Đạo (my seven-year-old): Daddy, is God dead or alive?
Me: Hmmm… I don’t know.
Đán (my four-year-old): Only in your brain.
Me: That’s it. Great answer.
It appears that Đán has an answer for everything. At times he is way off, and at times he managed to hit it straight on. I am not even sure where he gets his information from. He still has yet to be able to recognize the alphabet, but he could name any dinosaur I point to him. He picked up the word “stupid” on YouTube and has been using it ever since. When we try to stop him from using it, he finds ways around it. He would say something like, “You are stup.” or “You are S.T.” It is so hard to get him to stop using the word now. True “stupid” is not a nice word, but it is not a word to ban either.
I am having a hard time striking the right balance. Why should I stop him from using a word? One time we were listening to Fresh Air and one of the guests used the word “stupid” and Đạo pointed out, “Oh, that lady is using the S.T. word.” I couldn’t figure out why adult can use it, but children can’t. Eventually they’ll expose to it. Should I focus on teaching them using the word in the right context instead?
The kids are now addicted to the iPad even though we restricted them to weekend only. Đán asked me, “Why do adults get to use the iPhone all the time, but the kids only get to use it on the weekend?” My reason is that I use it for work. I try to illuminate using my iPhone in front of them, but then other adults are gluing to their iPhone or iPad as well.
The boys are now into military play. One time I told Đạo about an unfortunate incident that a boy got shot playing with a toy gun when the police thought he was playing with a real gun. His respond was, “Everyone knows a Nerf gun is a toy. Do you see a real gun with that many colors?” He has his point. Am I too paranoid?
I don’t want to spoil them and at the same time I don’t want to be too strict. I find striking the balance is so hard. It’s a guilt that I always carry on myself. I want to give them as much freedom as they want as long as they won’t fuck up.