Monday, July 30, 2012

Clever Parenting 101

Happy Monday!

I am often over talking to my kids (I say over because, I know sometimes they long ago stop listening and I have just become the Charlie Brown "whomp, whomp, whomp" adult). It sucks, I know! But they are teen aged children, it happens and I am aware of when it starts. I can see your faces!! I am convinced they think I am less smart than I really am, but every once in awhile I surprise even myself with how clever I become in talking to them... and maybe it should be shared with you.

This one time (not at band camp), I was in the car just me and Kai. Idk where we were going, where we were coming from but it was just us... a rarity, and she asked me "you want to talk?" To which I respond "sure, what do you want to talk about?" Her, thinking she is smarter than me, acts as though she didn't have a set topic already running in her mind and leaves the convo completely open to me. So I simply ask her, "is there anything you've been wanting to tell me but never had the chance? or felt you couldn't talk to me about? I am ALL ears now. Go ahead."

Kai: Well, my friend David (boyfriend, yes) asks me to go places sometimes and I never ask you because I just know you're going to say no. But sometimes I really do want to go, are you ever going to let me? I think it isn't fair that you never even think about it, you just say no.

Now, did MY 12 year old daughter just ask to go on a date with a boy and expect me to just say yes and be ok with it? I'm losing my mind, right? This all started when I allowed Nae to go out (that's a WHOLE nother story, for a whole nother day... remind me!), now they think they all can. SMH! So I was about to just give one of those 1996 Gigi responses, where I am the mom and I have the right to veto whatever I want and just say "no, because I said so!" But I recall that never really working out in my 13, 14, 15 year old mind. As children, we don't really understand parent reasoning. No matter how much sense it makes to us now, back then life just wasn't fair. So I didn't want to give her that, even though I could have justifiably done so... I am the mom! I know what's best! NO! So instead of that response, I was so impressed with myself for the response that came to me in a matter of moments... here goes just for you!

Me: "Kai, you know how you feel about your new ipod (she'd just about a month ago gotten a 32gb 4th gen ipod, loves it, sleeps with it, doesn't let it out of her sight)? You love that gift, it means a lot to you, you really wanted it, weren't expecting to get it but you did and it was the one better than the 8gb you expected? You don't let anyone else see it, why?"

Kai: Because it's expensive and I don't trust anyone else with it. I know that if they drop it or break it, you're not going to just buy me another one. And I'd be really mad I let someone else ruin something of mine, I dont trust them.

Me: :) that's right! It's important to you, you know you'll take better care of it than anyone else would and you'd rather keep it near you, in your sight than to trust it with someone else? Well... (and here comes the lesson!) You are my ipod nano, except you are waaaayyyy more than that to me. I don't trust David, or his parents really . None of them feel about you the way I do. They don't  love, cherish or respect you and they won't take as good of care of you as I would. I just need to keep you by me where I know you're safe and well taken care of. What if you did let JJ (her least trusted sister at the moment) see it and she dropped it and it cracked? You'd be more mad at yourself that you even let her see it, right? Well I don't want to be mad at myself for giving someone the opportunity to even scratch (rape, molest, take advantage of, coerce into some foolishness) my ipod, or in this case my precious daughter. One day, after you've super locked, password protected and app'd up your ipod, after you've got the best protective case on it and feel like it can stand it... and you feel JJ has been more reliable, maybe you'll consider letting her sit and use it for a sec. But even then, you're going to keep a watchful eye on her and not let her out of your sight with it. I need to finish password protecting you, make sure you're prepared enough to be held by someone else other than me. I need to know that you're in the best shape to handle any situation that may happen when I'm not around to protect you and that only comes with time and trust. Right now, you're not there. You barely tell me everything now and that lets me know you're not ready to be out with anyone without me. Cause if they drop you, just like if JJ dropped your ipod... I'm going to want to kill them. And all damages, drops, and scratches can't be undone. So you're just better off with me!

And you better believe she understood that analogy. Now this is NOT verbatim and I'm sure I went on and on and over talked til it became a whomp whomp whomp, but you BEST believe she heard me, she got it, she understood and she likely appreciated the response more than the "I'm the mom and I said so". I made it real for her! Trust me when I tell you, I am beyond open and vocal with Kai... that "drop you" was prob a "rape, kill, touch or hurt you" in my convo with her. I am prob too hardcore with her when it comes to our convos but I can't/won't sugarcoat it for her. It's real out here in these streets!

This is just one of the many examples of my clever parenting responses... I just figured I'd share it because I was chuckling to myself about it just yesterday. "You not smarter than me, I got an answer for everything!" Just wait and let me think of something. LOL!

I am preparing my thoughts for a sex talk with 4 of my 5 girls soon... so stay tuned! I got an analogy fitting the talk from church yesterday and I'm gonna run with it.

Hope this blessed someone. I pray when these scary talks come up for someone else, you'll remember this and feel better prepared...

That's my peace! Love, Tam


  1. Great analogy Tam, I loved it. But I have a teen aged son.... How do I handle that same situation with him.

    1. oh my! I can't call that one, I dont have any boys... but maybe my sex talk with the girls can be a crossover! right now, it isn't preferential to amale or female. I'll let you know after I pull it together. Or... you have at it, then let me know so I'm prepared in the event a little boy comes along in the Brawner house.