communicating growth parenting

Are You Ready To Talk?

Mother and son black and white image
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Listen up right now! If you have children or maybe you are thinking about having children, I highly recommend you keep reading. What I am about to tell you is going to BLOW your mind. I mean you may not even know how to feel after you are done with this post. No I am just pulling your leg, I do not have anything big to tell you that you may not already know. You see becoming a parent is a life long learning experience, there is NO PERFECT way to parent, there is just being a better parent then your children deserve.

What I highly recommend though is for you to become VERY READY TO TALK. Parenting is about 95% communicating and 5% locking your kids in the room while you hide in the bathroom eating ice cream and cookies with a bottle of Jack or wine or your best beverage. Now I am not saying every parent drinks because of their children but I would bet on 97% of the parenting population has thought about it once or twice. Okay but in all seriousness, communicating with your children from day one is the best thing you can do as a parent.

Have you ever walked into a meeting late and everyone turned around and looked at you and right after the meeting you knew you were being talked about due to your tardiness? That feeling of not knowing who you can trust to not judge you. Well that is how your infant child feels when they are born into a world. No really, they have all of these strangers staring at them and they are looking around trying to figure out who they feel comfortable with.

When they realize who they feel safe with they never want to leave your side and it is now your job to make sure they understand what “the world” is in today’s day and age. The only way to do that is by “talking”. Sorry if your not the one to talk much, but you better find a way to communicate to your babies. If you ever want to ensure they are fearless and are ready to face the world then communicate, communicate, communicate!

If you are reading this thinking no way that is their mom’s job or their dad can have that conversation better than I could, well then you have already failed yourself. There are going to be so many opportunities for conversations with your children which could easily be done better by the other parent, but why loose the opportunity to grow in conversation with your kid.

Okay so my son came to me a few weeks back and he was like “mom do I have to hold my penis when I go pee?” I mean in my woman mind I was like “as long as you wash your hands after.” In that moment I smiled a second and said “I mean I think you do not have to but if you do it may help you make it in the toilet and not on the back of the seat.” He confidently told me “but I always make it into the toilet and I see dad not hold his.” So there you have it an opportunity I could have just said talk to your dad about this, but instead I took the time to listen and learn. He had already seen his dad do it he was just curious if it was something he could do too. So I let him know, do what makes you feel comfortable and if you happen to miss grab some toilet paper and clean up your mess because your sisters would not appreciate sitting or touching your pee.

Now you may be wondering that was not a big conversation at all and anyone could have given that advice. However, it was not about the scenario, it was about the opportunity. Look at it like this:

  1. I showed my son we could talk about a silly thing such as peeing in the toilet “man style”.
  2. I showed my son he can ask me any question, even if it seemed crazy.
  3. It is okay to ask questions to mom about his penis.
  4. I showed my son that if he sees something he wants to try we can talk about it.
  5. If he makes a mistake it is okay, just clean up after yourself.

There are so many lessons in the smallest conversations we have with our children. Some we will teach our children new things and many times they will teach us so much more. So have NO FEAR a conversation with your kid is one of the best eye opening experiences you have in your life journey. Heck having a conversation with any kid can be a great learning experience. Nevertheless, parents need to stop passing the buck to the other parent because we are uncomfortable with the conversations we know nothing about.

Remember this:

Your child came to you because they were comfortable enough to trust you with their curiosity

If you pass the buck to someone else you have lost a little bit of their trust in that very tiny moment. So be brave, be bold, and remember you do not have all the answers and there is no perfect way to parent. Honesty will take you further with your child and letting them know you are open to the conversation opens the door of endless opportunities to grow closer. I am not a perfect parent and neither are you, but if you have read this all the way through you are willing to be better because your kid or future kid deserves it.

Thank you for sharing this space to listen.learn.grow.

Are You Ready To Talk? was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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