Good morning fellow people. As I decided a few weeks ago – Friday is my day to share about what our experience has been with our kids with the whole “birds and the bees” thing. As you might have gathered, it isn’t just about the deed itself up to now, its been more about lifestyle choices and working the ground leading up to the all to important conversations. So, I’m going to chat some more about another aspect of the ground work we’ve worked on a bit.
As you probably have guessed from the sub title of my blog, we homeschool. So, as a first time parent I honestly didn’t think that we would have to deal too much with the whole “opposite sex” attraction thing until a lot later. WRONG! I was smacked in the face with this one when my little girls started pin pointing various boys from different parts of their lives. They were then 4 and 2! let that sink in a bit………. 4 and 2. Yupp my reaction as well.
I remember listening in on their conversation about a little boy from church (Church, people!) how they liked his hair and his eyes………In my head I was like, REALLY! you’re babies! what do YOU know about these kind of things? But, it was in that moment that I remember making a reflex decision. I could either shush them up and push or distract them into something I felt was more age appropriate or, I could dive in and join them and become a part of their little lives. So I did the latter – I jumped right in, eyes closed, heart racing, hugging my knees and fearing the worst – that my kids were freakishly attracted to boys in “that” way at such a super young age. (I mean how dumb is this – thinking back anyway)
So I did it. I asked them who they were talking about? and tried to be as casual as possible (because first impression is everything if I want them to talk to me about it ever again) and so as it turns out they were just admiring the way the guy looked, just like they had said they liked another girls dress. (and there I was thinking they were these crazy little toddlers going after boys)
But you know what? It was in that moment, that as they were responding to me and it turned out to be such a kiddy thing they were doing – that I made up my mind right then to first ask before I made assumptions on their motives and mindsets. It’s become my approach to a lot of their little chats that I’ve overheard and come across.
As a mom I can’t think about their lives from an adult point of view – they are experiencing everything for the first time and have had their fair share of influences. But, I needed to pave the way for being their first point of reference and consult with their observations, perceptions and questions about anything in life.
So ever since then, when my 4 year old was rattling off about how she has 21 boyfriends. (yes, there was a list that long once) I’ve come to casually engage in her little world and understand her point of view and that she is not going wanting to date all of them but rather likes them all as friends (boy – friends). It is also in those moments that I will casually drop a little question about when does she think it’s right to get married? or How old does she think she should be to date a boy? What is a date? What do you do on a date? just to name a few. Over the years, these questions have obviously evolved and have become a lot more age appropriate and a lot more intensely discussed. But because I have consistently chatted to them about what they think about various issues from so small, they have come to me to seek my opinion about things they have observed around them.
But, that’s a topic for aspect to look at on another day. Try it, ask your kid what they think about something that you think will be awkward and see what their response is. Seeing life through the eyes of a child isn’t as complicated and often refreshing. Boys aren’t always “boys” to them.