When it comes to raising my kids I feel fairly confident in dealing with the big issues. I can handle the birds and the bees. I can discuss drugs and smoking and alcohol with ease. I can kiss boo boo's and help navigate the choppy waters of their first fight with a friend. I got that stuff. The places where I feel more "out of place" are in the little daily dilemma's. The grey areas.
The world is full of grey. As parents we have to both teach our children right from wrong but also teach them that the world will not always be black and white. So here is my current dilemma...
One of the girls favorite places to go is Chick Fil A. I don't love that it's not organic but a little splurge here and there is good. Truthfully none of us love it for the food. Rather we go for the service (a fast food joint that brings your food to the table gets a thumbs up from me!) and the play area. It is a sound proof, all glass play area that the kids can play in while I sip on a lemonade and watch from the peace of my table. I love that! They can keep themselves busy in their for an hour.
Now comes the dilemma. The girls know that the play area is technically for kids 3 and under. It has a sign and the girls once asked what it said. I told them and ever since Grace has felt it her job to notify all the big kids playing in their that there is, in fact, and age limit. I tell her each time that it isn't her job to be the age police and the people who work there don't mind if the big kids play as long as they behave. Well, now my kids are four. Grace knows the age limit. I am sure if I take her there it will be an issue. Ninety nine percent of the time we visit there are several kids (much) older than 3 playing and it's no problem. So do I continue to bring my kids if we all know that we are breaking a rule? What kind of message does that send? Do we just stop going?
I know it's a little, tiny, insignificant thing in the grant scheme of life but it's also a lesson. Whether or not we want to admit it some rules will be willfully broken on a large scale. It happens every day. We all speed now and again. We all answer our phone while trying to sync to bluetooth. Little brushes with the other side of the line.
So how do we teach our kids both messages at the same time?