"Mom, what if there is a fire?"
"Well, how do you know if you've started your period?"
"So and so and so and so were talking about 'hotboxing'."
"She called her a b____ and I just want everyone to get along since I'm friends with both of them."
"I felt lonely at the playground today."
There are so many things that come up with kids on a daily basis that it's ever so crucial to provide an environment where they can comfortably and safely talk about any and all subjects. George and I have always tried to instill in our kids that we want them to talk to us, come to us with questions--no matter how uncomfortable, so that they are getting accurate information and advice on how to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of childhood into adolescence. The teen conversations include some topics that are foreign to anything we had to deal with as teenagers ourselves and we don't have our parents to be able to call and say, "Hey, how did you handle when someone was saying mean things online?" WE are the first generation of parents for that. So sometimes we fly by the seat of our pants.
Though, we are lucky.
We have communicative children. Sometimes things take an extra push or pull to get out of them, but for the most part, we just have to open the dialogue.
Lately, Lily has had some fears about being alone or having a fire. After watching a Veggie Tales episode of Where's God When I'm Scared on Netflix and talking with her about those fears, assuring her, and reminding her we are always here, I can just start humming or singing the song from that episode and she will smile.
Violet is two. Enough said?? Well, what that means is, she's ALL about expressing her emotions. Our buddy, Daniel Tiger helps out with that no matter what the situation is with her right now. She's mad? We've got an episode to watch and a song to sing. She wants to go potty? Let's watch! You know how many times a day we "fake potty"?
Reagan is starting middle school next year. This opens up a whole new set of challenges and although we've been through these years with Andrew already, she is our first girl to navigate. Ack! All of a sudden she's so grown up!
Netflix is host to a variety of family-friendly shows that explore a range of real-life issues with equal measures of humor, angst and heart. No matter what your situation is, chances are there’s a show and episode that can kickstart a dialogue around the topic just by watching it together.
Here's a few suggestions:
Let's Talk About...
For the little kids:
Watch Ep. S1E1: Babee's Room
Buzzbee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and Dad must explain to Buzzbee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.
Watch Ep. S1E1: Puppies & Guppies/ Sorry We’re Closed Today
Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
Following the Rules
Watch Ep. S1E6: Stormy Weather/ Baba’s Adventure/ Rock Music
Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.