Archive for Timing

KIA Superbowl Ad

I’m generally a pretty enthusiastic football fan, although this year I wasn’t so much into the game (no interest in either team) as I was into the commercials. I loved the Best Buy commercial with Amy Poehler asking the Best Buy employee all of those questions…those are MY questions. Especially, “WHERE IS THE CLOUD?” I actually do wonder about that.

But the KIA commercial REALLY caught my interest. Here is a family in a car and the son asks, “Dad, where do babies come from?”…well instead of me explaining the whole commercial, I’ll let you watch it for yourself. Just click on this, and then we’ll discuss

Three things occurred to me…
1. The silly (but imaginative) lie.
2. The fact that the boy had already been told some information by his friend Jake.
3. Parents who were far more uncomfortable than their son….so much so that they prefered to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” to visiting with him.

I would call this the perfect example of why I have a job.

Coaching parents on this subject, so that
1. The truth and your values are easier to tell, and you don’t have to lie.
2. You can talk to your child before Jake does. (who knows what Jake may have said)
3. Best of all…. you can have a REAL conversation with your child instead of having the tune to “The Wheels on the Bus” in your head for days.

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A Second Chance

The last two nights I have had the opportunity to visit with parents at Highland Park Presbyterian Church and at the West Dallas Community School. At both events I got the same question, so I thought I’d answer it here:

“My children have asked me about sex in the past, but I didn’t give them answers…what do I do now?”

Circle back. Pick up the conversation where you left off, and try again.

Children are open to that.

Just let them know that the question surprised you, and that you weren’t quite ready to answer, but now you are ready. Look for a simple setting…maybe cleaning the kitchen, or watering the pansies, and jump in. Let them know you have been thinking about their question, and that you would like to continue the conversation.

You might even be honest enough to tell them that these conversations don’t come easily to you, but that you will overcome that uneasiness to be sure they get honest answers and good information. They may not say so, but they will be grateful.

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Their first impressions

This is the beginning. The beginning of YOU being the loving teacher to your child. Answering their questions, and guiding their values. How do YOU plan to answer those questions?

It’s always best to start with God. He made us. We are designed by Him and wonderfully made. Every child is a miracle – every conception and birth. So, start by answering their questions with, “Let me tell you how God has made a way for the baby to get out…” and that will help get them on a path of understanding that God has a plan and a purpose for all of His creation.

Let’s don’t forget to marvel at that, and to let our children be in awe of it as well! Don’t let the fear of future conversations keep you from the joy of answering their early and simple questions with a smile and simple biology. You can do this confidently if you have a plan. 

It is a thrill for me to share some ideas for making that plan with young families. Most of us need a little coaching when it comes to these conversations, and I”m looking forward to my events this fall and next spring! If you are coming, bring all of your questions! If you can’t come, but have questions, then please check out my resources, or send me a question through this blog.

The new school year is ripe with opportunities for conversations, and my next post will cover some of the things to look for in the new school year.

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What’s the hurry?

This last week was a mini-marathon for me & I loved every moment! Speaking 5 times in 7 days may be a record, but what a privilege to meet such wonderful parents!

One dad gave me a great idea that I want to pass along. We were talking about how we can help our kids understand delayed gratification vs. instant gratification. How do we teach them that it’s really BETTER to wait? What kind of things help them to exercise those muscles that strengthen their ability to wait?

His idea: On family vacations he gives his 4 children some spending money. Let’s say he gives each child $25.00. He and his wife let them know this is THEIR money, and they can spend it any way they like, whenever they wish. If they spend all of it at the first Cracker Barrel they come to …that is OK. But they are only getting $25.00 for the trip. Now…here is the lesson part:  He also tells his children that whatever part of the $25.00 they come home with, the parents will double.

Hmmm…so it’s better to spend wisely, and maybe even not spend at all? If I spend $10.00 on a trinket, and bring home $15.00…I can get $30.00!

He said that the first time they were given $25.00, they did spend it very quickly, but by their 3rd family vacation, the older children had learned that the coolest way to use the money was to examine all of their choices, and think about what $50.00 could buy at home. He saw a huge shift in the mental process of seeing+wanting=buying….. change into……. seeing+wanting+thinking=waiting.

Brilliant!!

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Let Parents Tell

Welcome back to FREQUENT QUESTIONS FRIDAY !

Today we’ll address a fear that many parents ask me about. They WANT to talk to their children about sex, but they don’t want their children sharing this information with others.  Can anything be done about that!?

After all…WHO WANTS TO BE KICKED OUT OF THE CARPOOL FOR THIS??

It is tricky to keep this information within our families, but try to help your children understand that every Mom & Dad will get to have these conversations with their own children at a time that they decide is best. Tell them how glad you are that YOU got to be the one to tell them these things, and that their friends’ parents want to do that as well.

Another point to cover with them is that it really would not be appropriate to talk about sex at school, in the carpool, or any place other than within your family. These are considered special family conversations.

But let’s be honest. This will be extremely difficult for some of our chatty-er children.

You know your daughter Emma better than she knows herself, and you just KNOW she is going to go straight to her best friend, Lily and spill all the details as soon as she possibly can….despite your warnings…..what do you do about THAT?

I suggest you call Lily’s mom. Explain the situation fully, and let her know…

she has 24 hours.

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Town & Country

OrangeSquareGetting my nails done gives me the pleasure of reading magazines that I would never buy. Yesterday I picked up Town & Country. To my surprise there was an article about how and when to talk to your kids about sex. Of course it got my attention. It was written by a pediatrician, and I was very surprised to find that she advised parents not to talk to younger children unless they ask. I know this was a popular idea for many years, but I think that this approach is leaving a very important topic up to chance. We can do better than that!

We can explain birth, conception, and the design of reproduction in the early years whether they ask or not. If we keep our focus on the basic biology and our values we can introduce the subject of sex without the emotional awkwardness.

When they are young, hearing about seeds and eggs and babies is just a part of all of the other things they are discovering! Let the age appropriate conversations begin.

Town and Country may be very chic, but in this category…so 80’s.

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When Or Who?

ClockAlmost every time I speak to parents, they ask me “When is the best time to tell my children about sex?”. Parents who are conscientious want to get this right. They don’t want to tell their children too early, and they don’t want to be too late. Here is the problem with that question….it doesn’t take into account the fact that children who are the very same age may live in under the influence of different age groups. Let me explain.

I’ll introduce you to two 6-year-olds. Here is William. William is a first-born 6-year-old. He lives in a 6-year-old world, tells 6-year-old jokes, watches 6-year-old tv, and William’s world does not reach beyond the scope of a 6-year-old.

Now I’d like for you to meet Hudson. Hudson is also a 6-year-old, but he is the youngest of  four. Hudson has a 16-year-old brother, and twin 12-year-old sisters. Hudson tells 16-year-old jokes, watches 16-year-old tv, and he doesn’t know who Big Bird is, because his older brother told him that Big Bird is for babies, and Hudson is no baby. Hudson also knows everything that is on his sisters’ Facebook and under his brother’s bed.

Even though William and Hudson are both 6 and are on the same soccer team they are living in different worlds, and they come to first grade with different perspectives and with different information. Our families are the age of our oldest child…and the rest just have to keep up! We are involved in the activities of the oldest child, and our younger children get exposure to things that our first-born wasn’t exposed to. Because of this reality, the big question changes from “When do I tell my children?” to “Do I want to be the one to tell my children?”  If you want to be the one, then telling them will come sooner than you think!

As you follow this blog, I hope you’ll come to understand that this is actually very good news. Giving parents the power of the first impression, and the privilege of these early conversations, is a key to parenting on this important topic.

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