Conscious parenting may sound like it's all apple cider vinegar and handmade socks, but facing good news and bad news with grace and mindful action doesn't always feel natural. In fact, parenting can get particularly awkward when it comes to addressing children's sexual behavior,
"How did I get Daddy's genes for big feet if I was made inside of Mommy?" This conversation happened between my children, over my head as I "slept" the other morning at 6:15. At this point, I had to get involved.
I can't accept any longer that crude sexual language, gestures and jokes are merely a harmless manifestation of pubescent development. We can and must educate and empower girls -- and boys -- to stand up to the language and behavior they will inevitably encounter.
As parents, we lie all the time. About the Easter Bunny or Santa or the Tooth Fairy, about how long 10 minutes is, about whether or not we remembered they wanted to have grilled cheese for dinner again... We lie a lot. But one thing I never lie about is sex.
It's summer vacation, and I have two small boys in the car with me all day long now. Boys old enough to read and ask questions on an endless loop every time we leave the house: "What's a sex tape Mommy?," "Why is that lady in her underwear Mommy?"
I asked him if there were anything he wanted to talk about. He immediately blurted out, "Yes, but I can't say it... It's, it's too disgusting.... It's too horrible. And, plus, I'm not even sure it's real. It may have all been just a big fat lie!"
I want to hide my beautiful blue-eyed, golden-haired daughter from the wandering eyes of the world. Instead, we practiced using the telephone today. We role-played conversations beforehand. Then she called him back.
I have polled a number of college girls about the advice that they wish that they had gotten prior to their freshmen year at college. I agree with their ideas and I recommend that you share them with your daughter.
I cannot tell you how many times in any given week I end up stuck between a grownup concept and a kid who wants an explanation that he can understand. How do you explain the difference between family love and romantic love to a kindergartener?
When I sat down to write What Makes a Baby, I didn't think gender would be the most controversial part. I thought that if anyone had a problem with the book it would be because I don't put a married heterosexual couple in the middle of the story. I should have known.
Recently my wife and I realized that while our older son could recite the egg/sperm/donor story at age 2, we're not sure what our younger son knows about his beginnings. We decided to wait for a teachable moment to arrive, which happened one morning last week.