True story. When my daughter first toured preschool, she announced she needed to poop and then grabbed a stack of books off the classroom shelf. Gross. She finished her big job and showed up pants around the ankles asking me to clean up. The teacher said to send some flushable wipes with her to school to aid in her independent butt wiping.
So on her first day, my three year old left for school with her new lunch box and her poop wipes. (I debated about sending a magazine). I felt pretty proud. She knew her ABC’s, numbers, colours, and nursery rhymes.
She had purple, scented poop wipes in her bag- she was prepped for the world, right?
Ahh. I keep hearing mummies say that when it comes to religion and spirituality, they are just going to expose their children to a wide variety of understandings and let them decide when they are older. I am baffled by this. I know my kid is eventually going to poop at school, so I give her some tools to ease the process. I know there is a lot of crud in the world, so I give her every skill I know to help her deal with the suffering, pain, and heartbreak she is going to encounter. If I care as a mother about the quality experience of my chid’s bowel movements, how much more should I care about their ability to cope in this world?
I use the biggest resource I have, my life story, to shape S’s understanding of the world, interjecting how my faith has helped me make sense of this world– not how Tom, Dick, and Harry’s opinion. Because my story has value and validity, and she gets to see it played out every single day. Faith in action. A spiritual story that becomes a reality of peace, hope and joy despite the harsh world we live in. The decision points come when I throw all I have at not only developing my own foundation and theology, but helping to shape hers. Then along the way, she can decide if the lens in which I’m cultivating is her right prescription.
“Train a child up in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I think people say that they will expose their kids to everything because they are still trying on their own lenses. That’s perfectly reasonable. We all are fine tuning our belief systems as our experiences mold us, but my encouragement to mummies/ mommies is to chase that spiritual understanding, interpretation of the world, or belief system as whole heartedly as possible, sharing each golden nugget with your child.
If you know a wipe works, why not pack them?
If you don’t cultivate your child’s belief system, Tom, Dick, and Harry are ready to do that job for you.