I’m laughing at myself now as I thought this title up awhile back, never thought I would be going exactly through this at the moment I was slated to write about it but here we go. How do you have conversations that could potentially be difficult or embarrassing with your children? There’s no manual for this type of stuff we are out here winging it so why not help each other by offering some tips or asking for help, Lord knows I need help with this.
The “Period” talk. I am sure there are women that look forward to this talk and consider it a rite of passage, I know I did. I went to B&N purchased the period book and over a month Symone and I would go over the book and discover her womanhood, this would be a bonding experience for us both and we would be better women because of it. That is not at all how it went down. I remember the call from my mother, “Did you know Symone has her period?” I almost fainted, when did this happen, my little girl had become a woman before we could bond and gather flowers in the field and talk about freshness. She was only 10 or 11, this was too soon I wasn’t ready, but at last the day had arrived, I had to put on my granny panties (ladies know why) and have the talk with her about being a woman. Talking to someone about something that is natural, that we all go through seems simple enough, its natural, right?! No this conversation was anything but natural. I skimmed through the book got my basics for the conversation and started to approach. Now some may say how can a woman not know how to talk to another woman about something we all go through, but note, this isn’t just any other woman, this is a woman you are raising, a woman you want to be better than you are, you’ve got to get this conversation right as it sets up her future for other conversations you may need to have. We sat opposite each other on the couch and before I could open up my mouth, she starts the conversation. Mom, I have my period now and I like pads not tampons (what the what?, wasn’t prepared for that), mommy it takes 5 days for my period to go away (I fainted). See we live in a society where kids are catching on to things fast, they know stuff that we didn’t at their age, and if we did, these children appear to know a lot more. She knew that now she could have a baby and that her period will come once a month and that she would be in a bad mood. After she gave me the talk, I clarified a few things for her and we’ve been able to openly discuss our womanhood ever since.
Now not all talks have come that easy for me. There have been times where I didn’t know how or what to say and in those moments I have had to rely on my family and village to help me find the right words. Our talks have ranged from divorce, friends, STDs, dating, stranger danger, diet and exercise, our relationships with God, to who should be the next president. I have always had an open door policy with my children so that they may feel free to express themselves. While some of these talks have been painful, eye opening and caused me to self-reflect multiple times I have always reminded my children that we always need to be open to each other.
My challenge to you, talk to your children not at them. Be open to the discoveries they have made about themselves and the world around them. Listen to them before you speak and let them know that while you all are not friends that the love you have for them gives you an open heart and mind to help guide them through life. Speak in love!