Saturday, 9 January 2016

Your First Boyfriend... Part Two of "The Other Sex Talk".

   As a parent you wonder how much your children actually "hear" what you are saying to them.  Knowing that they only selectively listen does not mean that you should stop talking. All I can hope for is that when I am not there with them they sometimes hear what I have said and listen to keep themselves safe.  I spoke yesterday about having the "other sex talk" with my kids.  I think it's important not just to guard against pregnancy (I mean don't get me wrong I don't want to be a granny just yet), but to guard against sexual assault, date rape, unnecessary heart break.
    I want my kids to understand that keeping themselves safe means not putting themselves in risky situations.  Grace is getting to the age where kids begin to under age drink.  I never did, mainly because I was a nerd and had no need to, and none of my friends did.  I can only hope the children are nerds like their Momma, but I know that realistically that will likely not happen.  What I can do is stress safety.  Binge drinking is never a good idea, you can die from binge drinking and kids do.  If you drink too much you put yourself at risk.  Being knock down drunk lowers your ability to protect yourself.  Imagine being drunk and feeling sick and someone pulling down your pants or lifting up your shirt and taking a picture, then posting it.  That is something that can be shared around the world.  Imagine drinking so much that it leaves you ripe for some pervert to rape you.  I do not want you to drink at all, but if you do... moderation... be smart.
    That leads now to boys, and boyfriends.  It's ok to not have a boyfriend.  Sure you would like one, but at some point the right boy will come along and see how beautiful you are.  I was a late bloomer, I hated it, but I survived and have been happily married to the same man for 22 years.  Nice is more important than HOT.  HOT guys usually know it and often are idiots, not worth the heartache.  That is not to say that there are not HOT guys who are amazing, but know the difference.  The most important thing to remember is to pick someone who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated.  In return you need to treat them the same way.  A nice boy may break your heart, but should not leave you emotionally damaged.  NEVER be with someone who does not respect you!  If there are things that he wants you to do, and you are not comfortable with them, walk away.  If he's the right boy he will understand and not pressure you.  If it's his way or no way, walk away, he does not deserve to be with a smart and beautiful girl like you.
     The most important thing that I could pass along comes more from their father.  It is something that I have told Christopher from the time the kids were toddlers "You are their example of who a man is.  The way the kids see you treat me is the way our son will treat his wife, and what our daughters will look for in a husband.  Treat me the way you way you would like to see our daughters treated."  We impact our children by the way we function as a couple.  Luckily for our kids they see two people who love and respect each other.  They see us kiss, which they make a big grossed out display over, but when they are adults they will instinctively seek that out.  Our stability is their example, that will give them a better chance to have their own stable marriage.  I have told our daughter(s) "Do you see the way your Dad treats me?  Do not settle for anything less."

    Parenting is difficult.  When they are tiny you worry about keeping them safe, but that worry does not end and it is no longer as easy as baby proofing your home.  There comes a time when you are not there to hold their hand when they cross the street, nor do they particularly want you to.  The difficult thing is hoping that they have listened to you, and can think for themselves.  All you can do is talk, not lecture, and hope.

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