Thursday, November 24, 2011


I have the strangest conversations with my 8yo (soon to be 9). They take place in the car, while we drive to and from some activity, or right before bed-time.

There are sometimes personal, sometimes touching and most of the time I am truly surprised at the maturity he shows.

#1 took place in the car this afternoon - we talked earlier about how Santa likes to check with parents about the gifts children ask for, to make sure they are appropriate - out of the blue, in the middle of a totally different idea came the question:

Wordle: Untitled- Mommy, does Santa ever die?
- ... err... why do you ask (that's how I get out of trouble most of the time, by stalling)
- You know, what if he suddenly dies before Christmas - who's going to deliver all the toys? He's been alive for a long time. Do you think he has a son and he transfers all the duties to his son?
- Maybe... that sounds like something a responsible Santa would do
- Do you think he will ever die?
- I am not sure, he might be a truly magical person...
- That would be so cool! Can you ask him?
- [almost chocked on the water I was drinking] Me? When? What?
- You know, when you talk to him... when he's checking about the gifts with parents... can you ask him?
- What? if he'll ever die?
- No, that would be really rude. If he has a son and if he hands his duties over to his son.
- Umm... sure... I will try to remember.

#2 took place at home, right before bed-time. We were talking about how he likes something (broccoli & Brussels sprouts) and his friends at school think that's weird, but he learned that it's OK to have different likes; and if one of your friends doesn't like what you like, it is OK, we are all individuals and we can ignore when someone is trying to make us feel bad for a personal like or dislike.

About half an hour later:

- Mommy, if a child comes from school with an A- and his/her parents instead of praising the child proceed to tell him how he should have gotten an A or A+... can they ignore?
- Huh?
- If the child...
- Yes, I got the child story - what is the question?
- You know how we talked about how you are an individual and you can ignore what other people think about you... should the child ignore the parents in this case? 'Cause they truly don't appreciate you trying very hard and instead of focusing on the positive they come hard on you with negatives.
- [darn...] Well... you shouldn't really ignore your parents. Instead you should try to make them understand your point of view
- Yeah, I didn't think it's a good idea to ignore them
- Sometimes parents can be a little too...
- Mean?!
- No, they might ask too much of their children
- They over-estimate the child!
- Not necessarily; just ask too much. In that case, you need to make them understand what you think. How you tried your best at the moment, how you improved - try to make them see the positives. It goes like this: if you care about the person that's making some negative comments - you should first try to explain your position, try to understand each other
- But what if they don't get it?
- Well... sometimes it's OK to just walk away and accept that sometimes there truly are multiple poits of view. And try to understand their position too. You don't have to agree - just to accept it. You'll have to learn to gauge when it's the appropriate time for each...
- OK, that sounds good.

He went back to his Lego... and left me wondering: was that the correct answer? I don't want to raise a little anarchist... nor a complier w/o thinking. It is a fine line - and my answer was also based on the absolute knowledge that tomorrow morning he'll gather his group of friends and pass the advice to them.

Oh, the miracles of parenthood! Any words of wisdom from out there?

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