What do you talk to your kids about? Do you have proper conversations with your children? What is appropriate to talk to them about and what is not?
All quite difficult questions to answer – for me any way.
I believe that if a child asks a question, as their primary carers we have an obligation to answer it as truthfully as possible without confusing them. I think we should talk to them at a level they can understand the response but never talk down to them in a condescending or patronising manner – not always the easiest but definitely a rule to try and live up to.
Now I’m not saying every question needs to have a thesis presented in response but I am saying if a child needs information we may as well satisfy their thirst of knowledge with enough information to satisfy them. The child will let you know when they are. satisfied with your response after all.
There are subject that make every parent cringe when they are raised, such as various bodily function ones but I have also found honesty the best policy – when M asked me what his testicles were for I told him when he got married they would help to make babies with his wife, a brief answer that satisfied him. It does help having two boys if it gets too hairy as I can just tell them to ask their father as he understands the workings of boys bodies better!
M isn’t much of a communicator. You can ask him questions about his day and will probably get a shrug of the shoulders as a response. He has very poor concentration and will often ask a question but not stay with you long enough to listen to the answer he is given. We have therefore learned to make responses very concise in the hopes he is listening long enough to grasp the information.
D on the other hand suffers from horrific verbal diarrhoea! Once he starts talking shutting him up to respond can be difficult. D asks so many questions I am sure he believe my name is Encyclopedia and not Mummy! He is just a sponge wanting to keep absorbing information. This morning we had a conversation about the demise of the dinosaurs, before we were even out of bed . We talked about theories about how they died out and it ended with him asking his Dad to switch on the computer to show him pictures of the crater in south America! I still prefer the theory about it being to do with underpants (Dinosaurs love Underpants is a brilliant kids book)! D’s favourite time to start talking is at bed time. I do wonder if its because he looses visual stimulation so his brain engages more. The number of times I have been pulled into conversations and had to round it up as quick at possible because it should be settling down. Telling him we can look things up on the computer in the morning is a great get out!
However, ask D what he has done at school that day and he will say he can’t remember. I think it is genuine he can’t recall the information. His short term memory is shocking. When he does recall something, it is a real light bulb moment as he gets excited to tell you something before he forgets again!
You have to say their teachers must have the patience of Job to be capable of educating them the way they do.
I hope I can always be honest with my answers to my children as I think there are only special things that deserve my lies to them – these include Santa, the Tooth Fairy and that their cuddly buds tell me if they are being naughty!