Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Our Teenagers Know!

I want to start by saying that I wasn't sure that I would post this... I wanted to write it out and keep it so I had it and to make sure there wasn't any angles we might have missed and needed to cover with our kids.  I seem to see things more clearly now when I write them out and really read it back and have Alex read it all out too.  He and I agreed that not everyone will agree with telling their kids/young adults about DD and so it would open us up to criticism .. But then I told him I did that the day I started blogging and that I think it's a honest part of our journey that may help some one else or at least show how we work as a family.. When I first started this blog I did it with the feeling it was mine, but I was wrong.  This blog has become another tool we use in our marriage, it is another way for Alex to see into me and for me to show him and myself how I am feeling or seeing things.  

This is our blog and parts of our journey together that we have chosen to share.  

I have wondered when the time would come to talk with our kids about our DD dynamic, never if.. but when.  Alex started talking with Kyle last year about dating and the leadership role of a man in relationships and marriage.  We have a no dating rule until the age of 16 and we must meet the person they wish to date and approve of their date activities.  Our kids have been taught that dating should be for the purpose of finding a spouse, not for game or momentary fun/pleasure.  The no sex until married is also a very strong message we have given them over the years as well.  Of course they get these same values pressed into them in church twice a week as well.  They have a WONDERFUL youth group at our church and the kids love it.  Lori and Jay just started with their kids last Sunday and of all things for the youth group to study, it was the role of husbands and wives in a marriage.

They kept all the kids together for the message and then broke them up by gender and then school zones so the kids that attend school together would discuss the topics a bit more in detail.   As you can imagine all the kids were trying to compare what they see at home with their parents to what was taught as being the biblical view of a husband and wife and their roles.  The youth leaders were trying their best to not turn this into my parents do this or that conversations, but ask the kids how they felt about what the bible says and how they felt about the roles in marriage.  I guess a few girls thought VERY differently about leadership in marriage either being 50/50 or that in some cases women should just take charge because times have changed and women rule.  :0) (Alissa described it that way. She is Jay and Lori's oldest and in my opinion very mature and level headed for 17.) Kaylee and her cousins Alissa and Clare were all in the same group.  Kyle and his cousin Scott were also in the same group together, so they all had similar parent role models to pull from.  (Not that any of us parents knew any of this right away. I only found out all this background information on Monday when I was alone with Kaylee!)

After church we had a family BBQ at our house and while the adults were busy cooking and setting up the tables outside we got a visit from the "informer".  Lori and Jay's youngest daughter Sophie has been dubbed as the "informer", as she loves to come and let us know what the older kids are into or up to.  She gets a very official voice when she does this, as if she is doing her job and wants to make sure we all know how serious this job is...  This particular announcement was done in the same way.

Sophie: "You should know that Kyle told Meg and me we were not allowed in the game room, since we have young ears! They even shut the door in our faces and it was very rude and I told them so through the door too.  I was outside the door waiting for them to come out and I heard Scott say Daddy spanks Mommy.  Is that true?"

Lori broke two of my glasses (she was setting the table) and Alex dropped the dish of veggies onto the ground that were suppose to end up on the grill.  I went into the house and found Meg and told her to go outback with Sophie.  Then I went into the game room and let the teenagers know that the informer just asked us if Jay spanks Lori because Scott said so...  Then I pointed to the door and said move it people we have some damage control to do.  Jay asked Scott if there was something he wanted to tell Sophie and of course that had Scott on his knees in front of Sophie apologizing for playing a trick on her.  He said he knew she was listening at the door and so he was pulling a prank on her and it was mean and he was really sorry.  (Fast on his feet or I guess knees!)  She and Meg looked at each other and decided he was telling the truth and worthy of forgiving so he had his arms full of little girls and we went on with the BBQ.  The four of us parents decided to handle this with our own kids first and if we needed to bring them together as a group we would do that after.  I always wished we had a larger family like Jay and Lori, but right about now I was thankful we only had two to worry about.

Sunday night after Jay's family left we got the kids to help us clean up and then we sat down as a family.  Alex asked Kyle to please explain what conversation took place up in the game room and why little Sophie would be asking if Jay spanked Lori.  Kyle explained about the message in church was on roles in marriage and what the bible said they should be and how the kids got to talk about it after and how a bunch of the kids didn't agree.

Kyle: "Dad you would be shocked how many guys think it's cool for the girls to take charge. Like none of them want to take the leadership and they don't even see why they should.  It's like they think time has changed how things are and the bible is outdated or whatever.  But like most of them come from divorced parents so you would think they would get a clue."

Kaylee: "Girls are stronger now then before, so things have changed and that is why they didn't think the bible is right anymore."

Alex: "Kaylee women were strong back then too, but they were not given the freedom to show their strength as women are now. In fact I would challenge your theory and say women back then needed to be even stronger to submit to their husbands and let society tell them they didn't have any rights and still be everything they needed to be for their families."

Kyle: "Yeah but did the guys go in reverse then?  Why don't they want to be a man and lead their families and take care of them?"

Alex: "Sadly, it seems that each generation loses a bit of the moral values that the previous generation had instilled in them.  What hasn't been passed from generation to generation is finally catching up to the world... Divorce rates have slowed down, but only because the amount of people getting married has lowered.  Now we have new marriages that have same sex couples and that is totally outside of what is in the bible, so that throw the roles off too.  But I tell you that God had a plan and that plan is clearly written in the bible and that is the plan we want you two to follow.  Your Mother and I follow God's plan and we have a very strong and loving marriage and you two haven't turned out so bad either. "

Kyle: "Scott, Alissa and Clare think their parents use spanking in their marriage."

Alex:"Then that should be a subject that they discuss with their parents and not with you all.  That is private, between Jay and Lori and if they choose to discuss it with their children that is up to them."

Kaylee: "Um... We think you and Mom have a spanking thing going on too."

Alex:"Spanking thing?  Care to expand on that a bit?"

Kyle: "I so DON'T want to know that my parents went 50 Shades Grey."

Me: "You did not just say that!!! How do you know about 50 Shades Of Grey?"

Kaylee: "Mom that book was totally passed around at school, like EVERYONE has read it."

Alex: "I would have thought you would have known that book was not something your parents would have allowed you to purchase, so we wouldn't approve of you reading it either.  I do remember you asking me if you could buy it and my answer was not just no, we had a full conversation on why I felt the book was inappropriate for you to read. Do you remember that particular conversation young lady?"

Kaylee: "Um.. Sort of.  But Dad I read most of it before I even asked you if I could buy the book.  I mean it was literally going around at school but I didn't get to finish and some one else grabbed it from me and I wanted to see how it ends."

Alex:"Well in your case it ends with you being on restriction for two weeks and a very well thought out written apology to me stating the reasons this book is inappropriate for you."

Kyle: "I just want to state for the record that I didn't read the book and I have no desire to read the book either.  I have heard things... Guys talk, I mean if girls are gonna want us to get all physical and bossy with them we need to know this junk."

Alex: "Let's get back to the subject at hand, but first let me tell you both that the book is about a couple that are not married and having a sexual relationship so none of your "need to know junk" is going to be found there. So let's get back to your statement Kaylee.  Your mother and I have the relationship we let the public see, the relationship that we let you two see and our own private relationship that is for just the two of us.  Do we have a spanking thing? We might but that isn't something that is any of your business."

Kaylee: "Yeah but like if you want us to know how your marriage works and pass it down like you said generation to generation wouldn't you sorta like have to tell us? I mean Mom already told me she submits to you and you hold her accountable when she disobeys you."

(How do teens take your words and spin them around on you so well?  Kaylee had come to me and told me about watching her friend's mother basically run over her husband and how her friend didn't seem to think anything was unnatural about it.  She had asked me why we let Alex be the leader in our house and I had responded that we are a traditional family that way.  That was passed down from generation to generation and our families more than likely took it from the bible.  She had asked me if I submit to Alex and I of course said yes.  Then she hit me with the what does he do if you disobey him if he holds you responsible... I told her that was between her Father and I.  Then I went running to Alex telling him Kaylee was on to us!!! Thank goodness I told him, or this would have been a harder conversation.  Wow, I now remember even leaving a comment on other blog about this very conversation. Hot topic all of the sudden.)  :0)

Alex: "I do hold your Mother accountable when she doesn't follow my lead and your Mother calls me out when I miss as a leader.  So I would say we both hold each other accountable for ensuring we are doing the best we can in our roles. Your Mother and I are both still young and healthy so our physical relationship is still very healthy too.  Do we choose to include things in our physical relationship that might be considered out of the norm, yes we do.  We are two married consenting adults that would never hurt one another and are very safe, so anything we do together in the marriage bed is appropriate and not shameful.  The topic of what your Mother and I do or don't do is not something you should be discussing with your cousins or anyone outside of this house.  It is frankly no ones business and you should consider yourselves lucky that I even have shared this much of our private relationship with you. Understood?"

We had a chorus of "understoods" and we called it done.  Saturday Kalyee and I had a girls day together since it was a holiday and during lunch Kaylee said this:

"Mom, I just want you to know that I want the same kind of marriage you and Dad have. I don't want to fight or get divorced and I really want to have fun with my husband. You and Dad have fun, even sometimes when I am watching you two it's like you guys don't even know I am there... Like you are in a world together all alone even.  It was way creepy when I was little but now it just is too cute and I want that.. Like really, really want that.  Even if I have to get spanked, I want that soooo bad."

Why do they always wait for food to be involved to tell you something like this?  When I was done choking and could produce what passed as normal speech...

"Kaylee honey I am so happy you know what you want and don't want when you get married. Most people don't even have that much figured out when they are walking down the aisle, so this is a great starting point for you.  Being only 15 you have plenty of time to keep working on what you want in your marriage and that will help you when you start looking for the man you want to marry.  You should even think about journalling your thoughts on what you want in a marriage and what you want in your husband and see how it changes over the next several years."

Kaylee: "Like your memory book you started your senior year with Dad?"

Me: "Well sort of.. I would suggest you keep your scrap book for general topics and a journal that is private just for you. That way if you want to share your scrap book with some one you can and keep your journal for yourself."

Kaylee: "Dad spanked you when you were dating too huh?  I know you guys don't like us talking about this with anyone, but Alissa and Clare are pretty sure aunt Lori gets spanked when she is in trouble.  Some of your pages have pictures of Dad and I see the look on his face, he has that same face now when you get into trouble. Like I promise to not talk about this anymore with anyone, but can you just tell me if I am right or not pleaaaaaassssssseeeee?"

Me: "Yes, your Father spanked me when we were dating and he continues to this day. If I mess up enough that is his solution for clearing the air and getting us back on track.  It is not all about spanking we have other types of ways we use to clear the air and start fresh.  This is something we have both agreed upon in our relationship and it is NOT the norm or anything that is discussed in public. I would appreciate you not discussing this with your cousins and if you have any questions you come straight to me and I will do my best to answer them. Agreed?"

Kaylee: "Agreed! Thanks Mom, I totally love that we can talk.. Like really talk talk ya know?"

Me: "Yes, I know.  I love that we can talk talk too..  I can't believe how old you have gotten on me, you are turning into a very beautiful and intelligent young woman.  I am very proud of you Kaylee.

Alex and I regrouped last night and it sounds like he and Kyle had a very similar talk on Monday as well.  So it would seem that we are OUT at home.  We are not going to change how we go about things, they will still be very private and out of ear range, but if they have questions we will have LOTS more talking to do now.  But that was going to happen in the next few years anyway so we just got our start. We aren't clueless to the fact these cousins are going to talk, they are going to talk this subject and tons of other subjects to death before they are done.  But hopefully they will be more careful with their conversations and they will support each other while growing into young adults.
All in all I think we are lucky our kids are so mature and have the support of their cousins,  it had to make it easier on them when they heard other parents have the same dynamic.  I had worked up several scenarios in my head on how we would tell these kids or when or if they caught us how would we react... None of them went as well as this weekend went and I give most the credit to Alex, he really did a wonderful job handling the conversation with the kids.  I sat back and had a silent fit in my head and waited it all out.  If I ever get my hands on the kid that brought 50 Shades of Grey to school.... Grrrrrrr.


  1. Wow! This is something. Do you feel a little relieved that the cat's out of the bag? My parents were very open with us about money, sex, whatever. I'm sure other parents would be horrified but it worked in the family I grew up in. I hope your kids keep coming to you for conversation.

    (and it's probably a whole handful of kids who brought 50 Shades to school which is why it's important that parents talk to their kids about sex)

    1. Hi Leah,

      Yes, I no longer have the feeling of ...when? I always knew we would talk to them, but was hoping for us to go to them and not the other way around or have them catch us in a bad situation. You know my parents didn't talk about sex at ALL.. I mean it was taboo in our house. I had so many questions and I had to go to friends to get the answers. So I don't want that for my children. Knowledge really is power and I want them to get their knowledge from good resources and not just main stream. I can tell you both kids are watching us like hawks, or at least it feels like that to me. Alex said it will pass, just give them time to settle with this new information. You are probably right, bunch of kids who have parents that don't care what they read brought those books to school. Grrrrrrr..

      Thanks so much for coming by.. :0)

  2. All I can say is WoW.. I hope that The Man and I can handle things as well as you and your hubby did. I am so very impressed. Good on you!!!

    1. Hi Dana,

      Thanks! :0) Everything went just way better than I had ever thought it would... I had built up some monster scenarios in my head for the last few years.

      Thanks so much for coming by.. :0)

  3. This is something we all think about for sure... what if someone finds out, kids, family, friends. Hopefully all will go well. It sounds like you did your best to cover all angles.

    Hugs and prayers too!

    1. Hi Sara,

      Thanks! :0) We are super happy it went as smooth as it did and so far other than feeling they are watching our every move they are really good about it all. Kyle is asking way more questions than Kaylee, but Alex is fielding them like a champ.

      Thanks so much for coming by.. :0)

  4. Yikes. I guess truthfully what I'm thinking is, better you than me! lol I think you guys handled it well though, given the situation.

    1. Hi Grace,

      HA! I don't blame you one bit... If I was reading about another person having to explain this to their kids I would be thinking the same thing. :0)

      Thanks so much for coming by.. :0)

  5. It's not kids knowing that's the big worry, I think, as much as them TELLING :-). If they can't keep confidence, it can cause big headaches!

    You guys handled it great! It's a dilemma we've all read on several blogs. Just for fun, I'll "hypothesize" below about one way parents might consider handling it, especially if they have time to plan ahead:

    One way to approach this (particularly for those who are Christian and practice DD -- and especially for those who are Christian but don't practice CDD) would be to instill in the whole family the understanding that the family is basically a microcosm of the Church or the Kingdom of God, and that one of it's main purposes is spiritual formation of every member.

    This means that you can end up facilitating spiritual formation within the family similarly to a small group, albeit with more authoritarian roles and practices than most small groups have in them.

    But as the children get older and more capable, spiritual formation for all becomes more communally integrated and self-directed at the same time. Everyone is intentional about their own spiritual growth. All are accountable to the rest of the group for spiritual growth and for actions and attitudes. All pray for each other. All confess to each other. All are accountable to each other (albeit in somewhat different ways). All practice spiritual disciplines.

    All take individual responsibility and initiative, as they are able, for directing their own growth, including even consequences or spiritual exercises/spiritual disciplines, etc., and participate in helping others in theirs as well, with spiritual authority being acquired as they mature.

    Raised in a context like this, it is not a foreign idea at all to children that all adults are also held accountable. It's just a part of life and normal spiritual growth.

    Part two under this. Feel free to delete if too long! :-)

  6. But here's the difference that is usually found in the Dd dynamic. As much as each individual is to be self-initiating and directing in their own spiritual growth (in order to become more mature -- and note that this is AFTER learning submission to authority starting from early childhood), the final authority for deciding how each person may end up being accountable for attitude or actions is usually the husband. This is a chosen dynamic by both partners in the marriage, whether or not they believe that husbands have been given particular authority by God to discipline their wives in any way.

    Now, of course, some spouses choose for the husband to be very directive and dominant, and for the wife to have little initiative or even much say in what she is accountable for, and how. But most do have huge participation by the wife, including initiative and feedback.

    So, why do they choose for the husband to have the final say, including in how he himself is accountable and the consequences he may embrace for a transgression, as well as the children, and also even his wife? Even if he only exercises that "final say" after he has sought all input, and usually chooses to follow (especially his wife's) input?

    Because it is HOT. It is an intimate and affectionate and sexually charged dynamic, apparently by God's design.

    The activity or consequence of spanking is merely one more tool in the bag of spiritual disciplines that can theoretically be used on any family member. In families who choose to spank at all, often the children are spanked only when small, and perhaps even then, rarely. Older children or teens are spanked only for the gravest offences, if at all, in most families. (Yes, some do spank clear into college age, I hear, or even later, but that is definitely the minority.) Spanking as applied to the wife, however, looks and feels completely different.

    And this is where it seems that it would be an anticlimactic "revelation" that Mom gets spanked. If the older kids ask, the answer could be something like, "Yep. Both of us like the special dynamic that Dad spanking Mom adds to our marriage, as part of mutual accountability in our home. That's confidential, just like all the other spiritual formation "stuff" that goes on in our home, so you are not free to share it with anyone else without our permission. We'll explain more about it as you get older."

    Irish Lucky, this is kinda what Alex and you did when he told your kids that what happens in your marriage bed is your business. Indirectly he was saying that spanking in marriage is in some way sexual.

    I know some who practice CDD deny the sexuality of it, but most people acknowledge that spanking for accountability in marriage is sexually driven in the larger sense, even if it feels anything but sexual at the moment.

    In that sense, revelation of spanking in marriage is very much like revealing any other aspect of our sex lives or marriage dynamic to our kids. We seem to sense when we should reveal what and to which kid. And lots of it isn't until they are adults.

    Fun topic!

    Beth Elle

    1. Hi Beth,

      Wow.. Fun topic indeed! :0)

      Alex and I talked about the kids talking with others and we both agree that knowing our kids they will probably talk with their cousins but not with anyone outside the family. So we are not too worried about that.

      So your comments about spanking being sexual... I can't disagree, since we started the "fun" spankings and they are VERY FUN. :0) But when they are for punishment they are NOT fun nor am I turned on in the least bit. But I feel closer to Alex right after, like I want to be held and be where ever he is for several hours... So we do get a certain connection overload from spanking.. If that makes sense. But I guess what I am trying to say is there is a separation for me when it comes to punishments and the marriage bed.

      I don't have any idea what the difference between DD and CDD is.. :0) So I can't really respond to that at all.

      As for telling our kids or implying that spanking is sexual.. They obviously know that it can be, as 50 Shades clued them into that. But we were very clear that ours was for discipline.

      Would we ever tell them we have "fun" spankings? Like you said, as parents we can tell when they are old enough or ready for information. When Kaylee is old enough and it is appropriate, you better bet I will share with her the fun spanking in the marriage bed can be! :0)

      Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your thoughts! :0)

    2. Oh yes, I know he difference between sexual spankings and punishment spankings. But I was making the observation that even punishment spankings seem to be ultimately sexual in that they do cause that intense connection that, because we are integrated beings, in the largest context of dominance/submissive dynamic does seem to be erotic.

  7. I have been thinking about this all day and how to comment. LOL.
    It must be so incredibly different for you and Alex, because Alex has family members that practice Dd. Not too mention you have always practiced ttwd, so it certainly isn't going anywhere. I also think that having both a boy and a girl is very helpful with this revelation as both sides of the coin can be addressed and discussed.
    We have 3 boys, who are somewhat younger...and the same age and younger again..LOL. but there is no way,because of our extended family dynamic I would ever feel comfortable disclosing this to them. In our scenario they wouldn't understand and at their ages it would be most likely more confusing to them. At your house it appears that it is totally unique in the way your children perceive ttwd. Which is fantastic for your family life. AWKWARD maybe now and at times in the future, but like you said, you don't talk about your sex life with your kids, yet they are proof you had it at least twice- but you can answer questions about sex...I suppose spanking will be the same
    AND let's be honest here, spanking is really such a small, albeit PAINful part of ttwd/Dd.
    I think your daughter and niece seeing that their mothers/aunts 'submit', 'yield' , 'defer' whatever choice one likes, and still maintain a backbone and a voice is a very good thing, verses the general populous who seems to think submission equates to suppression in the Western world.

    HUH...I should have just said 'ditto' to what Grace said! LOL

    1. Hi Wilma,

      You are so right... We have family to support us and the kids that understand and know all about this dynamic. I think having their cousins to talk with is a blessing! Plus they grew up with Alex leading the family and me differing to him.. Well most the time! :0) Let's face it the man screams alpha and has always been the disciplinarian in our home they didn't want to mess with. I am a bit easier to push over, but they are always asking me to back them with Dad. HA! So I don't think this was too hard of a leap for them. :0)

      You are so right.. Spanking is a VERY small part of this! I don't find it to be even one of the hard parts either.. Submission is the HARDEST thing about this dynamic. I also find it hard to block out the stress from work and the world in general and differ to him after being in charge of a group of people at work all day. Super hard to make the switch in my head and attitude.

      Sorry I had you noodling this all day! :0) But super glad you didn't just ditto and told me what you were thinking. Thank you!

  8. This is such a sweet post! The whole way the two of you handled that was just perfect and you can tell from your children's responses the love and trust they place in their parents. I almost cried at the "talk talk" you had with Kaylee, what a special moment that must have been! My own daughter is 13 and she watches our dynamic very closely when she thinks we aren't paying attention. Thank you so much for sharing how you handled your children's questions. While some people will no doubt have a negative reaction to this post, I think it will truly be helpful to most of us.

    1. Hi River,

      Ahhhhh.. Thank you! I have gotten several emails on this post, but I can happily say the majority are all positive. Not sure if you find more people like to email than leave comments, but that seems to be the norm for me. Either way it is very fun to meet/converse with new people and get to know more about them. :0) Our kids have been watching us like hawks since we have talked to them. Alex told me that Kyle made a comment about how in the world I could be so sassy with this dynamic. He just laughed and told him sassy was my middle name. LOL.

      Thanks so much for coming by and saying hi! :0)

    2. Hi Irish,
      I'm glad to hear your feedback has been plentiful and positive! I have been a member of some groups before that shunned anyone talking to their kids about dd or d/s as if it was wrong....glad that's not the case here. There is a time and place for all things. Btw, if you were too good and weren't sassy I bet Alex would get bored ;)