By Brandy Black
Growing up my mother encouraged open conversations in our house. We talked about anything from periods, to sex, to drugs to suicide. She felt that as long as she knew what I was thinking about and what concerned me that she could help me make better decisions along the way. I think she did! Although awkward at times, I wasn’t afraid to ask my mom questions and although sometimes delayed I have always ultimately shared what is happening in my life with my parents. Coming out took the longest but that’s another story.
My wife and I have a similar goal in our house, we want our children to be able to tell and ask us anything. Well Susan maybe a little less so than me but she will just route the tough questions my way I’m sure. With that in mind, I try to stay ahead of the tough questions, I began talking about our two mom family openly when our kids were in preschool. I tried to keep conversations at their level of curiosity but when they asked I never sheltered them from all the facts. When Sophia (our now 9 year old) asked questions about “how she could have a family without a dad”, I told her about the donor and about how a baby is created with a sperm and an egg and at 7 years old she was able to succinctly explain where she came from.
Now a couple years later we are having open conversations about the beginnings of puberty (very basic stuff like training bras) and we talk about how one day (not anytime soon hopefully) she will be dating. When we have these very casual talks I leave all options open. “You might date a boy or a girl, you might not even know at this point.” and I also try to openly ask her thoughts on the topic. I know some would say it’s too early to be having these conversations but to me if you start them young and you are open about things, it takes all the mystery out of them and allows her to just feel what she wants to feel with no judgement. The other day when we were shooting a vlog, the conversation of her dating boys or girls came up.