Friday, July 01, 2005

Stranger Danger and God

I had the most interesting conversation with Nicholas last night. We layed in his bed together and just talked for nearly an hour! I am fascinated with learning about how his little brain works. I seized this opportunity of one-on-one time with him to talk about "stranger danger". A flyer was sent home from his school reminding parents to discuss this with their kids because kids play outside more in the summer and there can be some sketchy types stalking out the parks. I don't like the idea of telling Nicholas "don't talk to strangers!" because I think that presumes an immediate reason to distrust anyone he doesn't know. And I don't like the idea of going through life thinking the worst of people right off the bat. Personally, I'm very friendly and outgoing and extroverted and enjoy talking to people - even those I don't know already. BUT, I want my kids to be safe. Soooo, we had "the talk". I think it went pretty well. I kept it light and entertaining for him, but he got the message. I gave him the words I want him to say in the event that a grown-up he doesn't know tries to talk to him. He's to say, "I'm not supposed to talk to a grown-up I don't know. I need to find my mom." I reinforced this point by giving him several scenarios to see what he would do.

"Ok Nicholas, let's say a grown-up walks up to you and asks you if you would like some candy. What do you say?"


"No! You say: I'm not supposed to talk to grown-ups I don't know. I need to find my mama!"

"Now say that someone you don't know walks up to you at the park and asks you to help him with something. What do you do?"

"I say (insert given phrase here)"

"Good job!! YES!"

This went on and on with every imaginable scenario being suggested. Sometimes he would intentionally say the wrong thing just to get me to tickle him and tell him the right thing, but I'm pretty sure he got the message. I hope he never has to put it to the test.

Then, out of the blue, he starts talking about the "moment of silence" song he sings at school. This was a new one to me, so I ask him to sing it for me. He does, and it's cute! They sing it before they eat snack or lunch. I had him teach it to me:

My hands up high
My hands in place
On my shoulders (touch your shoulders)
And my face (touch your face)
Then I put them way up high
And let my fingers fly fly fly
Then clap clap clap
And 1 - 2 - 3
See how quiet I can be!

Then his teacher says they'll have a moment of silence. He really likes this ritual before eating so I said we could sing the song before we eat at home. Then I asked him what he thought about during the moment of silence.

"Food!" (that's my boy!)

I suggested he pray and thank God for all the yummy food he's about to eat, because there are some kids who won't get to eat today. Nicholas then asked me what praying was. "Praying is how we can talk to God", I told him. "Who's God?" asked my inquisitive little son. Such a simple question, such a complicated answer! I did my best to explain who God was and how he lived up in Heaven. Then my darling cherub asked me if we could fly in a plane to see God someday. I told him you couldn't take a plane to visit God - that Heaven was even higher than an airplane could go. So he logically replied with, "then we'll take a rocket ship, like in the Wiggles, to see God." Like, DUH! I love how kids think! So literal. When I told him that God made everything, he asked, in awe, "God made all my toys?? I thought Santa did that!" Oh what a can of worms THAT could be! When he asked what God's name was, and I told him "Jesus", he started asking if Jesus was a grown-up he knew if he saw him at the park. I guess if Jesus showed up at the park looking like he does in all those paintings, he WOULD look like someone I wouldn't want my kid talking to!

What a smart kid he is! Have you thought about maybe sending him to Vacation Bible School or something? Even though we're Mormon my momsent us every summer to one at the local Presbyterian church. Although now that I'm older, I realize she probably did it to get us out of her hair for three hours a day. :)
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