Some concepts are easy for kids to handle when we think they shouldn’t be. Death for instance. Parents struggle with death and talking about death because we know people who died. We know what death means long-term and we think about what that means for us. It is disturbing.
Children seem to handle death with much more grace and resilience because they have no bias against the idea of death. When a frog stops moving because a car squished it, that is death and death happens. The kid accepts it and moves on with their life. Any confusion beyond that is probably something we create when we try to comfort them beforehand and reassure them that the news we are about to deliver isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. The funny part is that our actions are telling them the exact opposite. Our actions are screaming, “Fluffy died and is never coming back and you will no-doubt be emotionally destroyed so go ahead and have a melt-down, daddy will catch you.”
I only make this point to share another interesting topic.
Recently guidance class (per State requirements) held a talk with first graders about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. This is a good talk to have and I have mentioned these talks before but I’m not sold on the idea that children in first grade are ready to have a belief system thrust upon them. They need to process everything in yes/no and good/bad terms with no room for in-between.
What do they define as drugs? Drugs are any chemical that alters your physical state. Caffeine, green tea, crack cocaine… All drugs. Aspirin, St. John’s Wort, Meth… Also drugs. Then there is the alcohol part of the talk. Alcohol is alcohol and is also a drug so I don’t see why it gets a special spot in the title of “Drugs and Alcohol”. It is like saying, “Drugs and Another-Really-Popular-Kinda-Sorta-Drug-That-We-Like”.
So anyway they sit all the children down and hand out worksheets and talk about Drugs and Alcohol. These kids come home armed to the teeth with knowledge.
Prima: Did you know drugs are bad for your body?
UD: I do, in fact.
Prima: Do you do drugs?
UD: Well, yes I suppose I do. I enjoy a coffee in the morning and sometimes a beer when I relax at the river.
Prima: Well, kids aren’t supposed to do drugs.
UD: That is exactly correct. Unless it is a medicine from your doctor that mommy and daddy give you to make you better.
Prima: Right. And grown-ups shouldn’t do drugs but some is okay.
UD: What do you mean?
Prima: Well, adults can have alcohol and do a little bit of drugs.
UD: *laughing* Awesome.
I have to say, I was reserved about this curriculum but it is sounding like it is pretty generously applied to the adult demographic so maybe I won’t challenge it too much. After all, I can drink alcohol and “do a little bit of drugs”. She is showing more latitude in her thinking than I would have assumed.
So if you have ever been enabled by a first grader. This post is for you. Apparently, a little bit of crack is okay as long as you are an adult. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.