Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Thursday, October 12, 2017

When Your 6 Year Old Outsmarts You...And Tries to Outsmart Jesus

My 6-year-old son is smart. But, he recently has learned how to twist ideas to manipulate them to benefit himself. It is both awe-inspiring and frightening. When your child is able to argue his way out of a box, and he is only six, you know you are in a bit of trouble. But, it is mostly humorous.

I’ll give you an example.

My sweet boy is known for being a good friend. While he is rambunctious and never shuts up in the classroom, his teachers have always assured me he has a sweet heart and is a friend to everyone. However, this year he has had a bit of trouble with another child in class.

I would not classify it as bullying, but this other child has upset Knox on more than one occasion. And, Knox is not used to it. So, we have been trying to teach him how to deal with these types of incidents. For example, if the kid keeps touching you, ask him to stop. If the kid laughs at you, ignore him. But, we have also sat Knox down and tried to explain that maybe this kid really needs a friend. We explained that while he does not have to play with him all the time, he should still be loving and kind.

As Christians, we feel called to love others. But, as parents, we also believe in healthy boundaries. It is hard to find the balance between loving those who hurt you and setting boundaries – even for adults.

So, earlier this week, Knox spent his evening coloring and designing characters to take to his classmates. These were intricately colored and cut figures specially designed for each kid. Except for one kid. I gently pointed this out to my son.

“Knox, how would you feel if he made something for everyone in the class but you?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind. I would just make my own.”

Well, that example clearly did not work for me. So, I tried again.

“Knox, what do you think Jesus would do in this situation?”

“Mom, I know Jesus would make him one. But, I also know Jesus made us all different. And this is one of my differences. I am different because I am not making everyone one. And we cannot be like Jesus because he was perfect.”

At this point, I gave up. Just kidding. But, I was completely flummoxed. My son managed to use what we’ve instilled since he was a baby (that Jesus loves him and he made him special) as a way to NOT BE NICE. I chose to laugh.

I simply told Knox to sleep on it and think about it some more, but that I was not going to force him to do it.

He came back a bit later and made a figurine for the child.

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