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Friday, September 28, 2007

Speaking plainly

One of the many gifts that comes with parenthood is the opportunity to learn so much. Trying to explain something to a seven year old often encourages deep thinking -- because you usually need to be precise and perfectly honest. The latter can be tricky. It is perhaps still part of this generation of parents to focus on our children's self-esteem almost to the exclusion of every other consideration. It is not a well thought out strategy. My son can be very fixated on a perceived injustice, even as he understands, when you ask him to reconsider, that the status quo is fair, and what he is asking for is completely unfair. How am I to respect his strong feelings in the matter?

I found myself unable to do anything more than to speak plainly. 'No, son. That is completely wrong.'

Even as I must make allowances for what he feels, I realized five minutes into our second conversation on the matter that there was no further explanation possible. I also realized that kids can stubbornly put their foot down for the wrong things, and all I can do is tell him that we can't let things lie like that. My Father in Heaven tells me such things everyday, too. And I can only lift my hands up in prayer and beg for the grace to simply do as I ought to. Even if my heart is still set on something I know is wrong.

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