Don't Avoid Awkward Conversations With Kids!
Submitted by Mia Cronan
I never understood how some parents say they can't approach their kids about touchy topics. How can you NOT? Puberty, growing up and the teen years cannot be avoided, so why not help your kids through it? Sheesh ... I remember the years from 12 to 17, and I would never want to relive them. I didn't have the kind of relationship with my mom that allowed for easy conversation about monthly cycles, sex, boys, dating, etc. My mom's got a lot of other talents, but facing personal issues isn't one of them.
My husband and I have five children, and four of them are girls. I love having "girly" chats with my daughters. My oldest is 12, and she is wise beyond her years, but fortunately not in a street-smart way. She's a good girl with strong morals and a hefty sense of modesty. Whew! Times sure have changed since many of us were going through those tender pubescent years. Certain subjects were simply taboo! Nobody discussed them except at slumber parties or late at night during Girl Scout camping trips, and not without a lot of giggling and embarrassment.
I decided a long time ago that I wasn't going to let discomfort get in the way of my girls learning about "the growing up years" and child safety. How dysfunctional would it be for me to let them navigate them all alone? These days all kinds of teens turn up pregnant—even famous ones. I remember the day I looked my oldest daughter square in the eye and said, "Promise me you'll talk to me about any special boy in your life before you do anything you know is not right." She promised, then she went on to tell me some horror stories about girls in her school. Out of that came a great, open conversation about life.
I think we have to face this stuff! I don't know about you, but I'd rather have my daughters come to me than hear garbage from kids who only know what they hear from the pop tarts in the news!