Their world is so new. Think about it; even your 5 year old has only been here for 5 years, and the stuff that life is made up for us is still either non-existent or fresh to them. Nothing has been defined as black or white, beautiful or ugly yet. Their opinions are still forming, and a lot of what we say and do right now should be held to a higher standard because our opinions may bleed into their life and become their opinions. Now, you may not think that is a bad thing, but maybe it is.
For example: This summer I was babysitting two boys and we were out trying to find something for a craft project we were doing, and we drove by a Walmart (this little story can get me into trouble, and I apologize beforehand to anyone I may offend by sharing this story), and the oldest boy told me that I could go there. I told him, without thinking of course, that I couldn’t because the devil lived there. (I can here you gasping with horror now, and I apologized remember). I then realized that I probably shouldn’t have said this because two sets of saucer sized eyes staring at me in disbelief. “Really Miss Jaidene the devil lives at Walmart?” I of course said no; but that I didn’t shop there because I didn’t feel that the people that owned Walmart were nice people, that they didn’t treat their employees well or with respect, and I couldn’t support an organization that did that to fellow human beings no matter how cheap their merchandise is. The oldest then ok and we had a bit of a discussion, and I told their parents about the incident that night. Months later when the boys were on vacation visiting their grandparents the oldest boy told his grandma when the were about to go into Walmart that the devil lived there. Oops. Fortunately the parents thought it was funny, and texted me when it happened, but I learned that not all my opinions need to be shared, and especially with children.
Their growing up is an opportunity for ourselves to question our values, judgements, and opinions before we pass them onto our little ones. We have the opportunity to learn from them and their very innocent insights, and believe me, when you allow yourself to be vulnerable to that you can find out things about yourself that you never thought were there.
What a wonderful gift our children can be for us.