Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Innocence Lost

(Sorry, you're getting bombarded with posts today. I am getting caught up!)

This past week my oldest learned a very important lesson. A lesson I wanted him to be sheltered from for much longer than he was. It was probably more difficult on me than him, to be honest. But, nonetheless I had to tell him the truth. Not all people are honest!

That nearly broke my heart to tell him. I, probably like most parents, want my kids to keep their childlike faith and innocence as long as possible. And this weekthat was lost. At least in part.

You see, this past Sunday my son traded some toys for the “bucks” they earn at Church. He, and the other kids, work hard to earn these “bucks” by being on time to class, saying their memory verses and having good behavior. They have a “store” in place for the kids to “buy” toys, candy and other items with their hard-earned “bucks.” This, I don’t have a problem with. In fact, I’m thinking of instilling this philosophy at our house. Another story for another day

He got in the van after church and was so proud of his new toys. He was showing them to us all the way to lunch. It wasn’t until later that I found out he traded two other kids for these items rather than purchasing them from the store. That really got me thinkingwhat if he’d been cheated? I asked him how much he paid for these particular items and was appalled at his answer!

He paid 25 Kid Bucks for the motorcycle, 5 Kid Bucks that squishy, rubber light-up thing (which has fuzz ALL over it) and 5 Kid Bucks for the 2 Pokemon cards. WHAT?! He said he had used all but his ones to pay for these items. Oh. MY. WORD!!

So, I calmly sat him down and explained to him why he could never do that again. I told him the store was there for a reason and that was the only place he could purchase things from now on. Otherwise, I would have to keep all his Kid Bucks and be with him when he bought stuff. He looked surprised and could not understand why I would say such things.

And then it happenedI had to shatter his innocence. You see, my son is a very trusting and honest child. To a fault sometimes. He never thinks anyone would cheat on him (although, we’ve had this discussion when playing games before). He doesn’t think anyone would ever lie to him. He’s just very trusting. That’s when I had to tell him that not everyone is. Now, I clarified everything by saying I didn’t know if his friends had cheated him or not and I was not accusing them of doing so. I simply wanted him to understand Mom and Dad’s rules for using his Kid Bucks.

I told him that some not-so-nice kids would/could bring toys from home and ask other kids to trade their Kid Bucks for their toy from home - at a waaaay inflated price. I also told him, that those same not-so-nice kids could/would buy something from the store at a low price and then charge him a higher price so they actually made Kid Buck money on his “trade.” And as for the Pokemon cardswe don’t even allow those in our house. So they are going back. (I’m still not sure why he traded for those, since he knows they’re not allowed.)

Now, I am probably like most parents and hate to even think children are capable of such things, but it does happen. So, now the rule is no trading for items. No Matter What!! He can only purchase items from the store. And, if that doesn’t workwe’ll be in charge of his Kid Bucks from then on.

I think this lesson was so much harder on me than it was him. He was still happy with what he got out of the deal. And I was devastated about crushing his childlike faith and innocence. Then, I thought how our Heavenly Father must have felt that day in the Garden when he appeared to Adam and Eve after they had eaten the fruit. Their innocence stripped away with the bite of one piece of fruit. How heart-wrenching that must have been for Him. His sweet, perfect children would now forever know the evil that roamed the earth outside the Garden. And thus it began.

I realize we will never live in a perfect world here on this earth, but I would have liked my son to be sheltered from the evil just a while longer.

What has been the toughest lesson for you to teach your child(ren)? How did it affect you as the parent? How did it affect them? Feel free to link to a post you’ve written on this or just comment below.


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