Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Puberty- this again..

I always tell my children to look directly into a person's eye if someone is speaking to them. I believe that if you are not looking at a person when they speak, you are truly not hearing all aspects of what they are trying to say. It is the polite and considerate thing to do. Im not sure how I arrived at this conclusion but it must have something to do with my childhood. Perhaps it a birth order issue. Since I am the youngest girl in a family of boys, I often felt that I did not have the full forum. My brothers went to FCDS and they got a tremendous amount of homework. I grew up in a very quiet household- "Shhhhh your brothers are studying". I can still hear my parents saying that to me and quite often. I can't imagine that I was making that much noise but then again if you have to write a ninety page essay on The Greek Myths in French- you might not want any sort of disturbance.

Yesterday, I was eating my words as Giavanna looked at me with her big, brown eyes and with a smile said "Mommy,do I have puberty"- Oh boy I thought think fast. She is only going to be eight and too early for this one.
I didn't see it coming although having an older brother- ahhhhh I should have seen it coming. I felt my eyes shift from her sweet face and I looked away. As I regrouped for a moment and heard the echo of my own voice telling my children to look into a person's eye when you are having a conversation- I quickly turned toward her.
We were at the beach and I was lying on my back, she was leaning forward so she had me cornered. I had no where to hide, nothing to shield me from the beautiful big dark eyes waiting for a response. I did not anticipate having the big puberty talk on Memorial Day at the beach but then again, is there ever a good time to have a slightly awkward conversation. I brushed upon the topic, giving appropriate detail for an eight year old. Then she asked me if I was "having puberty", to which I replied no I did that already. She then asked me if I liked having puberty to which I replied with a smile, "my Giavanna, it is not something that you like or dislike, it is simply something that everybody experiences. It was a comical and lighthearted discussion and I have to say that she warms my spirit. She is such a loving and affectionate soul. Her expression and antics are extremely comical. Perhaps she gets that from her father as I never considered myself funny.

Be careful of the messages that you give your children as they will come back and haunt you. All kidding aside, I do believe in the importance of giving one your full attention while having a conversation. There are so many distractions in our society. Music is blaring in every store, people are speaking loudly and we live in an extremely loud world. I personally can't stand all the noise. The only time I enjoy loud is when Im in my car and I hear Technotronic but that's a whole other story.

So, Giavanna and I had a very gentle oceanside conversation about puberty. I breezed through it with Christopher a few years ago, he approaches everything as if it were a quadratic equation so it was easy. Giavanna however wanted more detail in typical girl fashion. It was a nice conversation and Im pleased that I encouraqe my children to ask me anything that is on their mind. I want then to learn from me and to feel comfortable discussing all aspects of life. I tell them that there is no question that I will not answer. I encourage conversation with them and with each other. I make them speak to people of all backgrounds and all ages. They are encouraged to speak up about what their desires, questions or fears are. I know they have heard the message based on some of the very intense conversations we have had. They have asked me all about marriage and divorce as well as relationships and drugs, and I have addressed all of it with the insight that I have.

The ability to communicate well will greatly enrich their lives, it will save relationships and solidify friendships. It will show strangers that someone is listening to them and it will make their spouses and children feel loved. Do not underestimate the power of giving someone your full attention. It will make all the difference in their life as it will in yours. The eyes are the window to your soul as they say and I believe it to be true.

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