The other day my seven-year-old asked me which I thought was worse for you: smoking cigarettes or eating drugs. I almost laughed out loud but I stopped myself and only allowed a giggle because my girl was dead serious. I had to think about what she was asking. She knows cigarettes are horrible habit and extremely bad for your health. When she sees someone smoking a cigarette she’s quick to point it out to me. “Ewww, look mom! That guy’s smoking. Why would he do that? Doesn’t he know it could make him sick?” To which I usually answer, “I know, right? Gross.” So I’m assuming that she knows that drugs are bad too but I can’t imagine she has any sort of picture of what type of drugs a person might “eat.” I’m happy to have her stay uniformed for now.
I have a friend who discusses everything with her kids. Almost no topic is off limits. The parents will carefully explain everything from the Taliban to Tyler Perry’s sexual orientation with equanimity. These friends feel that shielding kids from unpleasant information is not helpful to them and that given the right context kids can handle even the most distasteful subject matter. Uh uh. I’m not saying my friends are wrong but it’s definitely not the right approach for me.
I’m not a parenting expert, I just go with the way I feel and I don’t comfortable with my kids being exposed to certain concepts –concepts like murder. Elby’s only seven. I’m sorry but I don’t want her worrying about me dying of a violent crime right now. I worried about stuff like that enough for the both of us growing up.
So here are a few topics that I avoid and the reasons why:
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