Oh, parents, those children of yours sure do know how to ask the awkward questions, don’t they? Children know how to spring questions on you that you really don’t want to answer and always in the most awkward of places. There you are, enjoying a ride on the bus to get some groceries and your child takes that moment to ask you about how they were birthed from your vagina – in those exact words,
As parents, we hate answering these questions because we are torn between knowing that we want to give them the right answers and not wanting to overwhelm them – they’re children, after all. So, you need to pick your moments to have honest conversations with your children and make them age appropriate. You can be honest without frightening them, and you can educate with Science Videos to help you to make certain biological points (hint, hint). It’s a huge responsibility to have these chats with your kids, but with the right information, you can ensure that your children are secure and confident that you will always be honest.
One of the most awkward conversations for a parent to have with their children is the “talk”. The birds and the bees, the facts of life – whatever you want to call it, it’s all about sex. Children are pure and innocent, but sex is also a pure fact of life and you can answer awkward questions with age-appropriate responses. It’s important for parents to remember that if a child is old enough to ask the question, a child is old enough to hear an answer.
Conversations with a teenager about smoking and drinking are different to conversations with a child about sex and bodies. They’re just as awkward, of course, but each of these topics will present themselves at some point. The best thing to do is to put yourself in their shoes and remember what kind of reply you would have wanted at their age. It’s not about what you discuss, it’s where and how you discuss it.
The most important way to have an honest conversation with your children is to check yourself, first. You need to consider your own reactions and responses. If you make something a big deal over something they’re going to make it a big deal, too. Your views and judgements will pass to your children, so you need to calm and neutral through any conversation that you have. Honesty gets you places, but you want to influence the kids in a positive way!
A conversation – whether it’s about answering questions in their home school science lesson or talking about drugs – has to be informative and fun, relaxed and understanding. You want your kids to come to you for help, and it’s up to you if they will feel comfortable enough to do it. The best parenting tip you could ever get is to be honest with your children and don’t lie to them – though, we think Father Christmas is a good lie to tell!