Tuesday, September 11

Talking to Our Kids

Over dinner the other night RR started telling us about the 9/11 tragedy.  Some of his information was incorrect, but it was mostly not understood by his eight year old brain.  When I asked him where he learned about 9/11, my brain raking for answers and concerned about his impression of this date, he answered "Mr. Baker our music teacher.  We're leaning songs about."  Oh dear.  "Oh and Iush told me, we watched videos about it at his house."  Iush being the boy that lives across the street.  Double oh dear.

I quickly and quietly blamed myself for not talking to him about it sooner.  But like most things in life, that are BIG subjects I've waited for him to ask me.  Once he has asked me I haven't skated around the truth, but have rather chosen the direct and simple answer approach.  We've had a few BIG talks in the last year.  We've talked about his biological father and the past with him.  We've talked about how babies are born.

But why do I skirt around other subjects?  Why didn't I set him straight about 9/11 when he brought it up?  Why when he asks about Santa I don't tell him the flat out truth?  Rather I use the cop out "Santa is a feeling during the season."  This kid has been questioning Santa since he was like 5, if not earlier.  Dam... girl, get over it and just tell the kid the truth.  Why is Santa such a big deal?  Maybe because I'm not ready to admit he's growing up, and ready to talk about world events like 9/11.

And all this thinking about talking has made me wonder about talking to him about his Asperger's.  He's heard Husband and I mention it, the word is not foreign to him.  Does he know more about it than I expect? Family, friends and the various mental health professionals seem to be split on talking to kids on the Autism spectrum about their disorder(s).  Some camps are all for, the more information the better.  Other camps stress not telling your child they are different.  But really who is to say a nuerotypical person is normal?  What is the deciding factor?

I know I certainly don't want him learning about sex for the first time in the boys locker room in middle school.  So I guess telling him about Asperger's in the same thing.  Now to figure out how and when to talk to him.  Yeah, how.  Is there a parenting manual on this subject?

I suppose while I am at it I should tell him about Santa, the next time he asks that is.  Oh the joys of parenthood!!


Sue said...

Dear, please stop thinking about parenting so much & just enjoy the kids. They grow up so fast,before you know it,you'll be my age and just have memories to reflict on.

Rebecca said...

Follow your gut, on all of it. I usually go by, "If they're old enough to ask, they're old enough to know." But on a level they can understand. Simple and direct works well.

On the way to his Dr appt yesterday, Kyan told me they talked about 911 at school, so he's got a pretty good idea of things, and he's younger than RR. Jaben was in kindergarten when it happened, Ky is now in 1st grade, so I figure if Jaben could live it and be okay, Kyan can learn about it and be okay.

As for his Asperger's... I wouldn't make it a "big conversation." He's a smart kid, I'm sure he's got some idea that something's unique about him. Maybe say something casually and see how he responds? Thing is, I wouldn't want to initiate a conversation he doesn't yet need to have. KWIM? But then again, I don't have an aspie, so it's not a subject I've ever needed to address.

And Santa? The answer is simple! Those who don't believe in Santa get underwear! ;-)

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