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The Importance of Talking to Your Kids (And My First Love)

I did not exactly grow up as Daddy’s Little Girl. My dad was a hard kind of a guy who really would have been better off not having children. He was busy and impatient and did not really want to be bothered with the day-to-day issues of kids. He did provide a wonderful home for us and made sure we were well-fed and clothed. There are some men that do not even do that so I am very thankful.

(A guest post by Allison)


The importance of talking to your kids


Not having any kind of relationship with my dad made it extremely hard for me to have relationships with men - period. My mom was a very loving woman who (in the sixties and seventies) taught me how to have a clean house, how to cook, and how to take care of a husband. She married Dad when she was about to turn eighteen and she herself had come from a home with an alcoholic father. Her father loved her dearly but she spent many of her nights going to find him in the bar before he spent all the money he had earned on drink. So she did not exactly have a lot of relationship wisdom to bestow on me and it was a subject we never even touched upon.

I was very shy and unsure of myself and had a hard time making friends. I usually had one close friend everywhere we lived. We usually moved every four or five years because of Daddy’s work. And when we did, I had to start all over again with that one friend. We moved right after grade school, which went through the sixth grade, then and I started in a brand new town in the junior high school. Boy, did I feel out of place! Junior high (or middle school as they now call it) is sure a hard few years for most kids because they are going through the most changes. 

importance-of-talking-to-your-kids


This is generally the time girls start their menstrual cycle which can be really difficult, especially if they do not know it is coming. This was the sixties, I did not know anything about it, it came and it was humiliation galore. I spent the entire afternoon in the bathroom until the final bell and then ran all the way home. I had been in history class, in a white skirt, when someone in the class pointed out that I had blood on the back of my skirt. I had no idea what to do. Ugh. I sure wished my mom would have thought to have this discussion with me, but then I realize now she had no idea how to communicate things of this nature. She told me later she thought I knew. We did not have those talks in school in those days and it was not something I talked about with friends in grade school.


My first love


Well, anyway as I said above, my dad was pretty strict and even though I had no interest in boys at this point I knew that if I did he would've been against any kind of relationship. It began in the eighth grade, middle of the year right before Christmas break, when things started to change in my life. I was sitting in my customary seat in history class not talking to anyone (as usual) when this boy walked up to me and put a nicely wrapped box in my hand and then walked away. I immediately looked down, stuffed it in my purse and did not even look him in the eye. I kind of got the swirlies at this point and did not know if I was going to make it out of class without fainting. I did not even know his name for Pete’s sake! When class was over I just sat there for a long time fooling with my books, hoping he'd left - and he had. 

I did not open that gift until I got home in the privacy of my room. It was a beautiful little necklace heart with a stone, which I assumed was cubic zirconium. I tried it on in my room and then quickly took it off and hid it away. The only thing I could think of was what dad would say. I was all of fourteen and he had already let me know that I was not dating until at least sixteen and maybe eighteen if he did not think I was ready.

The next day I took the necklace with me but did not put it on. Of all things I hid it in my bra! I suppose you have already guessed what happened because I was not a big-breasted fourteen year old girl. I lost it. I went through school that day trying to avoid that boy. I did not have the necklace so even if I wanted to wear it that was too bad.


Going steady


The day after that when I got to school a girl I did not know came up to me and said that Mark wanted to know (well, I found out his name at least) why I was not wearing the necklace. She also said he wanted to know if I liked him and if so would I consider going steady with him. Wow things were moving fast and I had no idea what to do. I was afraid to tell her that I had lost the necklace, to tell you the truth I can not even remember what I said. Somehow the words came out of my mouth that yes, yes I would go steady with him, so she put his ID bracelet in my hand and walked away and he was no where to be seen. Now I had something else to hide from Dad but I decided not to use my bra as a hiding place this time.

This boy, Mark, started showing up by my side before school to walk me to my classes, and after school to walk me home and little by little we began to get to know each other. I was blessed that he was a decent guy and he had a basically sweet heart. He still questioned me about the necklace and it took me weeks of excuses before I could muster up the courage to tell him I had lost it the second day! This was my first love and I never even saw it coming. Dad never knew we were “going steady” because we just met at school and at basketball games and such. We lived in a very small town and walked everywhere because it was close.

We had been “dating” for about six months and the biggest occurrence thus far had been holding hands. As he was walking me home (he generally turned back around a block from my house) one day he tried to kiss me and I avoided it. He had tried a few times before and I had done my best to just brush it off. I had heard somewhere in the course of my vast fourteen years that you could get pregnant by kissing. Mom and I never talked about it and Dad and I absolutely never would. He was upset and I did not know what to do.

That evening Mom and I were driving to the store and I got up the courage to ask her if it was okay to kiss a boy. She chuckled and said, “Sure, honey!” Whoa, really? It was that easy? She asked me if I had someone in mind and I told her that this boy had been walking me to class and sitting with me at basketball games. I told her his name and she knew his folks because his older brother and mine were on the high school football team and they were all in the Booster Club together. She told me more about his family than I had learned in six months. His dad was a doctor.

It was the next day when I told him that I would in fact kiss him. I had my first kiss of many and to date it was the best kiss of my life. There is nothing quite like young love in its innocence. A first dating experience can pretty much make you or break you for future dating experiences. I was blessed that my experience was good or it could have kept me out of the dating arena permanently!

I learned more than it was okay to kiss that day. I learned that it is very important to talk things over with your parents. It is important to be open with your children about dating relationships before they ask you because you would be surprised at the situations they get themselves into and the wrong information they get from their peers. And when they do not ask you they go to their peers for answers and more often than not they are the wrong answers.

I decided before I even began to have children that I would share with them about everything. Of course, I would do it with age in mind and with sensitivity but I wanted to make sure they got the right information and were equipped for the many things that naturally come up in life. Life is full of surprises but there are some things that work out better if you know in advance. Our children have enough stress in their young lives, they have to be equipped with the information they need to make good decisions and have successful relationships from the start.

Author Byline:

Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com. She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmail rest you know.

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3 comments:

Alexis Marlons January 23, 2014 at 6:12 AM  

My kids are all boys, so I am not sure if I'll be as open to them compared to girls. But when they get older I will try to be open to them so we can talk about anything and everything under the sun.

Anne Lyken-Garner January 23, 2014 at 8:11 AM  

Hi Alexis, thanks for your comment. I think boys often get the short end of the stick when it comes to parents being open with them in matters of growing up. We tend to think that they'll find out anyway, but as the article suggests, they find out the wrong information.

I was (age-specific) very open to my girls and to my son when they were younger. However, as my son grows up (he's 14) I leave more and more for my husband to discuss with him. I don't know first-hand, how much he knows about these things.

Judy SheldonWalker February 17, 2014 at 2:59 AM  

My mom never talked about the birds and the bees; never mentioned kissing or our periods, and dad was not one to talk to us - just yell. I tried to share more with my children.

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Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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