Children Are Like Sponges

I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now John 16: 12

As moms we have to know how much to tell our children and when to say it.  For very young children we know that telling them too much would not only confuse them but may also frighten them.  I remember when our eldest son was in Kindergarten it was during the time of the Gulf War, and his teacher thought it was very important to tell her young students everything about the war and what she thought of it.  Being in a Catholic School many of the teachers were Catholic or had a deep respect for the faith, and for this teacher who was a cradle Catholic she was convinced that the children needed to understand the Social Justice Issues in the world.  This is a wonderful thing but she let her zeal for this Catholic social teaching blind her to the understanding of her young students.

Our son would come home after school and act and say things that made us know that he was deeply effected by what she had taught that day.  At night he could not sleep and begged us not to leave him alone because the “bad men will come into the house and kill us!”  He was filled with the image death, fear that he was going to lose everything he loved.  We talked with his teacher about this and was shocked by her disregard for our concerns about her teachings.

God knew that at each stage of life we gain enough life, spiritual and emotional growth for us to take in more and more information.  Children are naive for a very good reason, because they need this time of purity of thought and emotion so they can grow to be open and loving persons.  If we try and give them more information than they can handle this creates such fear that the children will build walls around their hearts so they will not be hurt again.

As each child grows what they have learned becomes a foundation for how much they can adsorb; they become stronger with each lesson they learn, and if done well, confident that the world is a safe place even when there is trouble.  We wish our children to understand life but we must be careful how we present.

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