What Facts Do You Share With Your Kids?

As a parent, I find it extremely hard to decide what to share with my sons. When should they learn more about 'adult' topics? They're likely exposed to so much already, but I do want to spare them from the horrors as much as I can



Often when I'm reading the paper my 6 year old will be peering over my shoulder. You can guarantee that his eye will fix on something horrible being reported that day and will ask me to explain what it is.

I sit in the camp of trying to spare my children too much of the horrors out there. So I tend to brush over reports of murder, paedophilia and such like. But I know lots of parents treat their children more like adults, and feel they should learn about these things, even at a young age.

I honestly don't know which way is best.

A wolf-whistling incident in town

The other day, and I am not saying this to boast (although in a small way perhaps I am) I was walking in town with my 2 boys. Suddenly a white van turned into the road. As it passed us by the driver wolf whistled. Now I'm pretty sure it was at me, as we were the only people on the street. Although the other option is that he was wolf whistling at the boys, and that doesn't bear thinking about.

However I'm 44 this year, and if I'm being honest, I would say I look my age and could definitely do with a bit of "work". So I'm really not sure why I got a whistle. I put it down to the driver being blind, or just blind drunk!

Anyway, to return to the point...

My youngest piped up "Why did that man wolf whistle at you?" I had absolutely no idea how to answer that question. So I said "Because he thought my hair looked nice".

That response was met with absolute derision from my youngest who said "But it looks like it always looks". Which was true and so I tried to change the subject.

But my youngest doesn't like being brushed off. "Why do men wolf whistle?" he said. Again, I was stumped. At that point, my eldest (who was sniggering into his sleeve) piped up "Because they want to have sex". That absolutely didn't help. There then followed a whole lot of laughing and jokes, all at my expense.

Sharing 'adult' information

It made me realise that I'm not very good at working out what adult information to share with them, and what to keep for a later day.

My husband is much clearer on this subject. If they see him reading the paper, then they know he will tell them every gory detail of any news story. And to be honest, it doesn't seem to affect them that much.

I've already told my husband that he will be telling them about the birds and the bees when the time comes, but now I'm worried he will do that before their next birthday.

When I tuck my boys up in bed at night, in my mind they are still my babies. But I know that it won't be long before I won't be allowed into their bedrooms. And, God forbid, that they will be doing their own bit of wolf whistling.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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