From a young age, my son has been a very curious and logical child. He’s always asked questions beyond his years and listened with patience and willingness to understand. My husband and I call conversations with our son “the rabbit hole” because you are honestly taken on a journey when he wants to talk.
Now at age 11, our conversation topics are shifting to friends, girls and of course growing up. I don’t always feel ready for these conversations but I smile and listen when it’s clear he just needs an ear, and offer what advice I can when needed. I love more than anything that my son feels comfortable enough to talk to me and while I am not sure how long he will continue to, I hope he always feels like he can if needed.
A lot of our conversations are triggered by events or things we see on television. I try and watch TV shows with my children so I know not only what they are watching, but I can be there to answer questions the moment they arise. Full House was a show my kids and I re-watched on Netflix last year that brought up so many great conversations pertaining to the topic of that episode. Then when Fuller House was released this year, I was thrilled that my kids wanted to sit down and watch it with me.
The biggest conversation trigger to date is when my son and I streamed Gilmore Girls together on Netflix. It began with me watching it – I never did when it originally aired but with the reboot happening, I wanted to see it from beginning to end. Occasionally my son would wander in to the room and sit with me. At first I was a bit concerned about the content being too mature, however as he began asking questions I realized that I really could take this opportunity to have some conversations with him. He hasn’t seen every episode – just the odd one here and there, but when we watched together, he would snuggle up and we would often press pause to discuss some of the heavier topics that creep up.
These conversations took a big turn down that rabbit hole and over time we ended up discussing the birds and the bees, puberty, drinking, relationships and even consent! Topics that are often very tough to bring up naturally and we were able to have serious conversations where he felt comfortable to ask questions. I really felt like the show helped us further develop our own unique mother-child relationship, like Lorelei and Rory in the show. We had a few “ew” moments but they were always followed with more curiosity.
After watching the final episode together, I felt sad that this might mean no more snuggles and talks on the couch – but my son has since asked if we can find another show to watch together – this time something that is just ours: he doesn’t want to miss any episodes. Netflix is always better together and I can’t wait to see what show, and conversations, happen next.
I am a part of the Netflix #StreamTeam and receive some perks in exchange for sharing. As always, all opinions are mine.