My grand daughters were visiting with us over the weekend. They are 9 and 6.
The girls were sitting in the living room watching a movie while I was reading the paper. Out of the blue the 6-year-old suggested that grammy and I should have another kid. That way when they come over, they'd have someone to play with.
I replied that we were really too old to continue having children and that we enjoyed being grand parents. The 9-year-old jumped in by pointing out we're going to be dead soon and then what would the child do?
The 6-year-old thought this over and then asked when do people start having kids-15? 16?
I said no, that's too young. People usually get married in their 20s and then have a family some time after that.
Her response was so you have to be married to have kids?
I chickened out and said yes (which after discussing this with my daughter was the right thing to say).
Then my grand daughter observed well maybe you can adopt a child any time, right? At which time her older sister answered for me by saying sure you can adopt whenever you want.
I took that opportunity to steer the conversation in another direction but it left me thinking about how kids form their opinions and where they get their ideas.
They certainly hear bits and pieces of what others around them are saying--kids as well as adults-- not to mention what they're getting from TV. I find it interesting to see how young children put this information together.
That's why effective, common sense parenting is so important. Kids need to know just enough to understand reality but not so much that they're overwhelmed or confused.
Parenting. It's a tough job. Yet one of the few things for which you need no special training or licensing to be one. Go figure.