Saturday, May 24, 2008

Teachable Moments

Does any parent *ever* feel prepared for THOSE discussions with their children?!? You know the ones...where stereotypically the parents are more embarrassed by the discussion than the children are...Actually, the one I had today had nothing to do with embarrassing subjects. Just ones that are hard to discuss on any front.

I had the s-x discussion with my 14 year old a couple of years really wasn't too bad. I'm hoping that my husband has had a similar talk with our 12 year old...still need to ask him about that. (ACK!) I think I'm about due to have the same talk with the 10 year old. We're late-bloomers in our house...really....the 14.5 year old is still, by definition, a child. Yeah.

So, back to the subject at hand. My 12 year old said that he liked a girl at school and wanted to go on a date. ACK! NOT ready for that. But, I decided to redeem the moment...making the most of him creating the opening.

I asked him what he liked about this girl....she's pretty and she likes to goof around. Pretty much what I expected. Nothing profound.

We talked about the fact that he won't get to date...that he's too young, and that if by some coincidence he got to go out, he'd have the company of either his mother or his father for the whole "date." Even his 14 year old sister has yet to have a "date."

Then we talked about what dating REALLY was...preparing for marriage. About the whole thing of trying to figure out ahead of time what kind of person he is interested in. About understanding about personality differences, and being unequally yoked. About learning to know someone by how they respond to other people, and with their parents. About how getting to know someone in a group is preferable to a single date where each is trying to impress the other.

I think I overwhelmed him. I actually hope I did. I am NOT ready for him to date yet. And if I scared him a little bit, that's not such a bad thing, is it? He's got PLENTY of time to date....after he's 25 or 30 or even 40!!! (okay, so his dad was married at 19[WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?], but my brothers both got married after 30).

All of that to say that taking advantage of teachable moments is how parenting works best for us...if I had to CREATE the chance to say all of that stuff....I'd be WAY stressed!! Another side benefit of being home with my kids!!!!


Samantha said...

Wow, I love the way you tell your stories! My 10 y.o. nephew had his first "date" of being picked up by her Dad and then taken to see a movie and he thought that was HUGE, although he has said since kindergarten how much he likes her. Elementary crushes! LOL.

kaenhu said...

Wow. My kids aren't allowed to date until they are married. LOL