You know what I’m talking about, Ladymoms and Gentledads. I’m talking about when dad rips one and the kids crack up laughing and mom gives dad the side-eye but cracks a smile anyway. Then a conversation about digestion ensues when the 6-year old asks why farts smell so bad.
It’s the stuff we talk about in our home, when it’s just parent and kid. When we are comfortable educating our children about the wonders of reproduction, what being gay is and why we believe love is love, what being racist is and why we have to leave the room when my 81-year-old grandfather starts talking.
And conversations about why we don’t wipe our boogers in certain places, what cat hairballs are made of, and all manner of bodily function questions, all involving Google or Siri for facts.
Sometimes we talk about not-so-gross stuff. I mean, I do have two girls. So I get the occasional “why do people wear makeup and bras?” or “why do you shave your armpits, Mommy?” type questions.
I don’t know about you, but I love these conversations. I love that my husband and I are the ones answering these questions for them instead of their peers (or, in the case of many of their friends, churches.)
We allow our girls to talk more openly about these things at home, and we specify that home is the best place to discuss these types of things at their age. They seem to get it, and they never hesitate to ask questions.
I know a lot of parents who feel nervous talking about sex with their kids, and while it isn’t my favorite thing to talk about, I think it’s good that we’re teaching them because we know it’s information based on actual facts.
Talk with your kids. About everything, all the time. About how farting works, about skunk stink glands, about their fears, your fears, and current events. Give them the education they need to face a world of loony politicians, angry people and hurting people, heartbreaks and emotional rollercoasters. Arm them with knowledge and they’ll be naturally more curious.
Try it and you’ll love it. You’ll bond over it, I promise you that. And I’m hoping that they’ll be more likely to come to their parents to talk when they’re older. We’re building the foundation now.