But what about the dangers of exposing a highly receptive child to those who hold different and controversial beliefs. Please see my earlier post on this topic: Learning From Others, The Good and The Bad (Part 1)
I don’t believe in fairies and I don’t hate white rabbits
During the course of our weekend in Woofing in Dewsbury there were a couple of things that Kaye said to Kai that I was uncomfortable with. While sitting in the caravan one evening I overheard Kai complaining about smoke from the fire. Shortly afterwards he was saying, “I hate white rabbits,” repeatedly. I thought it sounded odd, and the more he continued to repeat it the more uncomfortable I felt. When I asked him why he was saying it, he said that Kaye had told him that it would make the smoke go away.
It turns that out that the phrase “I hate white rabbits,” Is said around many a campfire, with no sinister meaning, but I still didn’t like it. Later on Kaye sneezed and I said bless you, as you do. Instead of thank you, she replied by saying that if she said thank you she would kill a fairy?? After a long pause, Kai said,”I don’t believe in fairies. Don’t get me wrong, Kaye, our host, was fantastic. But we had been kind of thrown together, through WWOOF, without really getting to know and appreciate our different beliefs. On the whole we were congruent: Kaye has a strong appreciation for the planet on which she lives, is a strong believer in self-sufficiency and strives to live in accordance with biodynamic principles, things that I appreciate. But while we may respect a person for their individuality, knowledge or expertise, we must be mindful not to allow them to impose their beliefs on us. Our mental guardians must be ever on the alert to harmful influences, which may indeed appear as sheep in wolves clothing.
Kai is developing confidence in his own beliefs
Ok, but ” I hate white rabbits” is fairly harmless you may think, maybe so. But it is interesting to see how quickly children will take what an adult says and model it, right or wrong; they don’t reason or judge, they simply accept. Had Kai been a different child, he may well have been left with the guilty notion that he may have killed a number of fairies.
Making sure that your child has a solid belief system
The fairy incident made me very aware of the need to provide Kai with a very solid spiritual foundation. He will meet people from all walks of life with their own beliefs, ideals and prejudices, not to mention the pernicious influence of the media. How he deals with this (I feel) will largely depend on the example that has been set for him. As a Christian I strive to model Christian values: faith in one God, treating others as I would like to be treated, honesty, integrity, compassion, humility, tolerance (most of the time), self-respect and so on.
In a world where traditional values appear to be falling away at an alarming rate, it is my hope that whatever life throws at him that he, like the man who built his house on a rock, will be able to stand though the floods and the storms and remain safely anchored in the truth.
Picture credit: Tor and Tillfy Colafson