It’s amazing how long our road has been up to the point we are currently at. When I start telling you about the conversations I’m having with my, now, 9year old and 7 year old-I think many of you would be, “ooooo no, that’s a little too young for those conversations”. And that’s ok, because each child is completely different in their curiosity and also their innocense levels.
I remember starting out with Aislyn and wanting to keep her as “innocent” as I could with any ‘dodgy’ information. The first big eye opener was when we tried her out at nursery school. (Kindergarten, for our western friends) when she was around 3 years old and we were deciding on whether we should send her to school or home school. My hubby was all for the normal system and I was was all homeschool. So I compromised and said, ok, let’s try her out and see how it goes. So she went to a quant little preschool and it was fine education wise – but besides Aislyn struggling with anxiety and nightmares more than she should for a long period, there was one day that I came to pick her up and she was lying on her back in the play ground with another little friend kneeling next to her rubbing her tummy.
I looked at the scene and said to myself, “don’t over think this, they’re little-she’s not being bullied- she’s fine”. As she jumped into the car, I casually asked her about her day and what she learned (as all of us mommies do). She obliged and it was great. Then I asked her, “so, Aislyn- when I came to pick you up, you were playing with another girl and she was rubbing your tummy-what were you playing?” And she enthusiastically says, “oh, mommy-I was the mommy and I had a baby in my tummy and she was the doctors that was cutting the baby out……” now breathe for the pregnant pause (excuse the pun) let’s remember that my kid is 3 and she’s my first one. Mamma bear alert!
I was freaking out inside, doing multiple flick flacks and shouting, ” what hogwash is this?! You’re three, how does she know about cutting a baby out! Why was she playing like that with you!” And on an on and on I went in my head. I respond casually to her and brush it off like it was just another activity. But I had a massive feeling of violation for my child. She was getting information from another source that was way too early for her and it wasn’t from me.
Along with all of the anxiety and stress – it was in that week that we pulled her out and saw the big need for us to be her first point of reference for all of the ‘big’ topics and that she was never too young for big conversations, obviously at her level. Now, obviously not everyone has the luxury of taking their kids out of their daily environment, but as a parent I have a duty to make sure that the information she needs-comes from me first. It was in that moment and transition that I realized that I can’t wait for her to bring up what she’s curious about. I might be too late – I needed to place the seeds of our point of view in her mind early so that, should it come up with friends or on play dates when I’m not around, that she has a point of reference and that she was empowered and not going with what everyone else is doing.
It was in those following weeks that I started dropping little thought bombs with her, like where do babies come from? (These were casually done like at the shop, in the car, at home during supper or when she was going to bed- no massive pow wow sit down meeting) After this we felt the best, age appropriate approach was to tell her that a married couple prays to God for a baby and He puts it in the mommy’s tummy. Now, in doing this I have placed the seeds that 1.God is involved and 2.its best to be married. This is based on our belief system and the way we know is best. This conversation has since evolved as they have gotten older – but it was the seed and it was age appropriate.
Now being where we’re at now, having the seeds laid down has helped to address the bigger “talks” later. There’s a frame of reference and a clear point of view. As I’ve said before, this is clearly our road we’re walking and there are so many points of view out there. I’d love to hear what you think and your point of view so that we can learn from each other, so comment away below.