Remember being a kid? It feels like it was yesterday. Running through the neighborhood with your friends, playing games, riding bikes, and raiding our friend's refrigerator. Not a single care insight, but now being a child has a much different look.
There are so many things that our kids are exposed too that we were not, some of those things can give them ideas that could change their lives before they can fully step into their own.
Every parent should talk to their children about life. This conversation is a bit different than 30 years ago. We are talking about more than just the birds and the bees and dating.
These conversations have changed because of life as we knew it has changed. Kids now are seeing things before we, as parents, can explain and talk to them about it.
As a parent, we are not always going to catch everything, but talking to your child as things come up in conversation, helps keep the communication open and keep you in the loop of what they are thinking and feeling.
The main goal is to keep the communication open. Here are 5 topics that every parent should talk to their child about, and these topics will open up so many other things you can tackle in conversation.
The only way your child or children will listen is if you tell them about your experiences. The mistakes you've made and the successes you've gained by learning from those mistakes.
Never lie to your kids. Keep it honest but tactful. I talked to my girls about how I grew up and the things I did wrong and right, (Hell, I am still learning as I approach 40). Making things relatable to your kids helps them understand so much about you as a kid growing up. They want to know you as a person and a parent.
Be careful about how you present yourself; this is a lesson, not a therapeutic session, you don't want to put your traumas on your child. Although it may be therapeutic for you, choose your words and actions wisely. Your children are always watching you and how you react. Believe me, they are not dumb; they know and can feel when things hit a cord.
Here are a few things I am currently teaching and talking to my kids about that you may find interesting.
Present and Future Goals
Try not to push your kids into things they do not want to do all the time, but one thing that needs to be express is setting goals. Setting goals for the present and the future to map out the life they want for themselves. Although life will take them through many twists and turns, keeping set on goals will help them work things out for their own good.
Speaking to them about the reality of college. The college debt, the actual lack of job opportunities. But also tell them the good about college. Meeting new people with similar interests, excellent opportunities to experience great things, introduction to adulthood, and finding the IT factor with themselves.
Talking about working hard and going that extra mile in high school so you will have the chance to get scholarships and grants to pay for school, to keep them out of debt. This will give them a significant boost to push harder to achieve the goals they set. Letting them know just because you have a degree doesn't mean you automatically get your dream job. You should always make sure they know having certificates in their areas of interest. This will allow them to go further in their career, which is the number one thing. Be honest and let your child know you're going to always be learning and evolving.
Express to them that college isn't for everyone, and there are other ways to get what they want out of life, like being an entrepreneur. Give them examples of successful people that positively took that different route. Keeping them interested in learning something new, read, and keeping yourself educated in things that they love to do. Expressing how this can route can pave the way for a career. Learning is forever. Teaching yourself new things will always leave room for the opportunity to do something you love or interested in.
Using Your Talents
All of our children are talented in some way or another, so push their talents. I urge my four to use their creative minds and abilities, just as much as school knowledge. These natural and learned talents could pave a career for them or expand their minds to create something the world has never seen. Never crush a creative spirit; this can instill some significant issues with your child's self-esteem.
In this generation, we are no longer counting on corporate jobs and regular day to day jobs. People are learning every day to use their God-given talents to make the life they always wanted.
So yes, I'm that type of mom! The tree-hugging, art-loving, creative, fun but firm mom that takes no mess 🥰🥰🥰🥰.
I will never understand why we in America are not teaching our kids about money and finance in the elementary. I am not talking about what money is, but how money works and the value. Finance is a big part of life, and our children need to know that they can achieve wealth, maintain it, and pass it to others to make our community better.
I am under the impression we are teaching our kids how to spend until your in debt. Yes, I talk to my kids about how to manage their money, and you should speak to your children also about this fundamental issue.
We need to teach our children how to make more, save more, and invest. Just think if all of us were taught about finance, how much farther would `you be? I will not wait until my kids are in debt to try to help pull them out. I stand here with two degrees in Business Management and Accounting, years of mismanagement of money because I did not fully understand finance until I was in college. That's not happening with my kids. We need to stop that today and get an early start with our children understanding money and finance. This is a lifetime jewel that will be cherished for generations.
All children need to be social to learn how to interact with their peers. The social world we live in now was not the world we lived in 15 to 20 years ago, our children have social networking, which is not a bad thing, but if you're not monitoring their activities things can get out of control with this social media craze.
Seriously, there are fully grown adults that can't control themselves and feel the need to put everything online for social acceptance, so talking to your children about social media and its dangers will help them understand what to do and what not to do. Everything does not need to be displayed for the world to see. We live in a judgmental and fragile society, so being aware of what they are posting is something parents should know.
Getting to know their friends, Every parent needs to know who their child is hanging out with and their parents. I always had the hardest time letting my kids go places with people I didn't know well, that is a struggle for me (some call it overprotective). I want to know who their friends' parents are, meet and talk with them. If I can't meet your parents, it's a no with going to their friends' homes and hanging at the mall and movies.
Sorry I need a little background check.
These kids have apps and hidden message sites to get around parents checking what's going on with them, they learn how to get around parent monitoring.
One thing us 80's babies didn't have was an iPhone with social networking. So, talking with your kids and finding out where their heads are, can help with the communication and trust factor of being social with their peers.
Nowadays, kids have accessible content they should not, and it's easier to get and see with your smartphones. Monitoring will allow you to talk to your kids about what they are seeing and hearing from their peers. No, it's not snooping. You can give them their space with the notion that, My house, My rules. I bought you the phone, and thy shall take it away if you get greasy.
Give your children trust, but in turn, they are still kids with a lot of outside influences and bad ideas. They need your guidance. Explaining to your kids why things are the way that they are, helps them understand parents' views. Although they won't fully understand your point of view, showing them examples of things gone wrong will help them get a stronger sense of your points. Watching documentaries about what is going on around them will give them the awareness of people, places, and things. As I said before, you're not going to catch everything, but just keep communication open, and monitoring is a must for youngsters.
NOW the birds and the bee's
The Body Talk
Did you know talking about the body is not just SEX? This is a broad topic!
My mom set me down at 12 and told me about what my body was going through when I started my cycle. Then came the talk about sex, boys, and all of those lovely things, but what I failed to understand was how all of that works with your emotional state and mind, I just didn't get what she was saying about until I was way older, and I wish I would have paid attention more closely. Now with 3 girls, we are making a big thing about the mental and emotional part of being involved with a partner; it's not just about sex, but what relationships can bring. You can never tell them everything. Many things are based on having those experiences, but getting them prepared will help them know what state they are in and whether it is a healthy or toxic friendship or relationship and what to do.
Children need to understand their bodies. It is up to you as the parent to know how in-depth you want to go with this topic, but always leave room for questions because there will be some. Make them feel secure to talk about things they think and feel. Stay calm, don't freak out. If you feel the topic is something they do not need to know, give a short answer, and tell them that "this topic is not appropriate at this time, and when its time to talk about it, I will explain."
I started with the body talk when my girls got about 9 or 10 years old, as for my son, we have a few years, but we have talked to him about the basics because he is only 8. My youngest girl now learning she is eleven
When my oldest two girls turned 9 and 10, I thought, "its time to start the talk." I bought a book called "The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls
I let them read the book, then we read it together and talked about the book, they asked me questions about the book and their bodies. As they have got older, we still talk about these topics, but we build on the things they know already.
Talks about sex aren't just about doing it, but the feeling, emotions, and dangers if what's out there that can affect them. We do not stop there; we talk about body image, protect your body, respect your body, and not allow people to violate your body and show your body respect.
Now when it comes to my son, I'll keep you posted, but for now, we talk about the word no, and someone says no, that means no and stop. Don't let people touch you in places you know they are not supposed to, and if someone does something to you fight run and tell, Mommy and Daddy always got your back.
It is actually pretty sad that you have to go that far with our kids; it seems they are growing up before they can really enjoy being a kid. Talking about things every day helps them know their voice is being heard by people they love, and what they have to say is essential, and their feelings are important.
Find a documentary to watch with your children. Have those difficult conversations about what's going on in the world. Talk about the things they saw open communication up. Your kids should feel comfortable talking to the person that loves them.
In this generation, we can't afford to be taboo about things, because that could be dangerous. I know parenting in this generation can be hard. Talking to your kids and picking their brains can open up discussions about things they need to know and give you a glimpse of their minds.
Let's keep our kids educated beyond the classroom and talk to them about these important topics.