When my kids were toddlers, I used to wonder how I will approach them and tell them about “awkward topics” which many parents of our parents’ generation (not generalizing) labelled “dirty, adult, taboo”. Being an “Indian” girl raised mostly in small towns, it wasn’t easy for me or so I believed. When my kids were able to express and understand a bit, I told them about good touch and bad touch, how not to interact or accept things from strangers, not to venture out alone even with known people. I explained my son about menstruation, rape, sexual harassment over the years when I realized that he knew about this topics though couldn’t understand them completely. We have also discussed about sexual orientation and how its perfectly okay to respect ones choices. I have told a little about menstruation to my daughter who is 8 now and to an extent about sexual orientation as per her understanding.
When I discuss about these “awkward and uncomfortable” topics, I realize that its not as difficult as I thought it would be. Discussing these “facts of life” helps the parents as well as the children in many ways. I know the kids are curious about sexuality and opposite gender after a certain age; imparting them some insight would help them deal with the curiosities better. Boys will be able to respect the girls and their bodies and choices better and the girls will not be ashamed of their bodies and choices. They will be able to respect others’ sexual orientation and it won’t come as a shock to them.
Our kids can be alert and aware and not face the issues that many of us have gone through at one point or other in our childhood, which sometimes have left a deep impact on us, even as grown-ups.
I will keep on communicating to the best of my abilities..trying to balance my role as a mother and as a friend so that in the future my kids do not commit any misdeeds or have to suffer any…