we?". Now my spidey sense is up and thought I could pretend I suddenly only speak Romanian, I could turn up the music or I could turn it down and feel good that they are about to entrust me with what will be an uncomfortable question.
I turned down the music and the question was "did you ever smoke pot?". Did not see that coming but maybe I should have. After all they have been taught about drugs in a great prevention program in 5th grade, they see it on videos no matter how much we think we screen and they must be hearing about it now that they are in middle school. Did you ever smoke pot? Made harder to answer as this is not just my child, there is another child whose parents have to figure out how to talk to them about drugs. I should have opted for speaking only Romanian.
I took a deep breath and said "Yes I did, I tried it. I found it bit boring and I did not like the whole dry mouth thing. I also think because it is a bit boring it is easy to think you can try other things and then you may wind up trying something that you cannot walk away from, that you get addicted to and can die from". They were bit quiet and I added "I also am a bit of a control freak so I do not like to give up control totally and be dependent on some person selling me stuff." I went with the truth - they asked how long I smoked cigarettes for, which by the way all of these kids find vile and gross fortunately (helps that almost no one they know smokes and no one smokes in front of them). We talked about how I quit after many years and how I do not regret it.
I am glad I answered actually they seemed to not be thrilled with the answer as I did not lie, which they may have been thinking I would, nor did I make it cool which they also may have heard.
These discussions are hard and getting harder but in one week I had to talk to my sons about the Stanford rape case - unconscious means No even if she begged right before passing out, that no means no even if at first she said yes and how to be like the cyclists who stopped this and not the rapists. Yes they are 12 and 9 (12 in a month - ooff exhale) but I want them to learn these things. I had to talk to them about the stupidity of lax gun laws and how you can kill in the name of a god because it is called radicalism. I had to tell them to be kind and not judge others. This is all in one week but I am grateful for every moment they want to talk to me about these things. There are questions I have frankly responded to with "I do not think that is your business and it's not relevant" as they are not my friends to share a laugh over some past shenanigans with - they are my kids and what I share has to be appropriate to their age and to them being my kids.
It was a good drive and in looking back I am comfortable with how I handled it and hope that if they have questions they know they can keep them coming - that moment in the car when I turn down the radio is my moment to think on what I want to say - the moment I speak is their moment to learn from me. "Mom I have a question..." ahh music to my ears (even if they are turning red from hearing it).