I Stand Corrected…

20121207_121332I have always been a woman that can admit when she is wrong, and I, my friends stand corrected.  I said that I could never see myself allowing a book to teach my children the facts of life. But when I made that statement I had no clue how much I didn’t know.  Well, I know this information, but if I were to sit down to talk to my kids off the top of my head about the birds and bee’s I’m certain now that I would leave out a world of vital information.  For instance, I only have one son, so I’m sure I can answer all of my girl’s questions about their bodies without hesitation.  However, I don’t think I’m prepared to explain to my son why his testicles hang at various levels or how changes in hormone levels can cause his penis to break out in small bumps.  Well color me flabbergasted and call me a convert.  I do believe that I will purchase one or more of these books as my kids come of age.  I even purchased a copy of The American Girl “The Care and Keeping of You – The Girl Body Book” for my baby sister whom I’m certain will not only gain an appreciation for reading through it, but also find it useful as a survival guide for middle school.

What I really want to share with my single mothers out there, and even those of you married, is an excellent book I found for boys.  Many women attempt to send our boys to their father’s for these “lessons”, but more than half of us are married to manly men who don’t really converse very much.  This increases the chance of an information gap that could literally be the cross roads that determine the outcome of a young man’s life.  Here I thought all this time that it would be easy explaining to my son about how his reproductive parts work.  Yet I found myself slightly embarrassed as people walked past me in the store and noticed that I was reading a book with young nude boys drawn on the page.  I’m sure but it may have been mere coincidence that most of the pages I found interesting also contained an illustrated penis.  And it never failed, once I started to read that page, someone would walk by and glance over my shoulder. I wasn’t afraid that someone would see what I was reading, I was afraid that someone was going to think I was a child molester.  So I don’t suggest reading these books in the store, but I do suggest them as a fantastic purchase for pre-teen, and teens to read in your home. I would completely push to have these books available in Middle Schools and Jr. High Schools.  I was absolutely amazed at how much information I wasn’t prepared to discuss with my kids.  Not issues that I couldn’t or wouldn’t discuss, but issues that I had forgotten needed to be discussed.  Lynda Madara’s book, “What’s Happening to My Body, for boys” is a wealth of information for maturing young boys and I am going to go on a campaign to strongly recommend this book to my single mothers raising boys.   And as a reminder to all parents, we think we know everything because we made it through the early years without killing any of them and we ourselves were masters as teenagers, right?  Truth is guys….we don’t know squat.  And I’m here as a convert to tell you all, these books are a necessity.  Here’s a link to a list that will help you: http://pediatrics.about.com/od/puberty/tp/puberty_books.htm

 

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5 Responses to I Stand Corrected…

  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    I taught both my girls by taking them to the library and having them check out all the books they could carry. They were absorbed for quite a while until they got used to it and then it dropped off. The good thing is that they got the latest news and information and it was much more than knowing the correct words for body parts. Think of it like this… You give your son a car to drive, you want him to have the owner’s manual, too. Kids need that information because not knowing what bumps are or why this or that happens can make them fearful.

    Another reason I put the information in their hand is that I wanted to inoculate them against teen pregnancy. I did not want them to get pregnant unless it was planned and they were ready for it. One just married last week and she is 32. The other is 28 and has been in a caring relationship for about 10 years and neither are pregnant or have children. The one that married last week does not want children, that is what ‘choice’ means to me – not abortion.

    If you go to http://parentrap.org/health-safety/ you will see several excellent resources for teens. The http://sexetc.org/ website is done by teens and college kids at Rutgers University.

    Not giving kids information does not prevent teen pregnancy or promiscuity; not giving a teen the correct information only keeps them ignorant.

    • raisinemreal says:

      Thanks for the helpful insight. You know since posting this I’ve found that it’s not so much educating our own kids as it is trying to help their friends without overstepping our boundaries. It amazing me how many people don’t take these active steps to educate their children. Which one of the reasons I’ve chosen this format for my blog. If you’ve ever wondered about my approach and my language, it’s because I’m trying to reach a certain audience in hopes of getting them to open their minds a bit more about social issues. Again, I thank you for the information I’m going to check into it and see how I can relay it to my readers.

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        The focus for my blog is to give parents the information I wish I had for my own children. At the bottom of each post I have information for Parents Anonymous in New Jersey and the parent organization in California. In Jersey we have 2 online support groups for parents to meet online and discuss whatever they want to. I actually facilitate these groups for the parents as they find solutions for whatever they need.

        I have another blog that supports the online groups with tips on using the online groups to get the most from it and other resources. There is an IPAP in 3 parts that tells about Parents Anonymous.

        http://PANJOnlineGroup.org/

        Parents can attend the online groups from anywhere in the world as long as they speak English. In the 10 or so years I have facilitated the groups we have had people from Saipan and Ireland as well as most of the 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.

        We are looking for a new chat room to replace this one on http://PA-of-NJ.org/ with a more functional chat. Here are the instructions:

        “To join the group go to the Parents Anonymous website, scroll down the menu and select Parent Support Group Online and click GROUP CHAT twice. Create a screen name and password – you do not need to leave an e-mail address. That will put you into the chat room.”

        I also have a Facebook page where I post all kinds of parenting information for parents

        You are trying to reach a certain “audience” and that is good. I was in a traditional brick-and-mortar Parents Anonymous Group for many years and I know I was a better parent for it. One thing I found in that group was that anyone could get their needs met in any group. In that group we had parents from every walk of life that you could imagine: Our youngest member was 14 and the oldest member was 86. I saw urban parents sit down with a grandmother dripping in furs and jewelry and give each other sound advice and get results from practical information. There were a mom with triplets, a child psychologist, teachers, nurses, moms on public assistance, parents involved with child protective services, fathers, a minister, teenagers, all races, some with broken English and so on. Sometimes the differences were the best match to get varied perspectives. Almost every parent was changed in a positive manner. The best thing about diverse parents in a Parents Anonymous Group is that nobody judges another person. I’ve found that if folks begin judging others then they will not benefit as much.

        I have to get to work but if you have any questions I would be happy to help in any way I can.

        Jackie

      • raisinemreal says:

        Your support and advice for my blog is more help than I could ever hope for. I’m really going to look into the online support groups because Lord knows being a single mom of five I can use all the support I can get. I’d also like to blog about your support groups once I get to know about them. I’m just a couple of classes away from finishing up my B.A. in Psychology so please understand when I say, I just need a little time. It’s not a put off, but I’m currently losing sleep. Trust me when I say, I’ll be there…just let me clear my plate a little.

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        Five kids and going to school… wow, that is amazing!

        I forgot to mention that since I am in Jersey, all group times are based on Eastern Standard Time or EST. Anyone looking to join the groups would need to figure out the time based on their time zone. Alaska (if I remember correctly) is 4 hours behind Jersey, California is 3 hours behind. The Wednesday 9:00 p.m. group would meet at 6:00 p.m. in California. The Thursday 12-noon group would meet at 9:00 a.m. in California.

        With so many kids, one of the first thing groups want to know are, “What are you doing to get your needs met?” Self-care is very important to any parent, male or female. I hope you take care of your needs, too. God bless you! ❤

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