Transition Stinks!

The month of MAY..every parent’s nightmare as the last days of school wrap up.  I think it’s the most stressful time of the year…tests, concerts, sporting events, projects, last minute assignments..all of it is a recipe for mom retirement….and a migraine!  That TRANSITION from school to summer can be a whirlwind for certain.  But transition can be a good too.  It’s a time to re-think some of the conversations you may need to cover with your kids this summer.  Plus, summer activities can be a natural segue’ for conversation. Here are some ideas…

Ages 3-6: If you are still using words like tinkle ,wee wee, and all manners of crazy genital slang with your preschoolers, it’s time you taught them proper terminology.  Next time you put your toddler in a swim suit, tell them the proper names of their organs.  I heard a mom tell her son to put his wee wee in the potty and tinkle.  We want innocent children, not ignorant.  Teach them properly.  Swimsuit season is also a good time to remind them that no one touches their private parts.  Anything covered up by a swim suit is off limits. If you are still showering with your kids, that needs to stop.  You don’t want your children to be imprinting on your naked body.  It often leads to kids obsessing about nakedness and their own bodies.

Ages 6-9: Start talking modesty with your daughter.  If she wants a bikini, find out why.  Modesty of the heart starts young and modesty starts in the heart, before the body. I am not against bikinis but we want our daughters to be attractive, not attracting so start fostering classiness.  Does your 7 year old really need to be in a bikini?  Think that through.   Private parts are not very private if they are not covered up. With your sons, foster self control, especially with the whole “adjusting” thing.  He doesn’t need to adjust his gonads nine times a day.  Start requiring some self-control because when the good feelings come from touching, self-gratifying may follow; so when you see it this summer, say something to your son.  But also, explain why..” It’s time to learn some self-control.  You don’t need to touch your private parts, because you don’t want it to become a habit.  It can be a difficult habit to break.”

Ages 10-13:  This is the time when many parents start thinking about cell-phones for their kids. Give them some stipulations when you give them a cell phone.  Phones open the door to a whole lot of freedom that most kids can’t handle and don’t even know what to do with.  The conversations I have with moms about what their kids are dealing with is astounding…. A boy sent a girl a picture of his gonads on snapchat…..cuz that’s classy!  That’s just one example of the many that I heard this week!  I read an article recently about all the teenage suicide that has come out of social media.  Think about a filter so your kids aren’t exposed to pornography.  Have a conversation about pornography and the dangers of addiction and the exploitation of women and children in the porn industry.  (Only 13% of women are there by choice.)  Take time this summer and have some of these conversations.  If you have a daughter, talk about her changing body because it starts at 10 or 11 with breast buds, body odor, and then “hair down there.”  Periods are about a year and half after breast bud development.  Once she starts a period, then you need to have a  conversation about sex.  The summer between 7th and 8th grade is a good time to finish up your “sex talks” with your girls.  I recommend the book 30 Days of Sex Talks.  It is for ages 12+.  There is a direct link on my resource page.  Another great curriculum is the Passport to Purity series.  That can be over kids heads if you start too young.  Middle school, around 7th grade is a good time for that series.

Ages 14+:  Hard conversations happen at these ages.  If you haven’t put the work in the younger years, these conversations can be downright terrifying….like getting nude photos from a guy or finding out your daughter sent a topless picture of herself to someone.  People think that snapchat is safe since the picture deletes after 5 seconds, but don’t be so sure.  TALK to your kids this summer about everything. …dating, marriage, sex.  Their friends’ brains are full of mush so they need to hear the truth from you!  Spend as much time together as a family doing fun things outside…generate a good family identity.  Make a fun list and work on it as a family.  The tighter knit your family is…the more confident your kids will be and the more likely they will have the guts to make the right choices.  Transition can stink, but it’s also a great time to make changes in your life-style, and in your training of your kids.  Summer is a great time to make a few changes if need be.  Make the most out of this summer’s transition time!

TIP: Capitalize on teachable moments: pregnant moms, bathtub erections with your toddler sons, boys adjusting in public (it just looks gross). Modesty at the mall, pool, playground, sports venues. Talk about your period when you are on it. When the dog finds a tampon, use it as a time to teach. Weave sexuality in as you would table manners, tithe, social manners, dating.