Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday ~ Fellow Parents: I Need Your Parenting Tips!

How do you explain to a child as young as four years old why there are people in this world who aren't as kind of heart as the people who love her? How do you tell your trusting, innocent, loving child that some people are just "not nice"?

It seems bittersweet to me to see how open and loving, full of life and wonder, and how curious and caring my little one is. I say bittersweet because right now she knows a world filled with love, encouragement and support. She will always have this from her family. This won't always be the reality in the world outside the home though. She has not even an inkling of the pain, sadness, suffering and other things that exist in this world. 

I know I cannot protect my child from ever being hurt or slighted, but I can prepare her for the world outside the home and remind her of this:

Okay, now that I read the above quote, I'm thinking that sometimes even if you do all the above, people can still be unkind, spiteful, or mean-spirited. This is so  hard for a child to understand. 

Sigh. This is what happens when I read or watch the news and hear about bullying, shootings, assault, domestic violence, racism, and other things I hope my child will never have to experience. Ahhh. It's just one of those days.

What are some of your parenting tips regarding preparing your young child for the world outside of the family and dealing with adverse situations? 


Vicky said...

So hard for adults to understand meanness, never mind children. Thank goodness for the innate sweetness of children.
I first had to get my head around people having their own story and I had no responsibility in that. Once I learned not to take thing personally I could then teach my kids in the language and style that best suited their age / stage.
I've only tackled personal situations so far - for my kids they may not yet take in the insanity behind terrorism and human trafficking. One step at a time. Good luck!

Patricia said...

I believe in not sugar coating things. Life's tough sometimes and kids need to know that just because they follow a code of ethics instilled in them by their parents, it doesn't mean others abide by the same rules. To be honest, some people are just downright shitty a**holes who pride themselves on making other people's lives miserable.

Some may argue with our method, but my husband tells our kids that it's ok to stand up for yourself and fight back if someone acts aggressively towards them. One kid gave our son a black eye because he didn't like the way my son looked. My husband took our son out to the back yard and tought him how to protect himself. No amount of talking, negotiating or being kind would have stopped that other kid. He has been known to be a problem with other kids too.

The world isn't always sweet and shouldn't be treated so.

Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

At 4 years old, I would try to keep the message and information simple. I always tell my kids that we have to treat others with kindness and respect, and if we don't get that back, then maybe we shouldn't hang out with that person. Have a great long weekend & Happy Easter! Angie xo

Christine McN said...

So true! One step at a time. I think I sometimes get a bit ahead of myself and then all the thoughts sort of get overwhelming! ;) One day at a time...

Christine McN said...

I have a friend who teaches his son the same thing your husband teaches your son. I've seen my teeny tiny 4 year old get bossed around by her peers and I try to not intervene. I think it's important for her to learn how to resolve a situation with her friends. At the same time, as parents being our kids' advocates, I really just want to say, "HEY! That's not how we treat others!" LOL! Other parents seem really laissez-faire about things. I just want my kid to know what appropriate behaviour is and that we treat others the way we want to be treated. Kind of hard when other kids aren't taught the same.

I've also seen my child stand up for herself and make a kid twice her size cry by not relenting in a tug of war of a certain toy. LOL! Maybe I don't have much to worry about after all.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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