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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10 Responses to Talking to your kids AS they grow

  1. joanharvest says:

    I talked so much to my kids that they ended up telling me way more than I ever bargained for. But I don’t regret any of it. I always knew where they were and what they were doing. My son is living in St Augustine and calls me every night on his way to work to tell me everything he did all day. Between my two kids I’ll bet I get at least 10 calls a day to just chit chat. They have always been this way. Whenever my kids were out with friends and anything interesting happened they always called to tell me. I didn’t have to hide in the bushes because my daughter invited me to go with her so often. Having a great relationship with my kids is so important to me. But I think it has to start very early in life. You have to make time for your kids.

  2. JavaQueen says:

    We talk about everything… there is nothing to be ashamed of. And, if you are close to your kids and talk all the time anyway- it seems pretty natural.

    Girl, I’d hide in a bush to spy any day! LOL! I’m bad like that!

    This is a great post and a great reminder to TALK TALK TALK! Life is too short, ya never know when it’s your time, TALK TALK TALK! Great post, as always!

  3. SKL says:

    I think what works best for me is talking around the dinner table, along with whenever things naturally come up. Not just talking to my girls, but letting them listen to grown-up talk about what’s going on in the world. My ideas will surely evolve as my kids grow up.

    I do find myself reluctant to, for example, use certain words around my girls. Probably because, at this age, they will repeat them at all the wrong times – but maybe it’s more than that. They have picked up some words and attitudes from others that have me raising my eyebrows already.

    A big pet peeve of mine is that the “modern” way people are encouraged to talk to their kids is not even accurate, let alone age appropriate. We have tots running around spouting a term for a body part they cannot use or see. If we must use scientific terms, at least let’s use the correct ones.

    That said, considering the way my daughter pronounces “fox” (particularly when talking about the “mama fox” in her story book), I should probably get off my high horse for a while.

    • Laura (LS) says:

      hee hee hee, SKL, I can sure relate to your “fox” predicament…

      We live in a town which has a river that runs right through the middle of it. Where the main road goes across, there is an old grain mill with a non-functioning dam right next to the bridge. It’s a striking and peaceful scene, and we drove across it almost every day. Right near this dam, there is a park, that we visited often, when Hot Rod was around 2.

      Only problem was, one day, we were in the grocery store, and Hot Rod says, VERY loudly…. “are we going to the DAM RIVER, mommy? DAM RIVER??? DAM RIVER???”

      From that day on, and to this day, we call it the “water dam”.

  4. Laura (LS) says:

    On point…. even though Hot Rod is only 5 1/2, we talk about everything.

    We do the dinner thing, and often the answer to my “what did you do in (insert class here)” is “I don’t know”. It’s become a game, because I shoot right back with “yes you do”. At that point, sometimes it is revealed that yes, he truly DOES remember. And sometimes it comes out that he doesn’t remember, and we can discuss things until it dawns on him that, oh, yeah, that was when he and his friend got busted for coloring on each other’s arms….

    I also answer honestly when he asks me the ‘sticky’ questions. Recently, he asked me if he grew in my tummy. No idea where he got the idea, because nobody that we know is visibly pregnant, but ok, I went with it. And answered that yes, he did, indeed, grow in my tummy. He sat there for a bit – we were snuggling in the rocking chair before bed – looked me up and down, and then said, “did I come out your wee, then?” (because no matter how much we try, he stubbornly refuses to call his penis by it’s real name. It is now and always will be a “wee”) I was a bit shaken, but I pressed on, explaining that yeah, most of the time that’s how babies come out, but I had to have surgery because he got himself tangled up inside me. That satisfied him, but now the foundation has been laid, and I’m bracing myself for the more “interesting” questions to come…

    So, yeah…. we’re laying the foundation for an “ask me anything, and I’ll tell you the truth” relationship.

    We’ve even discussed Santa and the Easter Bunny. He knows that Santa is absolutely real, but can’t keep an eye on him every second, so he sends his elf, Twinkle, to spend December with us. And the Easter Bunny has farmed out his egg-decorating duties to all the little kids, because he simply can’t keep up with the production demands. So Hot Rod gets to color the eggs, and Bunny comes by to hide them and leave a few trinkets.

    Absolute truth, all the time…. 😛

  5. starlaschat says:

    I just wrote a bunch and then ,spazed out and hit the key board and it all disappeared. LOL So this time I’ll keep it real short YES YES YES. I feel it is very important to always talk to your kids even when it’s hard stuff to talk about. Now I’ll try to hit the send button with out erasing.

  6. Joy, if I ever have kids, I’m going to be a mom like you were. Like my mom was to me. I think your choice of talking to your kids all the while when they were growing up was the right one, and I say this from the oppisate end of the sphere currently – as the daughter of a mother who did what you did.

    Growing up, my parents never hid anything like this from me. I got to hear about drinking and drugs and personal choices, and I always felt like I could ask anything I needed to and that my parents wouldn’t brush me off, but would try to answer me honestly in the best way I could understand.
    I think this is part of what makes me so comfortable with my mother nowadays – I’ve never needed to hide anything from her and so I feel comfortable discussing issues with her.

    Also, I love how you said that you can’t ask how your kids’ days were, hear “fine” and let it go at that – my mom and dad asked and probed just like you did, and it makes a kid feel good, knowing their parents care and are actually interested in their day-to-day lives and not only about grades.

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I talk to my girls about anything and everything. I think the key is to give the most basic answer first, if they want to know more they will ask you.
    My friends daughter asked the big “Where did I come from?” question at 5 years old and my friend went into way too much detail and gave vivid description of child birth. All the kid wanted to know was what hospital she was born at!
    My oldest daughter is 16 and she tells me everything and has no problem coming to me and telling hey, so and so is drinking or smoking. I don’t freak out and ban her from them but we talk about it and then so goes back and talks to her friends. I think sometimes kids tell you stuff because they don’t know how to handle it. My daughter knows I will go to the parents if I have to and talk to them without it having to get her name involved. We actually got one of her friends in rehab doing this.

  8. Gary says:

    When I was growing up, my parents didn’t really talk to me about anything. They were way too embarrased to have “the talk” with me about sex and instead of talking to me about drugs and alcohol and the affects that come along with them, they instead just warned me of what would happen if they ever caught me doing it. This is NOT a good thing. I had to learn about sex from friends, TV, movies or anywhere else I could get info. This is NOT the way to learn about sex.

    I learned that sex or “getting sex” does not happen in real life like it does in a porn movies which really kinda bummbed me out.

    Average looking man in mid 30’s sees beautiful blonde, brunette, redhead (take your pick) walking down street. Man approaches woman and says “Hi, my name is (fill in the blank). I think you are a beautiful woman and I would like to have sex with you RIGHT NOW! Woman says “SURE! Takes man by the hand and walks to nearest alley for passionate love making”

    This just doesn’t happen. Like I said though, really bummed me out.

    Because of having to learn things on my own and knowing that it’s NOT a good way of having to learn, I am very open and very honest with my boys so they don’t. My wife and I both are. I have had “the talk” with the oldest boys and you could see the sigh of relief on their faces as we discussed things. We talk about drugs and alcohol and the affects of them openly and honestly and they have no interest in them.

    Being open and honest with your kids is as they grow is VERY important!!! 😉

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