.How to Talk To Your Child About (almost) Anything.

Raising kids today is more challenging than ever, but communication is key. Some subjects might make you uncomfortable, but addressing them honestly now will really help you out down the road. These sample dialogues between my son and me are a road map to addressing life’s thornier issues. Honestly.

The Facts of Life

CHILD: Where do babies come from?

MOM: What babies? I don’t see any babies around here, do you?

CHILD: I mean, when people have babies, where do they come from?

MOM: Space.

CHILD: Does that mean I’m from space?

MOM: Yes. You’re from Mars.

CHILD: I’m a Martian?

MOM: Yes, and if you don’t make your bed every day, Mommy will send you back to Mars to live with your real parents.

CHILD: You’re not my real mom?

MOM: No. You’re a Martian who was sent to live with an Earth family for your own protection. Your real mom is 16 feet tall and shoots lasers out of her eyes when she gets mad. Think about that next time I send you to your room. At least I didn’t burn all your toys with my laser-eyes.


CHILD: What are drugs, and should I do them?

MOM: Do you have any?


MOM: Then let Mommy watch Workin’ Moms.

CHILD: At school they said we should just say no.

MOM: Um, do I interrupt you when you’re watching Sesame Street?

CHILD: I’m 10. I don’t watch that anymore.

MOM: Wait, which kid are you?

CHILD: Joel.

MOM: Joel what?

CHILD: Joel Henry.

MOM: Freaky. We have the same last name.

CHILD: You’re my mom.

MOM: (Sigh.) I thought you were from Mars.

CHILD: I stopped believing that a long time ago.

MOM: Well, you’re going to get a big fucking surprise on your 16th birthday when your real mom lands in a spaceship in our backyard and snatches you out of the house with her spiny tentacles.

CHILD: I am not from Mars.

MOM: Prove it.


CHILD: Is it always wrong to go to war?

MOM: Excuse me, but what does the cardboard sign hanging around my neck say?

CHILD: It says, “Don’t talk to Mom. She is reeding.”

MOM: OK then.

CHILD: You spelled “reading” wrong.

MOM: You got the gist. Lot of good those spelling skills are going to do you where you’re going. They don’t even have colleges there. And they don’t speak English.

CHILD: Where am I going?

MOM: Do I have to say it?

CHILD: I wish I was never born.

MOM: You weren’t. You hatched from a big green egg.


CHILD: Is there a God?

MOM: I think your people worship a glowing orb or something.

CHILD: What do you mean, my people?

MOM: Martians.

CHILD: OK, that’s enough. I never believed that crap and I’m never going to.

MOM: Hey, OK, don’t get mad.

CHILD: I am mad. I am not a Martian! I am a human! Oh my God! What was that? Lasers just came out of my eyes.

MOM: I told you so.

CHILD: Shit.

MOM: And when your friends come over you can tell them who burned your Playstation with laser eyes.

CHILD: Holy crap. (laughs) I love you, mom. You are the best.

MOM: You are not bad either. Just hug me and give me a kiss. (and he does, every time)

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