Being a parent is no easy feat. It's a job that never stops and will continue on even when your little one moves out of the house. Although many parents think the hardest part about parenting is teaching their baby how to walk, run, eat well, and speak — it only gets harder the older their little one gets.
For starters, once they start school and get the chance to meet more kids their own age, the more things they're introduced to. A boatload of questions is surely bound to be asked shortly after. Now, for some parents, they may want to keep some of the more inappropriate or mature topics away from conversation until they're older. But for others, kids are never too young to learn new things that will surely affect them the older they get.
From the birds and the bees to the death of a loved one, these are 10 topics that parents need to prepare to have before their child turns 10.
Death is bound to be a conversation mom or dad has with their child before they even realize. If you have a pet or an older relative who passes away, there's only so many times you can say "they're at the farm" or "they moved away."
Kids pick up on their parent's energy and pick up on when things feel off. So why lie about death when it's something that's bound to happen in multiple ways? There are plenty of books for kids about death these days that can explain it in a beautiful way, but it's a topic that really should be heard from their mom or dad.
9 Bullying & Peer Pressure
Bullying and peer pressure truly needs to be discussed earlier rather than later. Kids can begin bullying the other on the playground as early as daycare. It's important for their parents to tell them what's acceptable behavior and how to treat others. Everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect.
On the other side of it all, parents need to tell their kids that if they ever see anyone else being bullied or taken advantage of, they need to do something about it. They can either grab an adult or help the student in need. Unfortunately, bullying is alive and well in 2019 and needs to be discussed.
8 That Time Of The Month
For whatever reason, young girls seem to be getting their period earlier and earlier. Some young girls are still getting their time of the month by the time they become a teenager, but others are surprised to get it much younger.
And the truth is, parents (and girls) never know when their little one is going to get their period, so they may as well be prepared and give them the lowdown before Aunt Flo comes to town and spooks the pants off your baby girl!
7 Stranger Danger
The world used to be a place where kids could walk and bike to school or take the bus without ever feeling threatened. Parents also never thought about anything ill happening to their little ones. Life is a little harsher in 2019. It's hard to even watch the news without hearing a harrowing story about little kids being taken advantage of.
To make sure your little ones are always protected and safe at all times, have the conversation with them about "stranger danger." Give them a safe word to remember; meaning if an adult tries to take them home, they can ask them what the safe word is to see if they really are who they say they are.
6 Technology Rules
With iPads and cell phones always in a person's hand or back pocket, technology rules should be put in place in every household. The hard thing about this is every home is different. One of their friends may have a TV in their room or have no curfew in regards to screentime. But kids should still be kids without the screens. Let them know that you're able to see what they're playing or searching for, and that there are blockers on certain topics until they're a little older.
5 Chores & Responsibilities As A 'Big Kid'
Being a "big kid" means acting like one. They may not be adults yet, but they sure are old enough to start helping out around the house. Kids love to help mom and dad out when they can — they love to feel needed and useful. If you need the living room vacuumed, ask your little helper.
Make a list every week of everything you need done and see which chores they're actually able to assist with. Whether they get paid for their chores is your decision but the more important lesson here is that they're learning how to be self-sufficient.
4 The Birds & The Bees
Talking about sex or "the birds and the bees" is no easy conversation. There are so many precautions to take and so many adult topics surrounding the act. Instead of getting too heavy into STDs, safety, and why people do it — parents can simply bring it up as a means of teaching about where babies come from. Kids are bound to ask about that sooner or later, especially if they have more than one kid. So you may as well take the conversation by the reigns and let them know what it's all about. Like many of these topics, there are a ton of kids books talking about this subject that may be easier for them to understand without being too disturbed...
3 Family Structures
Over 30 years ago, family life was very different. You saw a husband and wife with their two kids, picket fence, with dad working. But this isn't Leave it to Beaver. In 2019, both parents mainly work. Mom is no longer just a homemaker — she also can bring home the bacon. But that's not all.
Like the show Modern Family shows us — there is more than one way to raise a family. Whether a parent is single, a couple got divorced, or the parents are the same gender — it doesn't matter. Families are created with love and respect, and kids need to learn at a young age about all the different kinds of families there are. Once they go to school, they're going to see all the different family structures anyway.
2 Sickness (And How To Cope)
Sickness and disease usually comes with little warning — and it can happen to anyone. Cancer seems to be everywhere and we all know someone who has been touched by the disease in one way or another.
Make sure your little one understands there are sicknesses out there that can affect a person. Sickness does not discriminate and can harm anyone, this is why teaching them about healthy lifestyles is so important. If the sickness is harming their own family, mom or dad needs to give them the tools for coping. Let them learn how to cope in a healthy way.
1 Lying (Consequences)
Most kids go through a lying phase. Whether they learn it from a show or see another kid do it in class, lying is bound to happen. In the same tone, parents also need to learn when their child is lying. Pick up on their facial expressions and social cues and find out why they're lying in the first place.
And since lying can follow a person their entire life, parents should let them know the differences in lies and why they're not nice or even needed. Lying can also come with consequences (like timeout), which no kid would want.