The whole truth or just enough?

JD has developed a passion for battles between good guys and bad guys. This includes light sabers, blasters, nerf guns and hand guns made out of legos. The other night he came out of his room (night 2 in his very own room) and told me he was scared of the noise he just heard. It happened to be a neighbor’s car doors and the car starting. He asked me if people were going to come into our house and start shooting everybody. I told him no. We live in a safe neighborhood, our family isn’t involved in anything that would make someone break in and shoot everyone. Above all, God was watching over us. What I didn’t share with my 6 year old son at 10 pm was that every now and then you can hear gun shots from the neighborhood literally across the tracks behind our neighborhood. That crazy people could need drug money and decide to break in and that sometimes God doesn’t stop bad things from happening.

We spent the next 30 minutes talking about guns, what to do if he sees one at a friend’s house or just laying around somewhere, how not to point even a toy gun at anyone. I also told him that someday we would take him to learn how to handle a real gun safely. 

He asked how we know who has guns, are they good guys or bad guys? Do good guys shoot people? Do they shoot bad people? We talked a little about self defense. He asked if policemen shoot a lot of bad guys. I said they do everything they can not to have to use their guns. He decided that good guys can shoot bad guys if they are trying to protect themselves because evil never wins. I swear he said that. Evil never wins.

He mentioned soldiers briefly but we didn’t discuss war at all. And we talked about hunting and target shooting. When he ran out of questions, I took him back to bed. He then told me he was a little scared from all the talking about guns. Can’t win. I prayed over him and let him go to sleep.

It took me by surprise all these questions. I hope I gave him good enough answers and information. I did have to take away a lego built gun because he was pretending to shoot up the grocery store. I told him it might scare the other shoppers. In his world it is a pretend game to save the universe from whatever monsters lurk behind the frozen food section. He has no knowledge that lunatics in the last 10-15 years have been shooting up public places.

How much to tell a 6 year old?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa Price on March 26, 2009 at 9:11 am

    You tell them as much as they need to know. Glib, I know, but you can’t cover everything, and their minds continue to work past any discussion, so the questions keep on coming.

    We have a rule that nothing can be directly pointed at anyone else – lego gun (at the time), pencils, pretzels, you get the idea.

    JD will still want good to conquer evil, and I think that’s a good thing to want. There’s plenty of time for the scary reality of life.

    BTW, JT made a gun out of a barbie doll when he was 5. They’ll find a way to make it out of anything handy.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sherri on March 27, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Joni,

    Tell him the truth at his six year old level. Continue the discussion as he gets older/open the funnel more and more.

    It is better for the truth to be in his little head, otherwise, he will fill in the blanks on his own.

    Think about thoughts we still struggle with as adults that could have been replaced with wisdom from a caring parent/adult…like your conversation with JD last night!

    Reply

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