Opinion

Everything Bremerton: Having those hard talks with your kids

This past month an incident in the Bremerton School District regarding prescriptions drugs reminded me that I was lagging slightly behind in some of the hard, uncomfortable talks I needed to have with my own son. It reminded me that lagging behind is not the best place to be when it comes to these issues. A proactive, get-in-front-of-the-topic approach is always best.

As a parent, I know that any opportunities I have to stack the deck even slightly in my favor should be taken advantage of immediately.

Talking to your kids about drugs, sex, bullying, inappropriate language and so on is not easy. Often times you are thinking on the inside, “What if I sound stupid? What if I get it wrong?” Or worst of all, “Oh no, I sound just like my mother!”

While our children are often surrounded by trained professionals at school, in church and with youth groups, they still need to hear it directly from us. Parents, family members and the people who are directly involved in their lives do have the greatest impact even if it is not readily apparent on the surface.

Kids and the environments they operate in give us the important clues as to “when” it is the best time to discuss the hard topics. For instance I used the recent incident at the middle school to bring up the discussion of prescription drugs.

A few weeks ago it was inappropriate words used by a Pee Wee teammate who may be allowed to use those words in his house, but they are not to be used by people who live in mine. The best clues come from just simply listening. When your kids are playing by themselves or with siblings, neighbors or friends, do you ever just listen in? Try it some time. It can be comforting and disturbing all at once.

In today’s world, parents, kids and family members live hectic, fast-paced lives.

Quality family time is hard to come by and when it does occur and everyone is having a fun, relaxed time the very last thing you want to think of is opening the conversation on a hard, uncomfortable topic.

Do it anyways. Look around you and grab those opportunities because if you don’t the problems that may arise from bad choices will affect everyone for a much longer period of time than a few uncomfortable minutes.

How many times have we all heard from our kids, “I didn’t know?”

Well, it is our job to make sure they do know. Start the conversation today.

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