Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Kids are a different species

Kids are a different species from adults, did you know that?  Just when you think you've got them figured out, one of them says something that makes you wonder if they really are, in fact, smarter than you are.  Or if they are in touch with some cosmic force or other that gives them the answers to the meaning of life before they've really lived that life.

In a conversation with a friend yesterday she was explaining how she had asked her five year old grandson the difference between a chicken and a turkey.  She said, "He thought about it for a while...was really giving it some serious consideration...and then said, 'Nuggets!'"

Which is equally as funny as it is insightful, I think.

The other day, at my own humble abode, my dear daughter was spending her "screen time" on the computer playing a PBS Kids game: Sid the Science Kid.  Somehow it's a learning game (hey, it's on PBS, right?) but the sound effects were making me crazy.  I did that thing where you think, "Good Grief!  How can you listen to that over and over again?" and then realize you have just said it out loud, not to yourself. 

She responds, "But I can!  I have different ears than you!"

I laughed right out loud.  I posted the funny to Facebook to share the funny with others.  But as I sat there being amused at the things kids say, I wondered: What are they tapped into that we adults are not?

I say it's Innocence.

I think kids say the stuff they say because they're innocent of the "greater understanding" of life.  And that's a good thing.  They're bent on growing up and learning new things or idolizing their older siblings or friends, desperately wanting to do what they do.  And we as parents sometimes, admittedly, wish they were older so they could do xyz-thing for themselves because it's hard to be on all the time.  But really, that thing that every older parent says to younger parents, "Enjoy them now, while they're young.  They grow up so quickly," is totally true.

I have strong feelings about exposing kids (and I can only speak for myself here) to things that are beyond their ability to comprehend mentally or emotionally.  Movies and TV, video games - they all pale in comparison to that great invention called Outdoors.  Books are harder.  My kiddos absorb books by osmosis, it seems.  It is very hard to keep them in books that are appropriate for their age levels because both of their reading levels are so high.  (Yes, I know I am very blessed.)  But still, we're careful about what they read, too.

This is why we have "Screen Time" at our house.  This is why we tell them to go get a book.  Why we kick them outside and say, "Go play!"  Because this innocent fun is just that...innocent. 

They're kids.  They don't need to worry about all the stuff the adults worry about (though in my case my son tends to pick up on all that stuff anyway and then spouts it off to me at a later date and probably inappropriate time) because they're kids.  They need to worry about homework, and school and that's about it. 

Just my two cents worth.

And that innocent brilliance they spout every now and again?  Remember that, too.  It could be good fodder for blackmail when they get older! ;)


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