Parenting teens: Having the BIG talks

Awkward talksI will be composing a series of 7 posts about parenting for a class that I am taking. These posts may or may not be of interest to those outside of the course. 
Week 3

Most of us parents have a handful of topics that we do not look forward to discussing with our children as they age. We know those talks are coming, but are dragging our feet.

Sex. Drugs. Drinking. These are the ones that come to mind for most parents. At some point, we all have to address these topics. If we do not, others will.

Recently, we have had a few other topics brought to light that need to be added to that list, which is obviously the topic of race. It is 100% privilege that the topic has not been on the big list for their whole lives.

This is gonna get awkward details how the sex talk has taken place around our home a few times, though I know I am not done with it.

We teach through our actions, and much of the time, we are able to incorporate our belief structure into our daily lives. Our children ick up our beliefs from being in our family.

Other topics sometimes require a family meeting of sorts to be certain we are all on the same page.

We recently had one of these meetings, that lasted all weekend long, an ongoing dialogue that was picked up and set down over several days.

We discussed privilege, racism, fear, trust, love, current events. While we did not “solve” anything during these talks, that is not always the point when teaching our kids. The dialogue is the point. The conversation leads to questions, learning, understanding. So that when our children leave our presence, they carry our values with them.

My oldest child is 19, and therefore while technically a teenager, technically an adult as well. He has reached the point in life where his opinions and beliefs are his own. I learn from him on a regular basis, as his view of the world is his own now.

I can hope that I have imparted some knowledge and understanding into his life, though what he does with it is up to him, as it will be for all of them.

The big talks in life may not be easy, they may not be the fun parts of parenting, but they matter. They shape our kids. They shape us too, if we let them.

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