I’m going to say this first, I want to keep my daughter young forever, she’s 2 and a half right now. I also want to make sure she is educated in the real world. I want her to know about life, love and trust. I want her to be a confident young woman. I want her to travel. I want her to be well rounded…I could go on forever about everything I want her to be.
I want to be my daughters confidante, I want her to trust me, to talk to me. I want to be the type of parent who is open with my daughter…I could go on forever about the type of parent I want to be.
Now, as a parent we are faced with a million issues to deal with when we have children. Its the part of parenting that keeps you on your toes, challenges you. How do we explain it all? Homelessness, poverty, disability, human relationships, sexuality, animal abuse, religion, war….I could go on. When, what age, is the right time to explain these issues?
I have been faced with two parental decisions this week with my daughter. The first one I chose to explain right there and then. The next was a decision I had to make about how I’d parent an issue.
I was walking along the street with my daughter, we passed a group of homeless people (this issue I haven’t had to explain yet, thankfully) they were standing in the street with their 4 dogs around them. One of the dogs barked a few times and the mans instant reaction was to kick the dog several times to shut it up. We were directly in front of them. My daughter was staring in shock. As soon as we got around the corner I stopped, crouched down and explained to my little girl that it was not ok to do that and the man was being naughty for kicking the dog and it was not ok to do that to any animal. She explained back to me what she heard me say. And hopefully understood.
I didn’t think I’d have to deal with that parenting issue so soon.
The next issue I was faced with was the next day, in the department store with my daughter, we were looking at toys. I came across a Barbie doll that was pregnant. (Complete with maternity clothes, removable bump and removable baby under the bump)
Now, since having my little girl, I’ve seen various little toys like this on the market, I’m sure they are all well intended, in the hope of trying to help children understand pregnancy, breastfeeding, relationships, etc, etc, but, I won’t be buying any of them. Parenting issue number two, how and when will I explain this to my little girl? Well, how, won’t be buying her pregnancy barbie,(recommended age 3+) or any other dolly, and explaining that’s where babies come from. My daughter came from a c-section and when she asks about mummy’s scar, I tell her that’s where she came out after she was in mummy’s tummy. When she asks about my breasts, I say that’s where she used to get her milk. We’ll explain to her slowly, as we go along, I’m not going to force the issue with toys, I don’t think its necessary as long as we are open about these issues.
Parenting is HARD, every day something else to keep you on your toes.
Now, I know some of you will deal with these issues differently, I’m interested to know your thoughts? Would you have ignored the person kicking the dog? Hoping by not making an issue of it, they’d forget?
Would you buy the toys to help explain some of the issues we’re faced with as women? I know children learn through play, maybe you think they are a brilliant idea?
Let me know!