March 3, 2013
As I took the kids grocery shopping last week, my daughter saw some kind of ‘yogurt’ in a tube…or milk in a tube? It had a cow on it and was pink.
She got all excited and asked if we could have some because it said it was HEALTHY! I didn’t know what to say…so I just told her the truth. “They’re lying to you, honey. That is not healthy.” We talk a lot at home about what is and is not healthy so she knows the word well.
I felt like such a bad mother saying that but it’s true. That tube of…whatever it was…was not healthy in the least bit. I think the reason I felt badly is that in her innocence, she could not fathom a world in which a pink cow would lie to her.
On to grocery store #2 – the one that has produce that does not look like it has been in a tanning bed for a week. I had a coupon for Valentine’s M&Ms that I was going to get b/c we’re potty training STILL and at this point, I would give my child up to half my kingdom if he would just be done w/diapers, yes, even something unhealthy (gasp)!
So my eldest daughter said she will try to find it while I get the veggies we need. She is 6. I said no. I don’t want my 6yo wandering a store by herself. She did not understand why so I explained that I wanted her where I could see her so no one would take her.
Sidebar: I let them play outside by themselves (but we do have a quarter-of-a-mile-long driveway) but I have seen too many Law & Order SVUs to let them out of my sight in public – go ahead, call be overprotective. I can take it.
Back to the story: Daughter #2 said, “No one would take us. They know that is wrong.” This coming from the child who has earned herself the nickname ‘Spanky‘. I asked her if she always does the right thing since she knows what is right. (obvious answer) Then I said I am not going to trust that others are going to do the right thing and not take one of you. I would rather just keep you with me. Too much? Idk.
So within the course of an hour, we had two life lessons…and perhaps lost a bit of our wondrous childlike innocence
I’m sure you have similar stories. How have you dealt with telling your children ‘harsh’ truths?