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Home » Green parenting

From blow jobs to boob jobs and lots of sex inbetween

Submitted by on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 Loading Add to favourites  9 Comments

teenagers-discussing-sex

Welcome to the March 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Tough Conversations

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have spoken up about how they discuss complex topics with their children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

As a child I found out about periods from the school nurse.

I found out about blow jobs from a book I went out and bought myself. (when my boyfriend asked me for one and I didn’t know what it was!)

I heard about sex in the playground and the commonroom.

And I didn’t want this to be the way my daughter found out about life.

As soon as I was pregnant I had wondrous ideas about the sort of parent I’d be; and most of it was pretty much opposite to what I’d experienced as a child.

I’d be the in-arms, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, compassionate, emotionally-available mama.

I’d be the laid back hippy, stay-at-home, loving, understanding mama.

And I’d certainly be the ‘you can ask me anything’ mama!

I never wanted to be my daughter’s ‘best friend’ and I’m honest about that. Like when she’s rolling her eyes at me and I say “I’m not here to be your best friend, and I don’t mind whether you like me or not. I’m here to be your mother and to guide you through life and keep you safe and if that means telling you stuff you don’t like, then so be it.” (She usually asks me for a hug after that speech and tells me I’m the best mum in the world).

So tough, awkward and challenging conversations aren’t really part of our experience.

I keep one thing in mind whenever I’m asked a question:

You can’t pass a ten tonne truth over a one tonne bridge

In other words; only give enough information; no more – any my goodness that’s hard because, as a person who like to impart knowledge and wisdom, how much is enough?

I can tell you from 12 years experience; it’s a lot less than you think!

My criteria is that when Little Miss Green asks a question, I give a short, concise answer. Then the ball is in her court. She can ask more questions to gain clarity if she wishes, but you know what? Eight times out of ten she’s heard enough.

It might be a week later she’ll pick up the conversation and ask for more information. And so it goes on.

Right now I’m getting the blow job question (her 11 year old boyfriend asked her for one – eeeek!)

And we’ve had the boob job discussion.

She knows how babies are born and how they get there.

She knows that I fully expect her to try cigarettes and alcohol but the idea of her dabbling in drugs scare the shit out of me (and the reasons why).

She knows the basics about how contraception works.

She knows why the lady down the road who is brain damaged stares at her when she goes out.

She has developed her own beliefs about what happens when we die. And we die right? We don’t ‘go to sleep’ or mysteriously pass to heaven or even, heaven-forbid, pass over

The bottom line for me is; don’t lie to your children.

Don’t tell them about storks leaving babies under bushes or that a blow job is something you do when you practise playing the trumpet because you know what? You’ll end up with a teenager who can’t come and talk to you because they no longer trust you. Or worse still; an embarrassing trip to A&E ;)

Let’s face it – this is all OUR STUFF! It’s either to do with embarrassment or the fact we don’t want to accept our innocent bundles of joy are growing up and are learning about new things.

I confess I did once joke that the legal age for leaving home and having sex was 35 ;)

I’ve told my daughter that while her friends are trying to fathom out what shugging is [that's not a typo; it's what her friend says], think blow jobs are to do with trumpet practise and that their pets have gone to sleep for ever, she can be the cool one who knows the facts because hey, her Mum tells her!

What about you? How do you approach difficult conversations with your kids?

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon March 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • A Difficult Conversation — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is keeping her mouth shut about a difficult topic.
  • Discussing Sexuality and Objectification With Your Child — At Authentic Parenting, Laura is puzzled at how to discuss sexuality and objectification with her 4-year-old.
  • Tough Conversations — Kadiera at Our Little Acorn knows there are difficult topics to work through with her children in the future, but right now, every conversation is a challenge with a nonverbal child.
  • Real Talk — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama explains why there are no conversation topics that are off limits with her daughter, and how she ensures that tough conversations are approached in a developmentally appropriate manner.
  • From blow jobs to boob jobs and lots of sex inbetweenMrs Green talks candidly about boob jobs and blow jobs…
  • When Together Doesn’t Work — Ashley at Domestic Chaos discusses the various conversations her family has had in the early stages of separation.
  • Talking To Children About Death — Luschka at Diary of a First Child is currently dealing with the terminal illness of her mother. In this post she shares how she’s explained it to her toddler, and some of the things she’s learned along the way.
  • Teaching 9-1-1 To Kids — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling talks about the importance of using practical, age-appropriate emergency scenarios as a springboard for 9-1-1 conversations.
  • Preschool Peer PressureLactating Girl struggles to explain to her preschooler why friends sometimes aren’t so friendly.
  • Frank Talk — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis unpacks a few conversations about sexuality that she’s had with her 2-year-old daughter, and her motivation for having so many frank discussions.
  • When simple becomes tough — A natural mum manages oppositional defiance in a toddler at Ursula Ciller’s Blog.
  • How Babies are Born: a conversation with my daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger tries to expand her daughter’s horizons while treading lightly through the waters of pre-K social order.
  • Difficult Questions & Lies: 4 Reasons to Tell The Truth — Ariadne of Positive Parenting Connection shares the potential impact that telling lies instead of taking the time to answer difficult questions can have on the parent-child relationship.
  • Parenting Challenges–when someone dies — Survivor at Surviving Mexico writes about talking to her child about death and the cultural challenges involved in living in a predominantly Catholic nation.
  • Daddy Died — Breaking the news to your children that their father passed away is tough. Erica at ChildOrganics shares her story.
  • Opennesssustainablemum prepares herself for the day when she has to tell her children that a close relative has died.
  • Embracing Individuality — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy addressed a difficult question in public with directness and honesty.
  • Making the scary or different okay — Although she tries to listen more than she talks about tough topics, Jessica Claire of Crunchy-Chewy Mama also values discussing them with her children to soften the blow they might cause when they hit closer to home.
  • Talking to My Child About Going Gluten Free — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama concluded that her family would benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet, she came up with a plan to persuade her gluten-loving son to find peace with the change. This is how they turned the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle into an adventure rather than a hardship.
  • How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity? — How do you and your family approach diversity? Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her thoughts at Natural Parents Network and would like to hear from readers.
  • Discussing Difficult Topics with Kids: What’s Worked for Me — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares parenting practices that enabled discussions of difficult topics with her (now-adult) children to be positive experiences.
  • Tough Conversations — Get some pointers from Jorje of Momma Jorje on important factors to keep in mind when broaching tough topics with kids.
  • Protect your kids from sneaky people — Lauren at Hobo Mama has cautioned her son against trusting people who’d want to hurt him — and hopes the lessons have sunk in.
  • Mommy, What Does the Bible Say? — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work works through how to answer a question from her 4-year-old that doesn’t have a simple answer.
  • When All You Want for Them is Love: Adoption, Abandonment, and Honoring the Truth — Melissa at White Noise talks about balancing truth and love when telling her son his adoption story.

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9 Comments »

  • Yes, totally — we’re very matter-of-fact about things with Mikko. Like when he found our vibrator, Sam just explained what it was for, in terms he could understand — not graphic, but truthful. I can’t believe conversations about blow jobs are going to be coming so soon! Eek. Our little babies. Well, we’ll take it one question at a time, right?

  • Steve says:

    I totally agree but would highlight another aspect which I’m sure you recognise, that of comprehension. Just because we give our children straight answers to challenging questions doesn’t always mean they have heard or comprehended the answers. We can get so caught up in self congratulation at having dealt with an uncomfortable situation that we fail to check that what we said was heard and understood in the way we hope. How many times do you find yourself in more innocent scenarios saying “Do you remember what I said yesterday ….” or hear “Oh I forgot” in answer to challenges on others? It’s my belief that questions rarely “come out of the blue”. Our children have already taken in snippets of information and formed logical but innaccurate conclusions. Our role as parents is then to help them fill in the gaps. To that end I believe a good initial response to almost all questions from young people should be “What/How do you think?” (or similar open questions aimed at finding out what they already believe) is a good starting point and gives parents a base from which to go forward. So, Q: “What’s a blow job Mum?”, A: “Good question. What do you think it is?”. It gives us a chance to congratulate good thought processes and resultant conclusions; helps us focus on the key point you raised about not giving too much information; promotes dialogue rather than lecture and above all can help break the loop of multiple “Why’s” from younger children who already know the correct answer to some of the questions they are asking. But hey what do I know – I’m no expert in child psychology. Your thoughts?

  • It is so true that kids don’t need all of the nitty gritty details at once. I believe in giving honest, age-appropriate info – if they ask more questions, great. If not, then they have what they need for now. I must admit, though, because my oldest is only 5yo, the thought of having a conversation about blow jobs is making me cringe ;)

  • Rose says:

    love this post :) my kids are 3 and 5 so not thought about this one yet … hopefully I have a while yet X

  • Kellie says:

    I absolutely agree that honest answers are the best. At the same time, my children are yet to ask many of the more challenging questions, because they are still young. I’m with Dionna on cringing at the thought of explaining a blow job!

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Lauren @ Hobo Mama: yep, one question at a time for sure. oh my; the vibrator question – isn’t it funny how we cope better with some topics than others!

    @Steve: Absolutely Steve; in fact I forgot to write that, so thanks for the reminder. My first question is always “What do you think?” so I can guage level of interest / comprehension. Brilliant comment and insightful stuff; I value your input.

    @Dionna @ Code Name: Mama: LOL! You’ll be fine :D

    @Rose: I’m sure you have a few more years of innocence Rose; although I do remember the babies in tummies question coming quite early on.

    @Kellie: I think it’s great that we evolve and grow as our children do, so things kind of don’t take us by too much surprise?

  • First, I LOVE this title!

    Second…I agree that parents tend to over-explain when much simpler approaches are all a child need. Sometimes it is very hard to figure out what/how much needs to be said. I like to tell my daughter that I need a minute to gather my thoughts. This allows me to quickly go through the card catalog of info in my mind and pull out the important, age appropriate information. I personally don’t think well on my feet when it comes to answering these tough questions from wee ones. I always give a better response that is well received when I can think for a moment.

    Great post!

  • As we approach age nine, I’ve found the questions are getting more complicated – and I’ve followed a similar path as you – with giving only as much (truthful, open, HONEST) information as is necessary & age-appropriate, then allowing my kids to choose to proceed – or not – with further conversation.
    And while the questions may be heavier, I’ve found with consistent honesty & openness, answering them is getting easier, as you only have one real rule to follow: honesty.
    <3

  • This is a great post. I still have all this to come as my children are still young. I love your statement about the bridge that is a great way of thinking about it, I like visual analogies. I also love how you answer with a short age appropriate answer and if they want more they can ask for it. This is definite food for thought. Thank you!