Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Age of Innocence

When I was small my world was a a relatively safe place. As far as I was concerned most people had stable home lives and happy marriages, if people died it was of old age and if there were tragedies for most part they were outside my immediate circle. I am not sure whether it was due to a natural self-centeredness of children or the conscious effort of my parents to shield us from the harsh realities of adult life but it ensured us a happy and secure childhood. I think it's important to give the children a sense of stability and security in order for them to grow and learn about the world unencumbered by adult problems and emotions that they are noy yet mature enough to assimilate. I believe we should be honest with kids and explain things to them, but on the level they are capable of understanding without unduly traumatizing them. Some information has to be on per need basis only. When the last wide scale operation in Gaza was taking place my older ones had lots of questions because they knew something was happening, what with the military aircraft flying overhead and practice air raid drills and kids talking in school. We answered their questions very matter of factly without scaring them too much. So once I had this really detailed conversation with one of my sons, he had a million questions abot war, missles, Arab-Israeli conflict, etc. After 20 minutes of this he said but Gaza isn't so close to us and then just ran off to play. That's the way kids are. They process all the information but with firm defense mechanisms in place. Let them stay innocent for a while, there is no rush to make them grow old before their time without need. Let them be carefree for now, they'll have plenty of opportunities to see the other side of life when they are bigger and more capable of handling it.


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