When is the right time to talk to your kids about drugs, sex, violence, bullying, political issues, etc? At what age are each of these topics appropriate? There's no manual that pops out with that beautiful little bundle to address these issues, and of course different people have different views on how to handle them.
My approach so far has been to handle each topic as it arises. When one of my kids have questions I figure out the best way to answer them for whatever age they are to give them the information they are inquiring about without giving them more than they can handle at the stage their at. Sometimes it's a question that brings about the conversation, but something that comes across the tv before I can get the channel changed or the radio station. However the conversation comes about my main goal is to be honest and informative without overloading my kids with the craziness of the world to early.
It's getting harder with the princess though. She recently turned 11 and I noticed were having more and more conversations that I thought I had more time to get ready for. The sex talk well it's been had and continues to be had, since it's been turned into a series of talks, not just about sex but about her body and the changes she is going through and what she will continue to go through over the coming years. As well as what is appropriate and inappropriate touching, attention, etc.
I was working in the little princes class one day when another mom I'm friendly with stopped in, we started talking and she mentioned her other son (who is the same age as the princess) recently started questioning her about weed. She was at a loss and didn't know how to handle it or what to say. She thought she had more time. Not anymore. Kids learn earlier and earlier about things our generation didn't know about till at least our teens. She asked me what I thought. I told her she obviously didn't have a choice now if he's asking she needed to sit down and discuss it with him. Explain the differences of the different types of drugs, and how some are far worse than others,that even medication and alcohol are drugs, and that no matter what none of them are ok for kids. Regardless of if it made her uncomfortable he's asking and she needs to be honest with him and address it, before he goes else where for answers. Because that's really the worst thing we can do to our kids is make them think we don't care enough to talk to or listen to them when they have questions. Because they are resourceful little buggers and they'll get answers, answers we may not like, answers we or they may not be able to live with.
The princess and I have talked about drugs, not a lot of choice in my life. We've had a few addicts in our lives (more me than her, I've managed to shelter her from seeing the ugliness I've witnessed) But it has affected some things in our lives and she realizes that. She's questioned things that the only way I could explain was by telling her the truth of those addictions. I hate that she has to know these things. But at the same time I hope that she listens and learns from the mistakes of those that came before her.
What is your personal approach to these talks? What was the hardest topic of conversation you've faced with your kid/s?