Thursday, August 30, 2012

Avoidance Parenting

Run for the hills! It's a tough question.
I know we as parents our kids expect us to know things. And generally, society expects us  to raise them without messing them up too badly (everyone needs a little therapy, right?).

And I try, but I must admit, I am in the total avoidance parenting mode. Avoid at all costs the things I have no interest  in explaining to a 5 and an 8 year old. The most recent example, we were listening to the radio and along came an ad for a play at a local theater. I hear the announcer say, THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, so, of course, I immediately turn the station and hope nobody heard it. I really have no interest in explaining to my children what a whorehouse is. Because of course, that's the question they'll ask if they hear
it.

My husband also suffers from this. Last year, there was a widely publicized case of a transvestite being attacked in a restaurant. We were listening to a news station that mentioned it, and my son, probably 6 at the time, asks, "what's a transvestite."  My husband doesn't miss a beat. He says, "I don't know." So, my son, of course asks me. And if Daddy doesn't want to deal with it, I sure don't. So, I say, "I don't know." My husband then goes. "They have a lot of new fangled words that pop up. I'm sure we'll look it up at some point." 

Parenting by avoidance. And he didn't ask again. While I know we could've sat down and figured out age appropriate ways to answer these questions, I didn't want to. I have enough on my plate without dealing with things little kids really don't need to know about. All I can say, is I'm glad I was not a parent during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Oral Sex, the blue dress. It would've been hard to get by with avoidance parenting then.

And even still, you can't always do it. We were listening to WTOP in the car, and they did a story about a man who stapled another man's mouth shut, and my daughter goes, "Mommy, I don't want my mouth stapled shut." Well, neither do I.  So, that one we had to discuss. I probably ought to invest in a Barney CD or something, huh?


Sadly, I know it will have to end sometime. We can't let kids face middle school and teen years and all the choices they'll have to make uninformed about things. But, for right now, I must say, I enjoy turning the station and getting  lucky so I don't have to explain what
a whore house is?

So, any topics you're avoiding with the young'uns?

-Hyattsville Mom

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