Precious conversations with my children

Humping‘, ‘tossers‘ and ‘wankers‘.

The opportunity to talk about these things with my 12 year old son Jack was offered to me after I reluctantly accepted his invitation to go for a ride into the city today.  Reluctantly, because I’d already done over 100 k with the 6am-ers this morning.

But as we rolled along the Kew Boulevard chatting about stuff this afternoon, the subject of humping developed into one of tossers and wankers.  I hope my initial attempts to define and explain were satisfactory.  At least I think I got it right when I was met with, “Daaaaad…. too much information.”  (whilst hands were blocking ears).

“Ok, Ok, I’ll shut-up but put your hands back on the handlebars for God’s sake!”

I’m now sitting on the couch flicking through this book (right) and wondering how I’m going to raise the subject tomorrow again so I can introduce the idea that he should have a read of a couple of chapters.

Funny!

But it raised a couple of other recent memories of significant conversations I’ve had with my children.  Ones that I never really want to forget, hence my prompt recording of them here.

Lucy and Kate are also going through or approaching some very interesting times.  The politics around being an 11 year old girl are complex; the management of them nigh on impossible for parents… arguably.  The advent of social media is one of those things I think about all the time as it relates to my children.  They WILL use it so how do we manage it?!?  Facebook is out until 13 years old, at least that’s our rule, but Moshi Monsters, MSN Messenger and Kik are here already for my kids, and my view is that we should teach them to manage them responsibly.

Last night Lucy had her first real experience of disappointment resulting from mean social media behaviour.  She was devastated to the point of shock when a friend cruelly sullied her excitement about making it to the basketball grand-final.

Horrible stuff… and as a parent, something you just want to immediately jump to the defence of.

After the initial management of this situation, I went in to say goodnight to Lucy and have a little chat.  I told her to always feel comfortable to tell me or mum whenever anything like this happened.  That if she had any kick-back from this or any other incident, she should still stand up for herself and feel happy to talk about it with us.

She so loveingly told me that she would always tell me and thanked me for dealing with the night’s issue.

So easy when they’re 11.  I’m not so ignorant as to believe this attitude will always be presented.

Another conversation for preservation was one with Jack on Thursday night.  He is a very competent boy but for whatever reason, he’s missed out on a lot of things this year (first world problem I know!).

He missed school captain by a smidgen, just fell short of the vote for house captain, failed to make the band captain but managed to pick up a senator position (along with every other grade 6er!).  Thank God he was made section leader of the saxaphones or he might have been in tears.

To top it all off, this year is the first in primary school where he hasn’t made the athletics team.  So this week, he gets to stay back at school with all the ‘slow’ kids whilst the team goes off to compete at the inter-school level.

For some reason – he’s very competitive!

But as I said, “Not making these things is a real lesson for you mate.  You’re not always going to succeed but you’ve always got to keep on trying.  Don’t be too disappointed because you’re going to get plenty of opportunities through secondary school with your sport, your music and your leadership, to be successful in future.  There’s plenty of time.  You’re good at heaps of stuff mate.  Just keep trying.  You can’t always be the best.”

And the really precious bit?… He listened intently and thanked me in a way Jack does that is completely genuine.  Lucky it was dark in the car at the time and he couldn’t see the tears in my eyes.

I really can’t wait to see what he does.  It’ll be good.

There’s one more thing to write quickly about for preservation purposes – or perhaps I’ll just throw a couple of photos in. Mum and dad returned from Burmah last night and dropped in for a visit.  It was so good to see the passion in their eyes after visiting the country they feel so deeply about and from where they will continue to import refugees.

Check the photos scrolling at the bottom whilst I go to bed and read a little more about humping, tossers and wankers.  Nigh, nigh.

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