Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Little Guys

My two sons, Jackson and Sutton, and I were eating dinner at home last night and Jackson, 5, said something that really upset me.
He said, “Daddy, you just want me to kill myself don’t you?”
He thought it was a joke. He was laughing when he said it.
I sat there shocked.
“Jackson, don’t you ever say that again,” was my first reply.
After sitting there a second, he followed that up with, “Dad, I was just joking.”
“Look Jack, that’s one of the most horrible things that can happen in a family,” I said. There is absolutely no humor in that thought whatsoever. In fact, I never want any thought like that to come out of your mouth ever again.”
I must say, I got a little hot about it and he was surprised by my reaction.
I tried to find out where he heard it, but he was unclear which influence it came from here.
Regardless, we spoke at length about life and how much love there is in our home and the importance of that love.
I think I nipped that situation in the bud.
Sutton, 3, ran off from my wife twice the other day at the store. He didn’t get far, but the fact is he knows better.
When I got home that evening, she told me he was in his room and what had happened.
He knew he was in trouble ... and he was.
I explained how important it was to stay with Mommy and Daddy - especially in a crowd, parking lot or street.
I said I was sad to tell him there were people in the world who would like to harm him. I told him how dangerous it was. I told him the truth as it is in today’s society.
He listened. His eyes got wide and he took it all in.
What a shame to have to tell a 3-year-old how bad the world is.
Jackson knows four phone numbers and can call them. Sutton is learning them.
I encourage any parent out there to begin a dialogue about these things if you haven’t already. Children are advanced and learn cell phones, computers and remote controls easily. Don’t think they can’t handle knowing your phone number because they can or will learn it shortly.
This parenting business can sure throw you some curve balls.

Copyright Christopher Blackburn 2009

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