Posted by Len Ramirez, Total Teen Dad | Posted in Total Teen Dad | Posted on 16-07-2010
When I grew up, I kind of found out about sex all by myself. I learned things as I went along, friends shared their thoughts with each other, and you walked a long road trying things out and eventually everyone around you seemed to get wiser to the pluses and minuses of sex.
Most kids didn’t really know a whole lot or even try things until they got older. Whenever kids were ‘caught’ doing various things, all the other kids were shocked and made a big deal out of it. And rightfully, some of it needed to be made a big deal out of.
Times started changing, diseases came into play, some could be fatal like HIV, and it’s become much more serious business today than before because of the consequences that exist now. I felt that when death is a possibility, the game changes.
Do we really have an option to let our kids learn on their own? And can we really wait until they get older to educate them? I remember I didn’t want to have to expose my kids to the facts at such an early age, but I felt that by not doing so, I was responsible for putting them at risk. And as a single parent, you can’t really push it off on your spouse or partner to do it.
Kids these days are very educated and there is a lot of manipulation and mind control going on out there. I’ll save that for another blog. My point is I felt I needed to have the talk at an early enough age so they would be armed with the information needed to protect themselves out there.
As a single father, I’ve always been pretty involved with my kids and listened to them whenever they wanted to talk to me about difficult subjects. The good news is I learned that just talking about all the facts with them was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Not only did I learn that at 10 years old they already knew quite a bit (unfortunately), but I was also able to fill in quite a few gaps they had no idea about.
This didn’t shut down the conversation by embarassment or humility, it actually opened it up. They asked questions. I gave them answers. And because we were to the point, it didn’t have to last forever.
Don’t be afraid to talk to them. It’s about protecting your children, not sheltering them. By having the information, you’ve removed so many possibilities for errors in judgement and decisions made from fear or peer pressure. I felt I was giving them their independence and removing my fear for them by talking about it with them.
And then, I finished up by telling them they could always talk to me or ask me questions about any of it, ‘because that’s how I roll’. Sometimes a little humor goes a long way.