Friday, January 31, 2014
Talking with Kids about the Birds and the Bees
You are holding a sweet baby in your arms.
You are newly home from the hospital... that sweet newborn scent is filling your house.
The glider rocker is in full swing as you take on the unbelievable job of parenthood.
The hardest job in the world. It comes with no manual or instruction book. It daily redefines any how-tos you can get your hands on. The circumstances change. The struggles change. The joys are new. Each baby step for your baby is an even more amazing baby step for you.
You've made it through another day, another season, another year in your child's continuously developing life.
One day at a time...
And before you know it, you've arrived at a critical point.
The half way point of your child's time in your home.
The time when they reach 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 years of age and all of the sudden they are the most curious creatures you've ever seen.
Oh, they were curious as toddlers and as preschoolers and as early elementary students.
Their curiosity takes them into a whole new realm of things you might not be ready to delve into.
The Birds and the Bees
That is a very old-fashioned term for the huge talk you must have with your kids about the facts of life.
As a parent, we know this conversation is coming.
Truly, from that precious moment when you bring your baby home until the time comes for the BIG conversation, time really does fly.
So how can we prepare for it?
1. Know your kids. What are their mannerisms? What embarrasses them? Are they open to conversation? Can they clearly share their thoughts and questions?
2. What do they know already? Whether from school or from friends or from TV, what information has your child already picked up? Figuring that out will really help you know how to direct them and teach them in what is true and what is not before they make assumptions on their own.
3. Be age appropriate. Basically, don't tell them more than they are asking! It might seem like they are asking a loaded question without them even knowing how big of a question they are asking! Ask questions back to help answer in the best way possible.
4. Be real. Share stories. Let your kids know that what they are going through is something you can understand because you've been there!
5. Know your stuff. If you aren't sure what to say, get some resources! There are tons of great parenting resources to help you know the who, what, when, where and how to talk to your kids about the hard topics.
6. Teach God's Word. Dig in and help your kids know what the Bible says about their lives! Help them know that it applies to them and can help guide them through some pretty tough years.
7. Pray. Ask for God's help. These conversations will deeply shape your kids' thoughts for years to come. Knowing how God wants you to speak and when he wants you to speak will be incredibly valuable to you and to your kids.
These are just a few basic steps you can take to prepare your heart for the many talks ahead.
What is a resource that you have used in this area or something that has helped you as a parent? Any of these tips help you today?