Friday, April 26, 2013

My Child Just Used The Word Popular

"Avoid popularity if you would have peace." - Abraham Lincoln

   In the last 24 hours, both The Wife and I have heard our 'Lil Miss use the word "popular" for the first time. We know that she's 7, and innocence cannot last forever, but this felt like the first step in that direction. I'm aware that this is the tip of the giant iceberg of lost innocence. I thought it relevant to discuss this one specifically. 
   Until now, my 'Lil Miss has been quite happy with playing with whomever was interested in joining her. In the neighborhood and the park, it never mattered if you were a boy or girl, black or white, tall or short, or so on. Play was play, for playing sake. I only really saw a problem after her play friends had to leave or go back inside for dinner. It's an innocence to the parts of society that The Wife and I hoped would last forever, but could never do so. We all face the social aspect of our society, and we all grow up through those experiences. Is it bad that I have anxiety about my children facing it?
   My 'Lil Miss, who's only worry has been "Will there be someone to play with?", is now worrying if she's popular enough to be played with. The Wife took her to school a few days back and said go play with so-n-so on the playground. 'Lil Miss replied with a slightly sad voice, "She usually already has someone to play with because she's so popular." This is NOT a phrase I wanted to hear this early. It feels like we've come so far with how we treat each other as people, yet have so far to go. There's so much that is out of our control as parents. I can teach my child to include others, share, be nice, and so on. Yet I send her to school and she comes home with new phrases, tattling, back talk, and so forth. It's enough to want to home school.
   Yet, it's a rite of passage. The only way to build callouses is to go through the initial hard work discomfort and pain. It's just that sometimes I'm not a fan of the result of this process. I've known a few individuals that are not as pleasant to be around as adults compared to how they were as youth. The world is a difficult place to live. I don't want to overprotect, as that would not prepare my children for life. I also don't want them to be overexposed, as that can harden a person to the point of cynicism and such. We as parents in our home try to keep communication lines open, and stay involved with the lives of our little ones. It's all I can do for now.
   What are your thoughts about the bridges our children cross? How do you deal with it?


No comments:

Post a Comment