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On Parenting: A Question For Bloggers, Readers & Commenters...

I had an opportunity to re-read and digest a comment left by a follower of mine and fellow father (please see the 4th comment of yesterday's post - The Worst Sex Talk EVER! and my response) at length. I'd like to know your thoughts. To me the tone of it was almost reprimanding. Do you believe this is an overstepping of boundaries? Keep in mind I'm not disagreeing with the comment as a statement of general truths and consequences. But as they were directed at me, they don't apply. Here is a line that jumped out at me:

"...letting him [my son] discover these things for himself are in my opinion just as much an indicator of lax parenting as being negligent in any other area required for healthy growth and development." [a very valid point if it applied to me]

and one more:

"...you are otherwise quite a thoughtful and responsible parent; i can't imagine why this hasn't extended to having an honest, ongoing dialogue about sex." [I appreciate the sentiment, but there's no way anyone who doesn't have actual contact with me to know whether or not I am a thoughtful or responsible parent, firstly, and then to take that sentiment to turn it into an admonishment is...well, interesting. Besides, I state frequently that I'm no perfect parent or husband. Hopefully in time my kids will be the proof that I doing as best as I know how]

If you read The Worst Sex Talk EVER! it was about my struggle to initiate and carry on a specific conversation with my son and along with this I mentioned my other flops and what my reasons are behind the flops. I didn't think it was funny when it happened. Nor did I find it funny when I wrote it. Although I must admit I was able to laugh at myself after reading the post. But I wasn't aiming to make anyone laugh. And the fact that commenters found it funny and in some instances hilarious is no reason for me to get my wrist slapped (I think). Finally, I provided resources for those who might be going through the same thing at the end of the post. So even if I had been hell bent on being effing hysterical, I concluded on a very deliberate note.

Now...what I didn't say
was that over the years my son and I have had many impromptu conversations when the subject comes up for various reasons --- sometimes as a result of some ridiculously disrespectful song that pops up on the radio or some movie he'd like to see that clearly is above his age range (name a Judd Apatow flick). We in fact do have an ongoing dialogue. Our discussions about sex actually began when he was 10 9 and asked me what HIV stood for. I love my son too much to let him loose in the streets without being armed with knowledge. I go to sleep at nights worried that I'm not doing enough to protect/educate him in particular as a young black man soon to be a grown one. The truth is that I'm really terrible at getting the conversation going. My previous post was exactly about that which is why it read like a transcript. I guess if I wrote the title of the post as, Blowing Conversations With My Son About Sex When Pressured By The Wife, then maybe it might have been perceived differently. But that isn't what I chose to do. I didn't feel I needed to.

I'd like to point out that the 5th comment was as equally passionate as the 4th, but it offers insight, not judgment. A couple others addressed only the seriousness of what was underlying in the post, but their comments were instructive. And I appreciate that.

Clearly this is an instance where a parent feels passionately about an issue which I raised, which I think is absolutely great. And because this a blog which is open and accepting of all opinions, I'd like to know, do you believe this comment represents an overstepping to question a virtual (literally) stranger's parenting over a blog post that is merely slice of a total picture of one's life - candid, comedic or otherwise --- or is it simply an opinion?

I bring attention to all this (which went completely ignored in the comments of the original post) because this is an interesting phenomenon that I've seen erupt on other parenting/mom/dad blogs and since it has now happened here, I'm curious to know if anyone has an opinion. Personally as parents/dads/moms in this growing Internet community I think we should be there for each other to offer advice first, foremost and always if we think another might be a bit or completely off track. But that's just my opinion.

As always, thanks for staying tuned.


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