Saturday, October 12, 2013

Communicating Without Fear: Advice for Parents

            My mami is someone who I look up to and respect very much. She is a state certified counselor and has an associates in Social Behavior. She is a guest writer on my blog to give some advice about parenting:

            When my child was younger I did not want to talk to her about the tough things in life because it was weird and uncomfortable and she was my little baby. I wanted to shield her from all the things I did not want her to do. I wanted to keep her innocent. Then it dawned on me that I am not always going to be able to shield her from this world full of so much information. She would eventually find anything that she wanted to know through other sources and other people. I figured out and made a decision that I was no longer going to shield her from the world she will grow up in, I would prepare her and mold her little mind with a lot of patience and love.

            In my experience as a counselor, I have seen first hand what happens with a child who is a full grown adult that lacked communication from a parent. These adults are raising their children to have some of the same characteristics as their parents. When I have talked to other parents about talking to their kids about sex and drugs, I am surprised to find out that they feel that there child will learn it in school or from other source. My personal opinion is that everything is fear based.

            Some parents do not talk to their children because they do not know where to start. They don’t know what to say. Well, saying nothing is doing nothing to help your child. Our children need us to put our fears aside and talk to them even if they don’t want to listen. Find a way to communicate with your child while they are still with you. If you are scared, what do you think they are going to feel like when they get older? They are being set up for failure. I have come across a lot of teenagers that have asked me for advice. I try my best to give healthy answers, but what happens when they are asking the right questions to the wrong person?

            Each one of us parents, whether you know this or not, have all the answers that your child needs and if you feel that you don't, then look it up. It is selfish to keep information that can be vital for your child’s upbringing. I am going to tell you a secret that is not even a secret, your child is going to have sex one day and they are going to come across drug dealers and bad people. Didn’t you? Do not shield your child from this world, give them the tools they need to face these issues head on. Say things like, “I can not stop you from having sex or even choosing to do drugs or drink one day, but I can tell you what sex is going to be like and what having a child is like. I also could tell you what drugs and alcohol can cause in your life.”

            This is not giving your child permission to make a bad decision, this is you educating your child about what happens if bad decisions are made. Believe in your child and don’t offend them by assuming they have done something wrong just because you feel that they did. For every action there is a reaction and a consequence. Do not disrespect your child by yelling and threatening them over your own fears. It is not there fault. They were born because of your decisions. Now help them make healthy decisions.

            I agree it is scary to open up communication with your child and sometimes you may even feel dumb. So what? Talk anyway. Whatever comes out of your mouth will be coming from your heart.

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