Friday, June 06, 2008

Parental Philosophy: Questions and Answers.

There was recently a big brouhaha in Seattle about a lesbian couple being asked to stop kissing at a Mariner's game.  That's fine and all.  Public displays of affection, by anyone, depending on the degree, would make any of us want to throw up.  That isn't what struck me about the article.  What struck me was peoples quoted reaction to the scenario.

"I'd have to explain what's going on to my kids."

That's the reason some people gave when asked why they might have a problem with two women kissing in public.

To them I say, "That's the job.  You're parents."

One constant inquiry of my oldest is on the subject of death.  We drive by a number of cemeteries out here in the 'Burbs.  Philip will often comment, "That's Heaven.  Right, Daddy?"  Or, "That's where we go when we die.  Right, Daddy?"  I try to tell him that our soul goes up in the sky (I can't avoid my Catholic upbringing entirely) to heaven, and that the cemetery is where  we put your body after you die.  Not a great answer.  Not the only answer, but the best I can do.

I also don't avoid the answer, "I don't know."  This isn't much of an answer, but I want to encourage him to find the answers himself.  These answers can often be found in books.  Books contain the whole knowledge that we have accumulated as humans.  If you have a question and no answer there is a good chance a book will have the answer you seek.

I haven't figured it all out, but it seems that avoiding subjects, within reason of course, is the wrong choice to make as a parent.


Doc said...

As a parent, I found that telling them the truth, as best as you know it, is the best policy. This has sparked so many conversations that the girls and I both come away with something we've learned.

As far as religion goes, you do what you know. And never feel guilty about recommending a book. After all, all of the truths of the world weren't printed in one book.

Good to see you posting more.


Doc said...

Wonderful idea about the picture project.


dirty said...

One of my sister in law's best friends is in a lesbian relationship...with 2 children. They actually took turns getting pregnant and having children to have a family (they used the same sperm doner). My kids go to their birthday parties and think nothing of this situation...the only question they ask is don't they miss having a dad to play baseball with.

On death...unfortunately my kids have been to so many funerals that this is another thing they don't really think about but I agree that you have to tell them something...if we shelter them they will only have a harder time in the future.

Now they did ask why boy dogs hump things (they didn't say hump they used the word play while rising their eyebrows up at me) oldest son also threw in that he thinks it is because they want babies...I just laughed and ignored that one because he pretty much said it all.

Cap'n Ergo Jinglebollocks said...

a better question is "why are adults so fucking dimwitted?"

re: the kissing isn't the most obvious answer something like, "I'd guess they're kissing because they love each other."?? I mean, really?

clare said...

It drives me crazy when people use "I'd have to explain it to my kids" as an excuse for being narrowminded. My daughter's a little too young to explain anything to, but one day I'm going to have to explain to her why there's so many ignorant bigots in the world, and you don't see me complaining.

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