One of the biggest parenting challenges is how to talk to your kids about the hush-hush topics? Like Puberty both in girls and boys?
I remember we only got the version of information that a friend’s friend would tell. Something we heard by eavesdropping when elder sis or bro was having a conversation about it with friends or maybe something we watched on TV and the channel was abruptly changed in the middle.
Moving to Canada with a growing boy meant a lot of challenges. Many people said to me …oh yes you can afford to go cuz you don’t have a daughter. Well to all those who think that only people with girls have a challenge when they are growing up, it’s not true. Both girls and boys have equal issues when it comes to puberty and protective environment.
Curriculum in Canada actually tells them in grade 5 about the whole puberty process…..because average kid hits puberty in Canada at the age of 11 or 12 so they need to be prepared for what’s coming.
Most of the parents from our community actually don’t allow their kids to sit in health class due to religious and cultural reason. Some people don’t send their kids to school on those days. But one can control the presence in class but what about the 2nd hand information that will reach the kids in the conversations during passing through corridors or sitting in the cafeteria?
The challenge gets real here when the kids have access to technology and internet 24/7 and all such stuff to create more confusion in their little mind is one click away. How do you monitor the subliminal advertisement or a suspicious pop-up website opening in a new window?
Living in a world where they have access to all information in the curriculum as compared to the world where I grew up where still this is not the information you can go and ask your parents about?
How did I cope up with these challenges as a mother in this part of the world?
Since I became a mother it was in our parenting goal to treat him as a person not as a kid so that his opinions, his questions his input to a subject matter. That’s the feeling we have given him in the home.
As he turned 3 we were in Pakistan then we clearly communicated to them that no stranger is allowed to touch him in a strange way. So that he should have his idea of what’s normal and what’s not.
When we came here he was 9, we attended one of the seminars where school admins actually abridge parents on the health curriculum so they know what their kids will be learning and what kind of questions they can expect at that age. I was pretty clear in my head that I won’t be one of a kind who would restrict his attendance in this important aspect of health. The questions raised by parents made me more clear on that. I won’t stereotype but the majority of the people somehow left their country but were not ready to cope up with the cultural challenges here, for which it’s important to equip your kids with right kind of information.
But a reinforcement at home of what’s being taught at the school in this regard is important too. So we made it a discussion every week if he learned something and if he wanted to know more. In this way, we would actually get how much he was told in class and how much he learned from informal discussions with friends or so. Or if there were any myths that needed to be clarified.
We made sure we both were there for that. Because people think that father should be the person talking to the son while mothers talk to daughter. After some extent yes but at this stage its important for both of the parental figures to be involved.
The access to technology is a good and a bad thing at the same time. As it became a part of education here where they would do 60% of their homework on tabs, you can’t be monitoring to see if they are really on it or the pop-ups are getting their attention. I had a clear talk with him on this that if such things appear or if he sees something that confuses his mind or he has questions about he needs to come to us. But that doesn’t mean you can close your eyes and wait for them to come. You have to monitor in a way they don’t know 🙂
This is what my approach was as a parent. Even if I was in Pakistan I would have chosen the same approach. Some people might not agree to me but its ok. What comforts me is that even if he has the smallest bug of question that he needs an answer for he will speak up to discuss with us rather than hushing it and believing in whatever answer he gets from XYZ… That’s all we wanted. A comfort zone to discuss anything and the right to information to know what it is.
Still much more to do!!!
excellent publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector don’t understand this.
You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!
Thanks for the encouragement. I m glad you liked it.