Explaining things to little kids can be a task sometimes. The kind of curiosity they have can kill a cat. Sooner or later, you would be bombarded with questions you would like to avoid. However, I like to say things as they are. I would rather explain things to kids before they try and find them on their own. In my previous blog posts, I have been writing about my life as a boy mom. But these are some things that need to be spoken out loud to both genders.
As a little girl too, I would go running to my mom with articles in FEMINA, and ask what they meant. Thankfully, despite the strong Islamic practices in the household, mommy never shied away from clarifying my doubts. She very patiently told me things as they were. Imagine 30 years ago, like a 5 or a 6-year-old, I was given instructions about good touch and bad touch by my mommy dearest. Back then, we would have Dad’s friends visit us very often and mom very tactfully explained how much display of affection is ideally ok to accept. Mom spoke to me about things that were important and relevant.
Explaining things to kids is pretty simple.
As I grew up, mom became the answer bank to an array of questions that I would seek answers for. When I became a mother, I wanted to do the same. I wanted to tell him things as they were and wanted to make sure, he was aware of age-appropriate things. Explaining things to kids is simple, it’s all about how to say it and when to say it. Additionally, we are in an era, where digital technology seems to be making things easy.
Here’s what you need to tell your kids before they learn or hear about it from someone else.
Give them the right names for body parts.
While we named my son’s penis, ‘tutlu’, I also made sure I told him that it is called a penis. We explained to him that we’ve given his penis a name because earlier he was too little to understand. Now that he is 7 years old, he is big enough to understand it.
Both girls and boys are different emotionally and physically
I am not uncomfortable changing my trousers or shorts when my boy is around me. Yes, I have had a few eyebrows raised and comments passed on this habit. However, I intend to normalize wearing shorts or for that matter any piece of clothing that a girl wants to wear. Yes, he has been taught to knock on the door when Mumma or daddy are changing and we return the same privacy to him too. He has had questions about my breast or cleavage and I simply tell him that is how we are created by god.
Teach them all about good touch and bad touch.
As much as I have been tempted to kiss and cuddle my little bundle of joy, I often seek his permission to do so. Teaching kids about good and bad touch is extremely important and I believe it should start young. I am a strong believer that just because people are family, kids shouldn’t be forced to hug, kiss, or say, ‘I love you. These are things that are very personal to us adults and it should be the same with kids. Thankfully kids now get taught about these things at school too and all we need to do is reiterate it again and again. I always tell fellow parents to talk to their kids, to listen to them, and try and pick cues in their behavior.
It’s ok to talk about SEX. Explaining things to kids is easier than you think.
The first time, my son heard the word was when we were watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. A couple of days later, he comes to me all sad and worried and tells me the word keeps coming to his mind. He cried thinking he was doing something bad. Firstly, we asked him to calm down and told him its ok for something to come to his head. Secondly, I sought help from child counselors and a family doctor. Then, I asked my son, what he knew of the word and I wasn’t surprised to know that he hardly knew anything beyond kissing. I don’t expect him to know at the age of seven.
Then I asked him what he knew about the solar system, about digestion, and about other things that happen. He said he was still learning and knew very little. Hence, I told him, sex was something that happened between consenting adults and when he is older, he will learn more about it. Boy, was it easy? No, it wasn’t. We spent four chaotic days trying to calm him down but it was all worth it.
As parents, we are not only caregivers, our duty is to teach, nurture and educate kids too. Instead of shunning their questions or covering them with a blanket, it’s best to answer them. It is never going to be easy talking to them about the opposite sex, puberty, masturbation, or life in general. But as parents, you got to do what you got to do. We live in the YouTube, and online schooling era and time we used technology for the benefit of our kids. I think in 2020 and 2021, with spending all our time with family and at home, explaining things to kids just got a tad bit easier. Agree?
This post is part of the #Blogchattera2z blogging series where I will be writing all about parenting and my life as a boy mom 🙂