Believe it or not, there is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting down in your cozy living room to watch a movie with your children, only to find that the movie is slightly inappropriate for your child. Suddenly, the family comedy has one character talking about ‘rubbers,’ while another is searching for a ‘bong,’ and even though you want to laugh – you cant! Your children are sitting there, and its one of those parenting moments when you hope and pray that they weren’t listening, so that you wont have to be involved in one of those awkward conversations with your children that are…inevitable.
Every little piece of parenting advice on the market today, tells you to be honest with your children. To have a habit of open dialogue with them, so that they wont be afraid to talk to you about anything. The truth is however, that honesty isn’t always the best policy. Sure, you want to encourage your kids to not do drugs, to not smoke, to not have sex before they are married. You want your teenage daughter to feel at ease telling you about her period (unless of course you are her father) and you want to help your son understand nocturnal ejaculations. All of these things are after all, part of life. But choosing when, and how to explain them to your children is often tricky, because many conversations seem to come up out of the blue, long before your child is ready to hear the truth (and long before you are ready to offer it!)
The following are some tips and tricks for handling those awkward conversations with your children about some of the more awkward things in life! Good luck.
- When your child waltzes into your living room with your vibrator (of course when you have dinner guests over), you can rest assured NOW is not the time to discuss what it is. Instead, tell them that it is a simply foot massager, offer them some sanitizer and put a note to self-stick note on the door to get drawer locks. Bottom line, no matter how old they are – they don’t really want to KNOW what it is, or why you have it!
- Pads and tampons are sure to find their way out of the bathroom at some point. Just like your toddler is going to exclaim at some point that they think their mommy pees Kool-Aid (which makes you a superhero by the way). Instead of having the sit down conversation about where tampons go, and what pads are used for – explain that they are just big band-aids. And the next time your son skins his knee; don’t be shocked if he wants one of those big scented band-aids on his knee for good measure. They’ll learn about this stuff soon enough, why rush it?
- The noise in the bedroom last night? Marital sex is always stymied by children. They either walk in on you to see dad’s butt in the air, or moms legs pointing to the ceiling or worse….boobs at just the precise moment when your 5 minute love fest is about to end. (Which is why you should keep the doors locked!) Explaining the grunting or groaning or the squeaky bedsprings is definitely awkward and instead of making up some silly story about ‘mom and dad time,’ TELL THEM THE TRUTH! Yes, the truth. Why? Because you can bet your last dollar that no matter how old they are, when you start talking about sex with your children, they will NEVER walk in on you again. And if you are worried about emotionally scarring your children forever, don’t worry, you won’t! At least not because of being caught in the act.
- If (or should we say when) children find condoms, simply allow them to fill them up with water and tell them that you and daddy love to play with water balloons. End of story! Your children will think you are uber cool, and you get out of an uncomfortable spot. Just make sure that all those water balloons have been thrown away before they have any friends over.
- Explaining bad words is another not fun conversation with kids. Eventually, they are going to hear them, probably many from you. The problem is that they will start saying them in public to other people that you don’t know. Like maybe their teachers! So, you need to set kids straight right from the beginning. Tell them that saying these words will make them bald, make them fat, or will cause Santa Claus to NOT come this year. In other words, make the stakes so high for saying the curse words that your children will be too afraid to utter them.
- When your kids get older, they are GOING to ask you about your teenage years. Did you smoke pot? When was the first time you got drunk? What about sex? The only thing you can do is lie, unless of course you were completely straight laced, in which case you can tell the truth. Your past is in the past, and while you can and should use it to understand what your kids are going through – you don’t have to share it. Let them think you were a dork, a goody two shoes, or whatever it takes. But never admit what you did, because then in their creepy little minds they will think they can do the same thing and get away with it. Yes, LIE!
- Drinking. The kids will eventually want to know why they have to share their candy or milk and cookies with their brother and sister but you NEVER have to share your pretty red drink in the fancy glass with them. Tell them that drinking wine or beer or anything alcoholic, will turn them into a troll, just like the grumpy one that lives under Dora’s bridge. Tell them that only adults can drink the juice without being affected. This way, they won’t ask you anymore and you can enjoy your wine in peace.
And there you have it! Some of the easiest ways to handle the awkward conversations with your children. And don’t forget, if you have a great idea for helping another parent get out of one of these situations, let us know.