A very good friend of mine, one my personal bff’s, was telling me about a conversation she had at Church with her 6 year old over this past weekend. “Grace was sitting on my lap asking me if Mary died and I said no. Then she asked me if Joseph died and I said yes. She said I know why it’s because he had to walk so far and Mary did not die because she rode on a donkey.” I have not laughed that hard in so long. In the Catholic church we believe that Mary ascended to heaven body and soul and Joseph died a natural death. How often do you hear what children say and just take pure joy from the innocence of his/her perspective. I remember when I babysat as a teenager, it was for the same family for 7 years, how often I would ask the little girls questions just to get an objective innocent opinion. You know how it is as a teenager every girl dates at least 1-2 jerks, sometimes I think that is a requirement so you can differinate when you find a good one. Anyway I was dating a jerk for entirely too long and I would ask the girls questions, on their age level, about the way he treated me and their answers were crystal clear, never biased by friends who wanted to not hurt my feelings, or parents who wanted me to break up with the jerk. Their answers were just what they thought were the right things to do in life.
To this day I do that with my children. I don’t lay heavy situations on them. If I have a conflict I break it down in simple terms and ask what they would do. And don’t you know children have such a refreshing unselfish view of how to solve problems. When you are a little kid your actions are not wrapped up in pride, possessions or climbing any ladders or protecting yourself. Your actions as a child are for the most part innocent and just trying to be good to others. So many older people I know were raised in households that truly believed that children should be seen and not heard, what a sad loss of a good relationship they could have had with their children. I try to make sure that either 2-3 meals a day I am sitting with my children and not just eating but discussing life. I love to give them hypothetical questions to answer. One of the questions I have asked is if you could go one of the following 4 places which place would you want to go the most? They choose from the moon, Florida next to the ocean, Jersaluem, where Jesus walked or Holiday world. It is so fun to hear each answer and to ask why. Oh my gosh, it is unreal they think so unbelievably different from us old adults. I once read that you cannot expect a child to react to a tragedy the same way an adult would. They take it all in so differently than we do, so they react very different. Which makes me wonder as a mom why can I not keep that in my head and not expect my child to act or think like an adult, like me.
We all have our little stories about things our children have said and they are so fun to repeat to others. That is one of the best benefits to having children, they are so entertaining. Next time you find yourself stuck in a situation at work or with a friend that you can break down into simple terms a child could understand then I encourage ask your child what he/she would do. Your child’s answer will probably surprise you. Sometimes that simplicity can solve the most complex problem. Even if your child is not able to give you simple pearls of wisdom asking his/her opinion makes your child feel important and more than likely his/her answer will lighten your mood or perspective of the situation.
Sometime today sit down with your child and ask him/her a question nothing too deep but something he/she has to think about and really listen to his/her answer and ask why he/she believes that. Enjoy the conversation because “Out of the mouths of babes” comes the truth as they see it!