Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughts about my Disclaimer




In yesterday's post, I put this disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: I am not a mom who will "hide" certain things. Sariah knows what girls have, and what boys have. I will not fluff up how a baby comes out, or divert any questions. I want Sariah to come to me with questions when she has them, and know that I will answer them honestly.

I would like to take a minute and explain this, for those of you who think I am absolutely crazy. Yes, I am. However, with several years of teaching middle school, I see what it is like when parents are not open with their children. Kids use their friends as sounding boards for certain topics. When they don't know the answer, what do they usually do? No...not ask their parents. They search the internet to find the answers. This is when they start to come across a lot of things that we don't want them to be exposed to so early. Of course, they will need to be taught about it so they can learn to arm themselves against it, but everything in due time.

Now back to Sariah. If Sariah came to me and ask me where babies come from, I would explain things so that her little 3 year old self could understand. No, I would not go into details about everything. But yes, I would answer her honestly and appropriately.

I honestly cringe when I hear parents say, "I'm not ready for this." One friend a while ago had her 9 year old son ask her about sex. She said "Go ask your father." You know what the father said? "Let's talk about this in a couple of years, when you're ready." He IS ready, that's why he's asking. For someone to divert questions, dodge them, or change the subject is inadvertently telling the child that they are not allowed to ask those questions. This life isn't about us, and being a parent isn't about us. It's about our children. So if our kids ask us what certain body parts are, how babies come out, or other things - suck it up, be an adult/parent, and lovingly respond in a way that they can understand. If parents could only hear what is being said in late elementary and middle school, they would start having these talks as soon as they could.

One of the most important things to me is to have my children be able to ask me anything. ANYTHING. And trust in the fact that they know I won't judge them, be upset with them, and explain the answer to them. I want to kiss my husband in front of my children, and show them that physical relationships are neat, fun, exciting, and important. I'm not going to be groping him in front of my kids, but I don't want my children to say "I've never seen my parents kiss, hold hands, etc." Because of that, I hope they will learn that physical intimacy is important, fun, wonderful, and worth the wait for marriage.

In these days, sex, pornography, cohabitation, and other experiences are everywhere for our children to see. According to www.lds.org, some recent statistics are: 9/10 teenage boys will seek out pornography (not just stumble across it, but seek it out). The average age children (mostly boys) are introduced to pornography is 8. 8!! So that 9 year old boy who asked his dad about sex already knows more than his parents think he knows.

With these two statistics in mind, I feel it is critical to be open with our children. Start the conversation earlier than we may feel comfortable doing because they need to know. They need to know what they are up against. The most important tool they will have is knowledge. If you are the one giving it to them, then hopefully they won't feel the need to seek it out. And if they do, hopefully you have the kind of relationship to where you can talk about it and help them figure out what they need to figure out.

This may be a serious topic for such a silly post and silly disclaimer. However, she's 3. She's asking questions. Not a lot of deep, detailed, and embarrassing questions. But her questions are there. If I can start now to answer her questions, then (I pray) she will continue to come to me.

1 comments:

howezookeeper said...

Great post Amber. I agree with you all the way. This also reminds me of the season premiere of "Parenthood" last week. One of the little girls on the show asks her parents about where babies come from and the episode kind of showed how they handled it. It was very good and yet hilarious at the same time.