I’ve been procrastinating writing this chapter. If you are here for the first time you may want to start with this post, https://ktskindwords.com/2013/12/28/begin/, because this IS a manual and I’ve been trying to write it in a linear way. Hopefully, individual posts are helpful but I’d like to think it’s read as a whole.
Why has it been so hard to start? Well, that’s an age old problem I have no answer for. I’m as lazy as the next guy, and do dread the act of actually putting it down on paper. I’d much rather tell y’all this in a video blog, but that means I’d have to put on a face. Much too lazy for that!
But truthfully, I kept pondering what I really wanted to say. I mean, knowledge is a large word that contains everything there is to know!
And that’s what you need to share with your children. Everything you know.
When I went to Girl Scout camp at 9 years old we all made up nicknames. I crowned myself “Fawn”. Very soon some older girls started calling me “Fawn Kotex”. I didn’t know what a Kotex was. Wasn’t happy when I found out.
I decided when I did, that my children would never be the butt of a joke they didn’t understand.
I’ve been accused of starting too early talking about certain things but I really think that if you are going to err, err on the side of more talking!
It can be uncomfortable.
When my son was around 11 years old, he was a fan of Adam Sandler, who I thought was pretty tame. I listened to a song my son was singing that he had heard on the CD. Adam was joking about a Peeping Tom and mentions how much he wanted a golden shower.
Gah! Not something you want to hear your 11 year old singing! I asked,
“Son, do you know what a golden shower is?”
I have to say I’m glad I hadn’t waited until 11 years old to explain the birds and the bees. Made it a little easier to explain how some people, who momma thinks were unloved, find sexual excitement by having someone urinate on them.
Didn’t sing the song again.
I want you to tell your children all the secret knowledge you know. The stuff no one told you. The stuff you had to learn the hard way.
Give them the edge. The jump up.
Start with things like polite people don’t pick their nose and kids will tease you if you do. Warn them, people.
Anything you did stupid and wish you’d never done. Tell them!
This idea we have to hide our stupid pasts doesn’t make sense to me. We are supposed to be evolving. We need to share our mistakes so that hopefully our kids make new mistakes!
You have to answer their questions. And it’s usually nice to give the other side of what you may have opinions on, so they are prepared for that too.
Do you want their first introduction to the other side of things to be coming from the other side??
You need to be talking all along. They need to trust that you tell them the truth as you know it. And there are things you believe but don’t know and you have to tell them that.
I did have to do some convincing to my husband. I didn’t want to tell my children that Santa, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny were real. I didn’t want them excited or have their hopes up and then disappoint them with the truth. Especially as at the time it was important to me that they believed in an invisible Jesus.
I don’t believe in toying with little minds.
My 24 year old just told me that she believed in Santa but thought it was clever that I told her Santa bills each parent as to what they can afford. I guess I wasn’t perfect. But I tried to answer direct questions pretty directly. I also got stronger in my belief in telling the truth. But I still believed in the “traditions” of Christmas. The things we like to pretend together. So we put out carrots for the reindeer and cookies for Santa. It was a gradual awakening to the truth. They didn’t feel deceived.
By that time they had learned the little secrets we keep so we can surprise those we love. Then they enjoy being in on the secret! But no bully on the play ground shattered their dreams or made them question if their mother told the truth.
Start talking early, and don’t stop except to listen.
They still will hit you with, “Why didn’t you tell me??”
But you’ll be able to say, “I didn’t know”
and then they tell you what they know!