It seems like children are starting school at younger ages these days. First kindergarten, now ther is pre-K! Younger and younger they are leaving the safe, home environment and facing the cold, cruel world. Younger and younger, they are leaving the familiar for the unknown. Don’t get me wrong. Kindergarten can be wonderful and exciting. Furthermore, education is important and it appears that children learn things easier in their ten years. Still, as a parent there are things I wish they didn’t learn, or have to learn so early in their lives.
I wish my daughter hadn’t heard and learned words we don’t use at home. Words used for cursing, sex words or harsh words of put-downs of other races or socio-economic levels. I wish I didn’t have to try and help her understand why I consider those words inappropriate and/or hurtful.
I wish she didn’t learn first hand about some diseases and problems, like lice and fleas and how they feel.
There are several childish behaviors I wish she hadn’t seen and learned to copy. Things like food fights, for instance. That chewing bubble gum is great, especially when you learn to make big bubbles that pop all over your face. I also wish she hadn’t found out how sticky it is on tables, chairs and in hair. I hated to see her learn that wiping her nose with her arm or hand works just as well as tissue and is easier. In the same vein, I wish she didn’t learn it’s okay to cough with your mouth uncovered. I wish she hadn’t learned what tantrums are, or that piercing squeals bring instant attention. I wish she didn’t find out that scissors cut more than just paper and crayons leave great marks on walls. I”m sorry she found out that some small items can fit into noses or ears and there is a lot of excitment created trying to get them out.
I wish she hadn’t learned how a bully acts or what it feels like to be bitten.
I wish she didn’t learn that there are adults and other children that really don’t about her. I wish she hadn’t learned that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say. I’m sorry she learned that there are some adults who don’t take their responsibilities seriously and don’t keep their promises. I wish she hadn’t discovered quite so soon that she isn’t the most important person in the world. I know it is part of growing up, but there are ways of making that discovery that aren’t so hard on self-esteem and confidence. I’m glad she didn’t experience the fact that there are people in the world that are dangerous. I pray she never does.
Oh, yes. One last thing I desperately wish she hadn’t learned in kindergarten: how to start growing up too fast for Mommy to handle. What happened to my baby? Next year it’s first grade; before I know it middle school and then….