One of the difficult parts of working alongside a friend is that ‘work’ conversations don’t strictly remain in those confines. The joyful part is that some very interesting ideas actually emerge from conversations about our own lives and personal experiences.
In one such phone conversation with Reema, broadly on the theme ‘wary parents, curious kids’, we spoke about how kids are capable of asking such wide variety of questions that leave us baffled as parents. Sample this –
- Why do women have squishy chests and men have flat chests?
- Why do you wear nappies mumma, you’re a grown up?
- Why do men hide stuff in their swimming trunks?
- What is sex? Should I whisper the word? Why does everyone whisper it? Is it against the law?
None of these are a figment of our imagination. These are all real questions that have been asked by kids from their unsuspecting parents.
Part of the struggle is how to communicate an answer which is appropriate for the 4 year or 14 year old as the case maybe. But a more significant part is that most parents feel too embarrassed to talk about these things openly. Some don’t want to tell their kids “more than he/she should know at this age”. Some are embarrassed to talk because they always saw these matters hushed up by their parents and elders and pass the concept of shame (quite literally haw! shame!shame!) to our kids.
Reema recently wrote a post about her own experience handling an awkward question from her son. It showed why ‘he is too young to know’ isn’t a choice for parents raising kids in hyper-media environment. The only choice is to inspire a sense of trust from our kids, encourage them to share what they think, feel and experience openly with us, without fear of ridicule or rejection. They are much safer trying to find answers from us as parents than trying to find it from the internet. They are better off clarifying confusions from adults who understand these things than only depending on sometimes ridiculous and often dangerous versions shared by equally misinformed peer group.
We thought we need to talk more about this with fellow parents, teachers, uncles and aunts. But not as dry and boring as perhaps the post above. Hence was born our first digital series – Awkward 101 – Things Kids Ask.
It’s a 3 part series with a light-hearted take on questions that our kids ask, questions of intimacy and identity, question that they drop on us like #awkwardbomb.
We recently went live with the Episode 1 – Why Do Adults Kiss?
Update: Episode 2 – Where do babies come from is now live.
Update: Episode 3 – How do animals have babies is now live.
If you enjoy watching this series, do share with your friends and family. Have your kids asked you a similar awkward question? Please do share. Let’s end the silence and bury the shame. Let’s defuse these #awkwardbomb!