“Dear Ignacio, I am a nurse and still have to go to work, but the #childcare facility where my 4-year-old would go has shut down. As a single mother, my only childcare option right now is leaving my son with his father, who used to have him on the weekends. I generally trust his father, but he has a new girlfriend who is living with him and the two of them are always touchy feely and sexual around each other. I am worried now that my son is there a lot more, he is gonna see or hear them get frisky. What can I do?”
First of all, I want to thank you for your service to our people during these times. I am glad to hear that you #trust your son’s father. With trust in place, you can begin having general conversations with your son’s father about #nudity, #privacy, and the kind of #language you think is appropriate for your son to be around. You may not agree on everything, but you can better understand how each of you approaches these topics, and then prepare your son for interacting with what you consider unsavory.
Our children grow up to be around a lot of information that we don’t approve of. As parents, sometimes the best we can do is to equip them with better information and to work on our #relationship, so that they feel #safe coming to us. In your case, building trust could mean avoiding the tendency to ask your son probing questions about his father’s behavior. Whether you intend it or not, your son could pick up the notion that sexual expression between consenting adults is wrong.
If you haven’t yet, I also encourage you to take advantage of this moment to have an open conversation about the split between you and his father. Young children can be confused about #separation and the emotional aspects of #parenthood in different homes. Now that he is spending more time with his father, he may need to know more about these changes, your role in his life, his father’s role, and the potential role of his father’s new girlfriend.