Gone are the days when parents could wait for the eve of their child’s 12th birthday to broach the subject of adolescents and sex. Children are maturing much earlier now, also, they are exposed to a lot of informative content from a tender age. Their attitudes and thought patterns are formed long before they hit teenage.
The truth is that we live in a highly sexualized world.
Just because you are not talking about it doesn’t mean that your child is not listening.
The world is filled with opinions and children are wired to learn, from whoever is teaching.
You can’t wake up the eve of your child’s 12th birthday and decide to be an authority on a matter they have heard about over the years from everyone except you. Unlearning is harder than being taught.
The seemingly uncomfortable subjects need to be discussed . Children can sense discomfort and shame. We as parents have to be careful not to pass on baggage to our children. If a certain topic makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you need to look within and see what exactly makes about it makes you feel uncomfortable and deal with it.
A truth zone
In my first post, I wrote about how I was told pads were called ‘mkate’ (bread). Honestly, it was such an unnecessary lie, but it stuck in my memory.
It made me decide that my home will be a truth zone. There are enough lies being told out there, for me to come and add on to. My children need to know that I can be trusted to tell them the truth.
Can your child trust you to be honest with them?
When I say honest, I don’t mean spill all the beans, but tell them enough to satisfy their curiosity. Tell them the age appropriate truth.
Listen when they speak
It is important to listen to your children when they speak. Ask questions about both the small and grande things about their lives and listen. Turn down the noise, put away the gadgets and listen. Find out what makes them happy, their current interests and opinions. It’s easier to identify behaviour out of the norm when you know what the norm is.
The conversation needs to go on. It starts now. Honesty starts now. Cultivating a relationship with your child that allows you to teach them the truth and life skills starts now.
We can sit back and blame the rotten society for our children’s beliefs or we can stand up and speak the truth.
You are an authority. Take your position and speak boldly.