When I had my first child, a boy, I wondered if I would ever have the courage to talk with him about the tough topics in life, such as the birds and the bees, drugs, friends and even education and career choices.
One day shortly after our son was born, I talked to my parents about it. I even told them that I didn’t remember us ever having ”the talk,” as some of my friends call the sex talk. Both of my parents agreed that they never believed that a child had to be a certain age before they were taught. They always believed when a question was asked by one of us kids, it should be answered. It was this wisdom that I used as my own children approached their teenage years.
Bad Influence Friends
My first priority with my children has always been a good relationship, even when they were young. I never came right out and told them that I didn’t like a person. A really good opportunity came up one day when a new neighbor came over to introduce herself, bringing her young child with her. I could not believe the way that child spoke to her mother. As I watched my own children I could tell that they were shocked as well, though to their credit, they didn’t say anything. After the neighbor and child left I sat down with my kids and let them know that I think I would cry if they ever talked to me the way that child did to her mother. I wasn’t condemning of either child or mother, but I was still able to get my point across to my children that the behavior was hurtful.
This helped us establish a foundation to build upon when it came to guiding the kids towards friends who would be mutually beneficial with a good influence.
Kids are going to ask about sex long before their teenage years. Like my parents, what I did was start ‘the talk’ when they first started asking questions. Of course I wasn’t explicit, but for us, ‘the talk’ was always part of a conversation, never something that had to be done at a certain age.
We never made drinking a big deal in our house. We never wanted our kids to think that drinking was the big, bad thing they had to sneak out and do. We know that there will be times that they will be out with friends and experiment with alcohol. Of course we have let them know that we don’t want them drinking. We also let them know the dangers of drinking, and that we didn’t as yet feel that they were mature enough to handle it. Then there’s this bit about it being illegal. You can’t respect the law, and willing break it at the same time.
We starting talking with our children about life’s tough issues while they were very young, and now that they are teenagers, it is just a continuation of the same conversation only a bit more in depth. It has worked out well for us, and has made parenting teenagers as nice as when they were babies. We look forward to their next stage in life.