My son has only been in kindergarten for one month and he’s already embroiled in a “scandal.” I put it in quotes because I still can’t believe what I’m about to write.
From what I’m told, my 5-year-old son told a little girl in his class that he wanted to “marry” her and “kiss” her. Now, the important context here is that he had just watched his aunt get married just days before this. Of course, they sealed the deal with a kiss.
He also knows mom and dad are married and we, too, “kiss.” Gasp!
From a child development perspective, this type of mimicking behavior is 100% normal and innocent. Little kids getting “married” on the playground is a tale as old as time.
So you can imagine my surprise when I learned the little girl’s parents were “very upset” about it. So much so that they spent time tracking down our personal number so they could let us know all about it.
Though my wife was the one of the phone, the tone was described as “indignant.” The girl’s mother said something to the effect:
“Her father is very upset… We haven’t talked to our daughter about these things because she’s only 5!”
I immediately had some questions.
She doesn’t know that her parents are married? She doesn’t see mom and dad kiss ever? Really?
For the record, we absolutely have talked to our son about marriage, God’s role in it, and how we are called to love and respect each other. We also read the 10 Commandments every night, which touches on marriage.
We have not talked to him about “kissing.” But he gets kisses from us and he sees us kiss. He also saw his aunt kiss her new husband at her wedding. The kid has eyes. Not much I can do about that.
However, the tone of the parent phone call seemed to suggest we are teaching our 5-year-old how to be a deviant and hook up with girls on the kindergarten playground. Lunacy.
The teacher was even involved. This is a private school. I felt like I was taking crazy pills.
My ego wanted to go nuclear. Instead, I composed myself and decided to handle the situation more tactfully. I informed the teacher, who is great, that my son did absolutely NOTHING wrong and he will not be lectured or chastised for something so innocent and sweet. Period.
And he wasn’t.
Now, I do not know if my son’s “proposal” upset the little girl. Maybe it did. I have no problem teaching my son that if we say something that upsets someone, we should make it right and stop saying those things.
But here’s the reality of what happened: my son saw a little girl he thought was pretty (he’s actually described this same girl as a “princess” before) and he shot his shot. It didn’t work out. That’s a good life lesson.
Those parents are free to raise their daughter in any manner they see fit, even if I disagree with that level of sheltering. My sons are being raised to see marriage as the amazing thing that it is: a beautiful union between a man and woman in which God is the foundation.
I want them to think marriage is cool — because it is! If I do my job right, my boys will aspire to be great husbands.
I would have been more than happy to have a cordial conversation with the little girl’s father man-to-man if he was really upset. I still would. But coming at us in such a judgmental and, frankly, silly manner is going to land you in my newsletter.
God bless every one of you,
Founder, High Value Dad