Ask Natalie

DEAR NATALIE: My daughter just started college, and as any mother would, I worry. I worry about where she is at night, whom she's hanging out with, if she's partying and if she's dating. Well, recently she came to me and asked if I could go with her to get birth control.

I almost fell over. I don't know if I'm ready to deal with her growing up (it seems) so fast! I know she wants to do these things, but do you think if I take her to get on the pill I'm just encouraging certain behaviors? Not sure what to think, but I want to be there for her. -- FLUSTERED MOM

DEAR FLUSTERED MOM: You should feel really proud that your daughter thought highly enough of you (and trusted you enough) to share about wanting to protect herself. She's a realist, and you have to be one, too, mom. 

While we never want to think of our kids growing up and becoming young adults, remind yourself that you have given her the tools she needs to make the right choices. So when she comes to you wanting to make the right choice, support her.

Worrying that you will "encourage certain behaviors" isn't going to help anything. In fact, you are encouraging responsible behavior by protecting her from unwanted pregnancy and the tough decisions that come along with that. 

So, take a deep breath, mom. Take her to get what she needs, and then after get what you need -- a big glass of wine!

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Make a list of 10 people whom you want to connect with by the end of the year, and then start working through that list by reaching out via email, phone or in person. Writing things down makes ideas concrete and solidifies your intention.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to nbencivenga@post-gazette.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

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