I had a talk with my 12 year old son the other day about contraception and safe sex. The subject came up in conversation because I recently visited my OB-GYN and we were talking about my doctors appointment. I love how I can talk to my kids about anything because I always have and always do. The “sex talk” wasn’t awkward for us at all. This wasn’t the first one we’ve had. We talked about what certain birth controls prevent and what they don’t prevent. I told him to always practice safe sex, meaning no surprise babies and no STDs. He said “I know, I know”, but I know that when or if he has any questions, he knows he can come to me.
Lots of people don’t agree with my approach when it comes to talking to my children. Like, the majority of people in society. I have always told my children the truth about things (minus Santa & the tooth fairy, but when the time comes and they ask, I don’t lie). I keep it age and child appropriate. I am so open and honest that my oldest child knew what sex was in 1st grade and my now 2nd grader knows as well. The subject came up from them after both being misinformed at school. My middle child, 8 years old, just realized the tooth fairy wasn’t real, followed by Santa Claus. I was honest when he asked and we had a conversation about why we told him they were real, what really is real and why he should keep the magic alive for those kids who do not know yet.
Had I been the only parent in the equation at the time, I would have opted to never tell my kids Santa or the Tooth Fairy were real. However, I had a partner and well, pick your battles. I don’t understand why people aren’t more honest with their kids. I mean, I get it. They are kids. They should be able to remain innocent and not have to worry about adult things, but hiding everything from them leading them to believe for 12+ years that the world is all butterflies and rainbows, no struggles ever happen and everything is ALWAYS good is unfair to them. How are we helping our children grow and become healthy, functioning adults by preparing them for a world that isn’t out there?
I do not discuss how much money I have or do not have with my kids. My kids never have to hesitate asking me for something they want because they think I may not have the money. I do not buy them everything they want, nor do they think money comes to you without hard work. As an adult, I do not discuss any money problems I might have with my children. The don’t need to worry about those things. We do have discussions about money. They can do chores at home to earn either money or video game time. They add the money as we grocery shop and ask how much things are when they want me to buy them a special treat. We discuss how much things cost, do the math and come up with a plan if they want to purchase something. If I am saving for something or tight on money, I tell the boys we are on a “spending freeze”. During that time if they want me to buy them a non-necessity, I remind them we are on a spending freeze. Also during that time if I say I need to stop at the gas station for an energy drink, they scream “Mom! SPENDING FREEZE!” I am teaching my children that sometimes in life you have to sacrifice non-necessities to pay for necessities or future wants. Another term for what they are learning is Delayed Gratification.
“It’s through delayed gratification that patience comes.”
― Sunday Adelaja
If you have ever had a discussion with me about almost anything, you probably know I’m as blunt and honest as they come. I value honesty above almost everything else (I can’t think of what else is above that, but I don’t want to be so absolute just in case). I like people more when they are genuine, honest & straightforward. I have been this way for a long, long time. I grew up in a family that was honest, but also avoided confrontation and has more bumpy rugs from things being swept under it than would fit into any storage facility. If a subject doesn’t leave them feeling warm and fuzzy, they don’t want to talk about it at all. As I grew older and more into my adult self, I realized this is not the way I wanted to live. I used to struggle with anxiety and the more things I swept under the rug and didn’t deal with, the more my anxiety grew.
When you avoid dealing with something, the what-ifs grow. The thoughts of “what are other people thinking” & “how will others react to this/that” grow. Anxiety grows. You can’t stop thinking about it. You can’t fix it without confronting it, so the problem itself grows. I realized the sooner I confront a situation, the sooner I know what the outcome is and I can then deal with how I will handle it instead of the what-ifs.
I am not promising you that if you confront all your issues and situations immediately, head on, you will always have a happily ever after. I am saying if you confront your issues sooner, you will be able to figure out how to deal with them sooner and heal from them more quickly.
I also don’t have time for the small talk bullshit. Life is too short to not talk about all of the stuff that actually matters. For me, that’s a lot more, “I Love You” and a lot less, “How’s the weather?” I could really not care any less than I already do about how much the gas prices are right now. Does everyone need gas in their car and are we all going to get it? Yes. Then, why do we need to discuss that?! I learned over the years from many successful people that this is not the talk of prosperous, successful, rich people and that validates my thought process even more.
My hope is to raise kind humans who value honesty and are honest, loving and kind. Combining honesty and kindness should creates tact, so that will be a happy side effect of the way I am raising my boys. I do a lot of things differently than the majority, so parenting different is nothing new. If you don’t agree with my style, that’s fine with me, to each their own, but please don’t hate on me for it. You won’t change me or bother me in any way and judging others and focusing on their flaws is ugly. There are much more positive things you can be focusing on to improve your happiness. My boys are becoming fabulous humans, so I must be doing something right!
Honesty is always the best policy.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, ,Sarah