Talking to your kids AS they grow

Jason, Toby, Shamus and EchoI’ve heard a lot of people say “when is the time to talk to our kids” about sex or drugs?  Things that are important.  Things that really matter and kids have to know.  People act scared to have “those” talks.  Some parents never do it and really hope they will “just know”.

I can honestly say that I was never afraid to talk to my boys.  NEVER.  When they were little I mean.  When they were growing up.  I think there were times I might have been to honest.  I always felt that if I didn’t tell my boys the truth when they asked, they wouldn’t come to me later in life when it was important.

I spoke of sex, drugs, the way to treat people or anything they asked.  I also talked to them before they asked so I could try and keep the communication lines open.  You can’t ask a child “how was your day” and then hear “fine” and then let it go.  You have to dive in, ask specific questions and before you know it, you hear about the whole day.  We usually did this at supper.  What did you have for lunch, what did you play in gym or sing in music, what did you play on the playground, what did you make in art?  You have to be persistent.  My boys might not have always like my nosing around but I did it anyway.

Some people told me I told them to much but I disagreed.  I always told them age appropriate answers to their questions.  Do you?  OR, are you waiting for the “right time?”  The right time may never come along so isn’t it a better thing to keep caught up ALL the time?  I’ve also heard people say they are “embarrassed” to talk to their kids but I felt there was no embarrassment if you talked all along because then it just seemed normal to you and your kids.

I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means because if I could go back and change things, I sure would change a few things but hey, I’m a blabbermouth.  Really, I am but I also knew who my kids friends were and what they were doing in school and I knew most things they did.  Even if it meant following them once in a while when they started to drive to make sure they were going where they said they were going.  I never did hide in the bushes though (as much as I would have liked to on a few occasions!!) to spy on anything personal.

How about you?  How did you, or how do you plan to talk to your kids and more importantly, how do you plan to get your kids to talk to you if you never made it feel normal???

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8 Responses to Talking to your kids AS they grow

  1. Dr. Paul says:

    Great thoughts here – why are we sometimes so hesitant to have the discussions that we know are inevitable? I did a discussion recently on Parental Power about this topic. Check it out at this link:

    http://parentalpower.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/the-birds-and-the-bees/

  2. shanef says:

    I don’t have kids but I totally agree with you Joy. Ask them a million questions, find out what they’ve been doing, and when they ask you a tough question be straight forward and honest with them. I think a majority of the problems with kids now a days is that there parents aren’t involved in there lives.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I agree with asking lots of questions but at the same time being careful about not seeming overbearing. I’m STILL waiting for THE TALK from my parents.

    Or at least officially. However I realize that I had it in many ways unofficially from my mother. She told me stories about her friends in high school that I think were supposed to make me think. My parents were also of the opinion that you don’t need to be as forward about everything as the generation after them seemed to be. I do sometimes wonder how much is generational…my parents are now in their 70s.

    I had a good friend though who had parents that were VERY open about EVERYTHING with her from a very young age, and as a result she was scared to tell her mother anything. When she got her period she kept it a secret for 3 years, and had her older sister take her to buy pads because she was so afraid that it would launch another honest discussion about sex.

  4. nikki says:

    Having a boy I hear “fine” a lot when asked about his day. I sometimes leave it at that but not very often. I want to know what you had for lunch, who you played with at recess, who you sat next to in media… Jason and I are very honest about everything in our own relationship that I feel I owe it to Bailey to be honest to him. The sex questions really aren’t coming up yet but we still small talk about it. Nothing to deep, he’s only 8. But he’s not embarrassed about it. Drugs…we’ve discussed them and he knows what they are and what they do to you. We tell him often if he has a question about ANYTHING he is to come to us…not his friends. I feel it is our responsibility to teach our children or their friends or the T.V. will.
    I had no one to talk to me about anything so I learned on my own…not the way to go.

  5. j$ says:

    bailey will get his dad to boy speach here in a couple weeks. Many things he is old enough to know. and in more detail……

  6. Tosha says:

    The drugs talk comes early… They start learning about “Say no to drugs” in preK.. So we got those questions early and answered them accordingly. The sex questions came shortly afterwards as I got pregnant with Wyatt.. We answered those age accordingly as well.. People (my mom and some others) tell me i’m too honest with my kids.. Maybe I am.. Only the future will tell

  7. Sue says:

    I haven’t had an in-depth drug talk yet, just the “drugs are bad” statement. I’ve had to answer sex questions already and I did so honestly because if you don’t it’ll backfire on you. Yes, it was uncomfortable, but as soon as my daughter knew what the word sex meant it lost any silliness/humor. I should be able to talk to my children about this stuff and say penis and vagina without being embarrassed because I see those things every day. Nothing special about any of them! Just another body part and part of life.

  8. SKL says:

    I am always lecturing my kids even now about everything from “do unto others” to manners to health and safety – and they aren’t even 2 yet – so I don’t foresee myself being shy about “the talk,” drugs, etc.

    My kid sister was my guinea pig. She was 13 years my junior and so polite and compliant, I launched many a long-winded lecture at her. She really listened and would repeat the substance to her little friends and such. By age 7, she would see that look on my face and sigh, “here comes another lecture,” and get into a comfortable listening position. On a couple of occasions she VERY politely told me I was full of crap. Nevertheless, we had a lot of good chats. But, the downside is that from the time she was maybe 3 years old, she could NEVER SHUT UP. Still can’t. So is this what I’m getting myself into with my kids?

    My sis got “the talk” really early (at age 6) because the neighbor teen got pregnant out of wedlock, and her 5-year-old sister was my sis’s best friend. Well, both girls went to the teen’s mom and asked how this could happen, and they got the answer. How do I know? My sister repeated it to me with great accuracy. Well, hey, at least I didn’t have to figure out how to give “the talk.” When she was 10, I chatted with her about what married people do (contraceptives) if they don’t want to have kids yet. In retrospect, I felt that was the perfect age because she was too young to have any hormonal feelings, yet old enough to know what happens in the world. She didn’t end up single and pregnant, so maybe those talks worked.

    As far as cigarettes, she could have been a paid anti-smoking spokesperson from about age 10 to age 17.5. Then she met her boyfriend (now husband) and succombed to pressure to take enough puffs to get hooked. So much for those talks. You win some, you lose some. As for drugs, I launched into that talk for the 99th time one day when sis was maybe 18 years old, and she said, “SKL, with all due respect, I believe life is to be lived fully, and I intend to try everything once.” So I said, “Well, OK, then will you at least promise not to try illegal drugs before you are 65?” “OK.” So much for that. I do not want to know whether she ever broke her promise.

    Not sure how all this prepares me for raising my kids. Probably will just stop me from killing them when I catch them at something I’ve warned them against . . . .

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