Lee Rose Emery writes for CNN about how it’s in the car that her children enter the deep conversations:
“The most important thing about marriage,” I told my kids when the subject came up, “is that you pick someone who is kind, and who really loves you.”
My son (then 6) replied, “Then I would definitely NOT marry John (his friend who punches.) My older daughter (then 8) said, “Boys can’t marry boys,” to which my son responded, “But Noah has two dads!”
Emery found herself unsure as to how to proceed, assuming this was about “the birds and the bees.” She sought advice from a number of sources on the subject, including Noah’s two dads.
There were a lot of interesting and mostly helpful responses from the group of people. Multiple people in the article remark on how adults often jump to the question of sex, when more often than not it is really about family and difference.
Emery also talked with “parenting expert” Betsy Brown Braun, who articulated not only what’s at stake, but why parents get uncomfortable:
“There is nothing loaded about this for kids…it is loaded for parents, as it challenges our ability to discuss our own feelings…we are all victims of the attitudes and worlds in which we were raised.”
Braun says how parents approach the topic of difference and how they communicate that to their children will either teach them to accept difference or not.