In the second article of this 4-part mini-series, Florida-based superwoman Nida Siddiq narrates a no holds barred chat about challenging taboos when it comes to her young kids.
A few days ago, my daughter brought home the family life/human sexuality consent form from school. I didn’t hesitate to give my consent for her to take the class.
I grew up with my first-generation Pakistani parents, and to anyone in the same situation as me, you know what thats means! In our house, topics like sex, puberty, and feelings were not discussed. I remember the first time I was given this form as a student, I was so shy about taking it to my mom for her to sign. I don’t know what it was about that age, but it was just so hard for us to discuss how we felt with our Desi parents.
However, I feel that being born and raised in America has helped me and other moms like me understand our children better. Of course, our parents did the best they could, but I just think they couldn’t relate to us the way we can relate to our children.
When my daughter brought me her consent form, she looked me right in the eye and said, “Mama, can you please sign this?” With no shame, or discomfort, she asked for what she needed.
“How come?” I hear you ask. You see, we have already discussed the topic of sex with our kids. They are only 8 and 9 years old, but yes, we have had “The Talk.” I won’t go into much detail about exactly what we discussed, but it was mainly geared towards making sure they know their body is only for them to see, and not anyone else. We told them if they ever feel uncomfortable with anyone ever touching them, that they should come tell us right away.
We personally wanted them to understand that in our religion, sex comes after marriage, and most importantly, that they can always come talk to us about anything. What I’m trying to get at is that if you are a parent or guardian of some sort, don’t feel uncomfortable to have “The Talk” with your kids. Most likely, they already know anyways, so why wait for them to ask their friends or Google. You should always be their first resource of information for any questions they may have, especially that seem more taboo.
We had this conversation with all four of us present. Me, my husband, and both of my kids. Yes, there were some giggles and shy moments at first. But once we started talking, we let it all out. Drugs, sex, and alcohol. We didn’t leave anything out. A few days later, I spoke to them about puberty as well. I wanted them to be aware of the term and what comes along with it. I wanted to be their first source of information. Some may say I am being “besharam,” or shameless, by speaking to my kids about this so openly, but things are changing and we need to change as well.
Our job as parents is to educate our children and lead them in the right direction. My husband and I did what we felt was right for our children. Every parent has their own way, and there certainly is no right or wrong way. At the end of the day, they will choose their own path, and all we can do is pray they choose the right one!