Parenting is all about teachable moments . . . taking moments as they naturally come and use them to teach a lesson about life. Once, my now 8-year old son asked me why don’t you sell your car and buy a convertible? So we had a talk about how money is made/earned, supply and demand, and depreciation . . . all on a level that he could understand. Whether that lesson actually stuck is a separate question.
Somehow, we’ve managed to make it through the last few weeks without being bombarded by stories and images of September 11, 2001. This means that our kids’ views of the event haven’t been shaped by the media coverage or political speeches. It seems like a teachable moment. The lesson outline is still forming in my mind. There are countless resources available online to talk to kids about it. But that assumes that you’ve decided to teach them about it.
If you have children who have only known a post-9/11 America, have you chosen to talk to them about what happened that day and since? Why or why not? If you have, what was the one take-away lesson you try to impress on them?
If you’ve read my blog lately, you know that I’ve been sharing a few of the conversations that I’ve had with our six year old son. All three of these conversations happened in the same afternoon, running errands around town. One of those conversations was about economics.
Just a bit of background: My son has a thing for cars and other vehicles that look different. Convertibles. Monster trucks. Garbage trucks. He notices them. Points out how awesome that pickup truck is — the one that you need a stepladder to get into. Reminds us how he wants me to buy a convertible. You get the idea.
We were sitting at an intersection when he noticed a Jeep Wrangler go by with its doors off.
Him: Why do Jeeps sometimes have their doors off?
Me: Because people sometimes like to drive with their doors off.
Yeah, but why can’t we?
Oh, because Jeeps are especially made so that their doors can be removed.
(Several seconds of silence . . . the kind of silence that tells you there’s another question coming soon.) Continue reading
Sometimes kids ask questions that suggest insight and perspective beyond their years. Just a few days ago, our six year old asked me about politics. We were driving around town, and I was listening to NPR. They were reporting on a speech that President Obama had given earlier that day. That spawned a conversation about politics, term limits, and elections. Here’s a part of that conversation.
Him: Dad, Barack Obama is our president now, right? Who was our president before him?
Me: Yeah. Before Barack Obama, George W. Bush was our president.
Why didn’t we vote for Barack Obama? Continue reading