Embrace being unique while trying to fit in

I worry about our kids copying others’ choices and behavior. But if I take an honest look at our girl’s short life thus far, her ability to imitate is what propelled her into the well adjusted kindergarten stage. She adapts. Our job is to help her discern between right and wrong, as all the matters of life become more and more complex. 

It’s tempting to make choices for her. And to a degree we do.  But learning to discern, to backtrack, to assess, to justify decisions confidently, are lessons so important for our kids to apply for themselves, as they earn more independence, from a social, intellectual and spiritual stance. 

Kids will emulate the examples they are surrounded with. They are a blank canvas, subconsciously driven to define themselves. 

The social group at kindergarten and the character of their teachers, how they express what they stand for, how they address the seeds of bullying, the bragging, the exclusion, the body image. 

We, the human race, are fallen and prone to bad choices. We ought to be vigilant. Everyone, no matter the social context or age, is prone to sin.  

And one thing we are all guilty of is going with the flow, because going against the current takes sustained effort and awareness. 

When we overhear our kid saying something unkind, or being unkind, when they do something that doesn’t align with our moral code, even if we can track the root cause, if we only cross our fingers hoping that it’s just a phase, and don’t address the issue (be that our disconnection, indifference, our overly flexible social exposures) things won’t get better on their own. They could only get worse. And the kid will learn to cover it up better. 

There is an overflow of information. I personally tend to feel pulled in too many directions as I am bombarded with good moral interpretations of parenting. 

But how do I justify to my kid my moral guidance. She needs to know “why” (God bless our kid’s drive for incessant clarifications). We ought to keep it simple and memorable. But solid. Browsing books with Jackie on her shelf, I stumbled upon the holy Graal of age-old wisdom. The Ten Commandments. “What does God say about this?” I ask myself and challenge Jackie to do the same. It’s the ultimate unbeatable reference. We root our courage, kindness, belief in God. Revisit it. Commit it to memory. Let them ask questions. Because they will. 

Let them be trend setters as followers of Christ. Age 5 is golden to weave their heart with the love of God.