Sunday, March 1, 2009

Q&A: "How do we develop our relationship with our kids so we can talk openly about adolescence, changes and sex?"

This question was asked at our Parenting Conference in January, but due to time constraints we were not able to answer it then. Mike Chibbaro (an elder at Grace Church) and his wife Cindy give us their thoughts:
  • Create an environment where "no question" is a dumb question. Never laugh at a question your child asks, or joke about their curiosity.
  • Create a "trusting" environment with your children...when they tell you something deeply personal, make sure you don't inappropriately share this with someone a sibling.
  • Listen....when your child inquires about a "deep subject" make sure you stop what you are doing, look at them and truly listen. Engage in the conversation. Never brush them off
  • Create a special "space" or place for these types of, putting them to bed at night. ...or a date night....or car time. Car time is especially good because it takes some pressure off of the child...they are captive and they have to listen to you, but they don't have to look at you.
  • Don't be afraid of the really tough had rather have them hear from you on these.
  • Look for opportunities in your daily life to teach about these topics...for example, you watch a tv show or a movie that makes an inadvertent sexual reference...stop the movie or at the end, speak truth into the situation with a discussion around what they saw.
  • The more you talk about these matters, the easier it gets.
  • PRAY for wisdom and opportunities.

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