Each year on Mother’s Day our children make precious gifts and write adorable cards to thank us for the special ways we have loved them through the year. I have saved many of those cards and they will always be a treasure to me.
But over the next year, I want to suggest an unconventional way you can show your love to your children that will change their lives forever; take time along the way to teach them about their bodies, guide them through the many changes they are going to experience as puberty approaches, and later initiate discussions that will help them make healthy choices as they sexually mature.
Even if they aren’t saying anything to you, your children are thinking about their bodies. The little three-year-old notices the differences between his body and his sister’s. The preteen might not be very expressive and may even pull away when you try to explore her thoughts, but deep down she feels uncertain about what is happening to her. Initiating these conversations and letting your child know what is going to happen before it does has the advantage of them being more likely to talk to you when they do start feeling the changes, and beyond.
The challenge for us, as moms, is to consider how we feel about teaching this topic to our children. Just reading this article could be bringing some feelings to the surface. For many moms, we hesitate to talk to our kids about puberty because we just cannot believe they are old enough to need that information, even though puberty is upon them. Other reasons for delaying these conversations could stem from any variety of personal thoughts and feelings. Whatever might be holding us back, it is so important that we push through and start these important conversations before our kids notice the changes.
I believe that we can raise children in this generation who, with a loving parent who sets the foundation for them, are empowered with information about their bodies, and who are equipped to make healthier choices as they mature.
Maybe, “thank you for teaching me about my body,” isn’t the conventional Mother’s Day card sentiment you might receive, but your children will be forever grateful they learned these topics from you.
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