As a parent, we often have the tendency to want to shelter our children from bad things and bad people. I don’t like to overexpose my son to examples of bad behavior because I don’t want him to think that such behavior is normal.
One day, we were watching television and a character did something wrong. I immediately began to wonder what I would say to him about the situation and he looked over at me and said, “___________, did the wrong thing, they are going to get in trouble.”
I can’t explain the sense of pride that came over me. It was in that moment that I realized that it might be a good idea to expose him to situations (in small doses) and begin to allow him to decipher the difference between good and bad. I know some parents that tried to shelter their children and when they got older, they got buck wild.
I don’t know for sure, if my plan is going to work but I would rather control his exposure to situations while he is under my influence so that we can discuss proper reactions and I get to hear what he thinks. I can then reinforce those good things and try to correct him when he gets off track. I don’t want to wait until he is a teenager and then start preaching about what he should and should not be doing. In opinion, it will be too late. He is at the point, right now, where he is forming his moral compass.
A parent’s greatest responsibility is to form the person that our children will become. It is fun to enjoy our children as little people but we have to remember that some of those habits that they are forming or some of the behaviors that seem cute today, may not serve them well in the future.