Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pick Your Moment Wisely

We have two children.

Christmas 2010

BoopaLoop is 6 years, and LittleMan is 8 years.

I had been watching a lot of the crime dramas on T.V. the last few weeks, and it distressed me to see how many shows depicted the victim as an 8 year old child. In all instances, the child was first kidnapped by strangers.

After torturing myself by watching these programs in their entirety, I was somehow inspired to revisit the whole Stranger Danger talk with my children.

I just needed their undivided attention.

Right before bedtime every night, my Mukor reads to the kids. But, before they are read to, the children are forced to do menial labor in form of cleaning their bedroom. Sometimes, a miracle happens and the children finish cleaning before my Mukor is ready to read to them, so they have a few precious minutes to play!

A couple of nights ago, I walked into their bedroom to find it spotless.

At first, I was shocked! Then, I gave them high praise for doing such an amazing job so quickly.

Hugs were exchanged. Self-satisfied smiles were shared.

And then, I launched into my Stranger Danger talk. I gave my kids both barrels of reality. I talked about how it is okay to hurt anyone who tries to take you anywhere you don't want to go. I explained how to run to another Mom with small children if you are ever separated from me.

In other words, I went on and on.

But, I had their full attention.

While I was spewing forth the nastiness of life on my young children, I began to question the wisdom of doing this just before they slept. Bye bye, happy unicorn and friendly robot dreams! Hello, nightmares!

I then ended with a question, "Do you guys have any questions about what I was talking about?"

Both children were looking at me like I just told them that I could sprout wings and fly.

A few seconds of complete silence passed when LittleMan said,

"Awe, Mom. You just wasted our play time."

I thought that went well.


All Things BD said...

That's awesome. Good use of their time indeed.

That conversation sucks, because it's important, but you still feel like you're taking a part of their childhood away by making them worry about danger.

I usually have that conversation right before we go into a doughnut shop. Softens the blow.

Danielle said...

I think we should all live like they did in The Passage by Justin Cronin. It is all puppies and unicorns and then BAM! They turn 8 and we tell them EVERYTHING and take away their childhood.

Seems like the best course of action...who's with me? hello?

Carolina said...

Ha, I remember reading some Berenstein Bears Stranger Danger book to him when he was little.
Funny I was thinking about this today too, when I saw this Amber Alert on the freeway.
Whatever, it's never a bad idea to talk to them about it.