Parenting the Little Kids with Big Questions
My five year old (almost six) has been asking the big questions that little kids ask. And I’m sorting through what the answers are. Often I have to preface my response with: Let me think about that one.
What is God’s plan for my life and how will I know what it is?
And I choked on my milk and took two deep breaths because this feels so above my pay grade. And then I remember that this is my pay grade and these are the questions I have to hold in my heart for the kids. These are what I’m here for. (And to be pooped on. LOTS.)
I started out with: God has a plan for all our lives, and we don’t know what that plan is, but it will unfold over time.
Then I went towards: God doesn’t shout down from Heaven, parting the clouds, to tell you exactly what you should do.
(Eliciting giggles and chortles.)
I explained that we make lots of little choices and those little choices lead us to bigger choices. And that as we choose, always putting kindness and love first, we get stronger and stronger inside. That’s our conscience. That helps us know if what we’re doing is right or wrong.
He wanted particulars. What if God wants me to be a soldier or a doctor? I want to be a baseball player.
Now it was my turn to laugh a little. I shared my view that God isn’t going to force him into anything, ever. He gave him the right to chose. He’ll know what the best path is by trying things, and sometimes failing, and then trying something else. It will feel right inside. God answers requests for help and guidance, too!
After he lapsed into silent though on all this, I did too. How did I know that staying at home with my kids would be the “right” decision for me? And how do I know now things like where to send my kids to school or where to put the little energies I have (aside from homing & momming).
This talk–this line of questioning from my tall skinny boy–reinforced in me that I can answer the big questions. Because I’m living out my answers to them. Not perfectly, not always consistently, but I’m trying.
Nothing keeps us honest like kids. They also can smell chocolate on my breath from across the room.