Every single Dad has the feeling of dread when their baby starts to grow up. They go from holding this tiny baby in both hands to watching their children have their own personalities and lives, joining sports teams and hosting tea parties with dolls. One of the things that most Dads dread is the conversations they have to have with their children as they grow up. Dads are important in their children’s lives, as they can provide a great influence, a chance to enjoy new hobbies and a different kind of love from the type a mother has to offer.
It doesn’t mean that these conversations are easy. It’s very easy for a Dad to take their child to a football game for the first time, or talk about how to use a good baitcasting reel when they introduce their children to fishing for the first time. Dads getting their children involved in the hobbies they love is inevitable given that children look up to their parents and want to be just like them!
As a parent, you know the huge responsibility that comes with raising children to be good people, but the biggest thing to remember is that you are going to shape your child. Your influence will be carried by them into adulthood, and you want to ensure that you talk to them while they’re young. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the conversations that you have to have with your children as they get older.
- The Gender Debate. There is a lot of information out there about girls, boys, and everything in between. When your children are going through puberty and in that stage of discovery and not knowing who they are, they’re going to be confused and you are their pillar that they will look to lean on for guidance. Taking the time to talk to your children about genders and how everyone is different but yet we can all relate, is important. You can make up your own analogies and you can link the conversation back to stereotypes, too. You can bring your daughter to catch her first fish as much as you can bring your son to ballet and learn the correct ballet terms.
- Let’s Talk About Sex. Oh, my, the conversation that makes every parent cringe. And yet, this conversation has to be discussed. Parents often find the talk about sex a strange one to get into because these are your children! However, sex should be an open topic of conversation in any household so that kids are able to ask questions and not feel like this is a taboo topic. It doesn’t have to be just one conversation, either. It doesn’t have to be embarrassing or awkward!
- One conversation that children need to have with their parents is the question of hobbies. Some children will want to speak to their parents about starting their own hobbies, but children often go into the same hobbies that their parents are in so that they can relate and spend time together. Fishing, for example, has long been thought of as something that fathers do with their sons. Of course, daughters can be involved but the kind of skills that can be discovered in fishing, too, and they will! It’s important, though, that you encourage your children to get out there in the world and find their own fun!
- Treating People. It’s so important that you teach your children how to treat other people. There are many conversations about modesty that were had for years, but it’s important that you discuss not touching other children and the importance of boundaries. Teaching your sons not to touch other boys and girls without permission is something you have to also teach your daughters.
- It’s an important conversation to have with your children, but respect isn’t just a conversation about respecting others. It’s important that your children know how to respect themselves, too. Teach both your sons and your daughters to be chivalrous, to use their manners and to do for others what they would like done for themselves. Respect is so important, and your children have to learn how to admire and respect those around them.
- Healthy Relationships. Friendships are fluid when children are young, but it’s vital that you teach them how to ensure that their friendships are healthy ones. Bullying and fighting happen with children and teenagers, but teaching your children how to act and how to be is vital. As a dad, teaching your children how to stand up for themselves is as important as teaching them how to stick up for others.
- Relationships are never permanent for children, especially when their hormones kick in and they start high school. Your teenagers might come to you to talk about the crushes they have and the worries they have about others liking them – or not liking them, as the case may be. You are the person who discusses the impact of their relationships, before and after their heartbreak they may experience. You’re also there to pick up the pieces after they do experience some heartbreak, and they need to know that you’re there for them, too!
- Basic Skills. When your children start to get older, there is a time you gently stop doing things for them. It’s very gradual, but teaching your children the basics of life is important for them to grow into healthy and independent adults. You’ll need to start teaching your children to cook, to clean properly after themselves and how to keep themselves healthy and clean. You don’t do it all at once and shove them into the deep end, but this is a gradual process, and you should consider doing this all a little at a time.
- Online Safety. The older your children get and the more that you expose them to social media, the more they need to know how to handle themselves online. It’s a big conversation for a parent to have with their child, and it’s one that isn’t negotiable. If your children want to be online, they need to know the dangers and the worries that come with it all.
- A conversation on honesty is something every parent has to have with their kids at some point in childhood. The importance of telling the truth along with the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” story will help your children to learn how to tell the truth and recognize when others aren’t. If you teach your children how to be honest and tell the truth, they will grow into adults who know how to tell the truth and can trust that you will tell them the truth too.
- Fathers are here to teach their children how to be accountable as much as they are to teach them how to fish and how to cook. Without any accountability, children have the chance to be reckless while believing that their actions don’t have consequences. You have to consider what you want your children to model themselves for when they are older and by having the conversation about accountability while they are young, you are choosing to ensure that they know how to grow up and take responsibility.
- Oh, this is not an easy conversation to have with the children, but it’s a must. When your kids get their first cell phones, they need to learn about both pornography and the risks of child pornography. Children are often pressured into sending pictures of themselves to others their age, which is child pornography! This is so important for children to understand, and it can be destructive. Tie this conversation in with the social media conversation and you’re golden.
- Peer Pressure. Children will be pressured by people in their peer groups about everything from smoking to drugs and more. The conversation around peer pressure does have to be a recurrent one, too, because you want to know that your children are aware of it all through their childhood.
- The conversation about abuse is an awful one to have but it’s one that your teenagers need. Abuse comes in so many different ways and it’s vital that your children are aware of the signs of emotional abuse and what constitutes abuse from adults.
- There is so much pressure on children of all ages to get straight A’s and get into the right colleges. You don’t need to be part of that pressure cooker, so you need to do what you can to ensure that your children are getting guidance but not too much pressure.
As a dad, you may not always think it’s easy to talk to your kids about tough topics, but it is a must. You are a parent, and your work doesn’t stop just because you get your kids to 18. It’s your job to make sure that they get through their teenage years and support them emotionally through adulthood, and it starts with your children knowing that you are accessible.