It’s more important for our children to have at a minimum, adequate social skills and be able to effectively communicate with their equals/friends, teachers and most importantly strangers.
Most of us have taught our children to stay away and avoid people they have never met or have had any reason to communicate with. We as parents teach our kids this golden rule mainly because of all the “bad peeps” out there and because we do not want to be the next set of parent/s on the local news holding a semi-recent picture of our child and begging for their safe return.
Because the implied perception of what a “bad peep” looks like follows no rules anymore, we try to explain that not only should they stay away from the guy leaning against the ally-way wall with bent knees and a grocery store shopping cart filled with items once left for the land fill, but instead we try to get our parents point of view across to our children that they should keep a safe distance between them and anyone they might not have met in their short little life time.
Thinking about an alternative belief is difficult. Should we teach our kids to judge someone by their appearance, of course not, but how many of us inadvertently and unknowingly do this? Unfortunately, having the overly versed life experiences that I’ve had, I’m probably as guilty as the next guy and I truly pride myself on only having bias towards different forms of racism. We all bleed red, and that’s the way (I try) to look at everyone.
As much of an effort as I put forth trying to live by this rule, it obviously has its negative repercussions. I know it to be true that the more people you trust, the more people end up letting you down. As one of the most positive people on the planet, i think its sad, but true.
What’s the answer?
So, continuing the everyday struggle to figure out the best way to raise my two children, I had this conversation this morning with Charlie (Brown) (12 yrs old) as I was driving him to school.
I thought it too funny not to record in time.
Conversation from this morning (12-13-12)
Me: why do you like getting to school so early?
Charlie: because me and Jeffery hang out in the cafeteria and have breakfast.
Me: it takes you guts an hour to eat?
Charlie: nah, we also play tiny tower and racing hills (two useless games) and stuff.
Me: why don’t y’all study or test each other “and stuff”?
Charlie: …………gives me a dumb look………
Me: or maybe get a “word of the day” app or do something productive?
Charlie: ……….dumb look, followed by a long pause…….then he says, ……”I guess I’d do that, if I didn’t have any friends”!