I’ve been thinking lately about how much about life to share with my kids. I am a rather protective parent, but then totally open-handed when it comes to some issues. Over the last few days, I’ve been realizing how much my 6 year old daughter, Mary catches onto to EVERYTHING we talk about. I should have caught onto this earlier, but somethings I just figured were over her head. After sharing a story with my sister-in-law the other day about a friend of mine who got pregnant at 15, my daughter told me later how excited she was to learn she only has to wait until she’s 15 to have a baby – her greatest wish in the world. I had to back pedal and explain without really explaining why that is not a good idea. As a side, just to illustrate my daughter’s desire for a baby, she told me that if the tooth fairy gave her $1000 (not at all likely) she would adopt a little girl and name her Elizabeth. In fact, recently my mom expressed her desire, despite my lack of it, that she wants me to have more children. My daughter again piped up and said, “I want her to too. But, grandma, she won’t even practice!” I assured her that I promise to practice and expressed to her confused face that some day she would find this conversation rather uncomfortable.
Anyway, I digress…How much is too much info for kids?
I don’t know. I had to stop letting my kids watch Jon and Kate +8, because Mary would be devestated to learn that they are divorcing. I realise that it’s a part of life, but it causes too much instability in the fragile hearts of kids. Just today she asked me why people divorce and if she knew any who had. (It took her 5 years to ask why grandpa lives with us and not with grandma.) I told her that yes, I knew quite a few but didn’t want her to know that about people. In answer to the “why” and I had to explain that marriage is about serving one another and sometimes one or both people stop doing that. She started into a list of ways that mom and dad serve each other and seemed to be relieved that because mom cooks and dad knows where the vacuum is, there was no chance of us divorcing!
Onto the subject of death. Well, she is aquainted with it, but it’s so hard to kids to grasp. I remember when my mom had to explain to me that the real Laura Ingalls was already dead. I think I went into mourning and hung up my bonnet. It’s hard. She watches the Crocodile Hunter quite a bit and I have resisted telling her that he’s gone. I mean she just learned that Bernie Mac died, so seriously how much can a young soul take?
But when it comes to real things, I want to children to have God’s heart. When their friends’ parents divorce I want them to have a heart of compassion. When a man standing outside of Wal-Mart asks me for money, I want then to know why I give or not. Although my daughter gets rather upset with me when I don’t. And for that I love her.
There is so much about being a kid that is no longer a part of me and that is not necessarily a good thing. I want my children to live and not become jaded or hopeless too young, it is a plague that is hard to stop.