Saturday, August 18, 2012

What am I supposed to tell my kids?

I was recently reading a comment thread about gay marriage and someone asked if they saw a gay couple kissing how they would explain that to their children. My normal response to this kind of thing is that [--edit-- there is nothing wrong with it and] it is irrelevant to the conversation. The fact that you might have trouble explaining something to your kids is not a good reason for censorship, it is certainly not a good reason to take away someone else's rights.

But for some reason, this time the comment struck me a little bit differently. As a parent, wouldn't it be best to look at these "unfortunate" events as a teaching experience? Let's say there is some event (in this case 2 dudes kissing) that your child could potentially witness. Would you prefer it happen when you are around or when you are not? Instead of complaining that something happened that you have to explain to your kids, you should be happy that you get to give your perspective.

So it seems to come down to whether or not you want to accept reality or ignore it. I understand that you want to protect your kids, but how does ignoring problems help them in the long run? This goes for alcohol, drugs, and sex too. Your children will eventually come across these topics on their own, it seems a good parent would want to talk them over with their children ahead of time. Yes, sometimes these topics are hard to broach, shouldn't you then be happy for an easy lead in? If it comes up organically somewhere wouldn't it be better than having a sit down and starting with "we need to have a talk about X"? Those conversations are never comfortable.

But the other option is to just never have the conversation at all. Don't tell your kids about alcohol and just hope they don't wind up going nuts and getting alcohol poisoning, don't tell them about safe sex and just hope they don't get any diseases or unwanted children. These are conversations that need to happen, you can't protect your children from the world by hiding it from them, because if you try it that way, who knows what will happen when they are on their own.


  1. This reminds me of that bit Louis CK does about gay marriage, particularly the bit about talking to your kid.

    When it comes up, I will just say that those two men/women love each other the way me and his mother love each other. There seems to be a lot of fear about exposing people to the reality of the world in the Christian community. Of course, I'm generalizing, but in some parts it is a hard truth. While I wouldn't teach my kid about sex until the proper age, it should be talked about. It is obviously an uncomfortable situation, but not talking to my child about the things he will encounter in life and helping him to make his own wise decisions is just wrong. Not equipping your children for the world ahead is like handing a soldier a gun and sending him into battle without any training or telling him what to expect.

    1. I agree, while it would be unfair to say it is true for all churches, it certainly seems to be true for many of them. The church I grew up in is a perfect example.

    2. I'm not gay but, you do know that Homosexual people aren't evil and shouldn't be shunned? It's kind of hard to understand what the authors view is.

    3. You are right Dalek, rereading my post I never actually expressed my opinion on homosexuality. I was focused on this other angle and I guess I just assumed I mentioned it. I guess the closest I came was putting the word unfortunate in quotes. For the record, I think there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. I think that people should be able to do whatever they want if it doesn't affect anyone else, a relationship between 2 people of the same sex clearly fits this description.

      I've slightly edited my post to include the fact that I think there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

      Thanks Dalek

  2. No probs. I am atheist and was cruising to do a bit of Bible-bashing but such a polite post persuaded me not to.


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