Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Open Book Policy

I am trying really hard not to force my parenting style on others and I am having a hard time keeping my mouth shut about something. This is why having a blog is so awesome. I can post what I'm thinking, get it out of my system, and hopefully not blurt out personal opinions at the wrong moment.
When Nix was 8 she asked a question about something that lead into "the talk". Mostly I let her ask questions and answered them as honestly as possible, but we covered a lot of ground that day. Since then she has had other questions that she has brought to me and I have answered all of them. I've encouraged her to ask anything that comes to mind. I want her to be ready for the changes she will go through and the things that life will throw her way. What I didn't realize is that this is not what every mom does. To me, waiting on talking with your children about adult issues is like not teaching a kid to swing a bat until they have already been hit in the head with a baseball. If your children feel like you are shutting them out now, then when the time comes for them to share with you, they will shut you out.
This year in school they divided up the boys and girls for the nurse to talk to them about "health issues" in regards to puberty. Nix asked to be excused from the class because, as she put it, "I'd rather learn about these things from my mom than a school nurse in a room full of other girls. I trust my mom to tell me the truth." Yes, I did burst with pride that day. I may have even teared up a little.
To date Nix and I have covered some about sex, drugs, pregnancy, STDs, alcohol, smoking, swearing, modesty, puberty and all it's ugliness, self respect, molestation, and even a few topics about boys. In fact, just today we had talk about long term consequences for short term enjoyment. It was mostly about why huffing and the like are idiotic, but the lesson applies to a lot. My goal is to train her to ask me questions when she becomes curious about something. It helped me skip that dangerous experimental teenage phase, and I am hoping it will do the same for her.
Okay, it's out there. That is my parenting style. Others may differ and that's okay. They can be wrong. It's a free country :)


Debbie said...

Wow, girl...impressive.

How old did you say Nikki was? I'm coming to you for advice.

Tony is 12, and he still hasn't really asked us anything yet!

Tiffany said...

Yeah, we do the "ask, and we'll answer" policy, too...and Gabriel just doesn't want to know as much as Nikki does...which is fine with me. We, too have passed on the school programs...and Gabriel is good with it. I like knowing he will come to me or Ethan...and I, too, pray it will stay that way!