My two girls have both thrown me for loops recently. Both on Sunday, merely hours apart.
First of all, in my 4 year old's Sunday School class, the teacher gave each student a quarter to give during offering time and gave the kids a chance to decide to give it or keep it. Well, my darling 4 year old decided to keep it. When I asked her why she said "Well, they would give me a bonus point if I gave it to Jesus, but mom, I already had 6 points so I decided to keep it."
Um. What? Obviously, she completely missed the whole entire idea of it. She thought the poing of giving it away would be to get one bonus point. Of course, the entire way home we talked about what the church does with that money that we give. We talked about how mom gave money in at church too because we have so much that we need to share all the wonderful things we have. I really thought she knew that already. And, actually when we were talking, she did show me she understood! The issue at Sunday School was that she thought she was giving the quarter only to get more points.
By the time we arrived home, we decided that next Sunday, we would bring the quarter back and give it, and she would even bring an extra quarter from her piggy bank, and I would give her a third quarter to give, and she is now VERY excited that she can give 3 quarters to the church, instead of just one.
Of course, that leaves me in a quandry with this Sunday School program. It seems to me that my initial reaction of being leary about this point system was really where I still stand today. I am very unhappy with the point system. My children are getting too caught up in the points they get, to really focus on what the teachers are trying to teach them. We have discussed, several times now, about how the points are not important - apparently 4 year old understood she wasn't there to get points, so she kept her quarter because she didn't care about the point (but obviously didn't understand there was more to giving than one point). At this point, I really feel like I need to discuss this feeling with those that run the program. I also heard on the car ride home from my 7 year old "Mom, next week I need to bring my Bible to Sunday School because we get points for that!"
Ugh. On one hand I want to tell her, nope, you are not bringing it because I don't think you need the points. At the same time, I want to say, well yes, it is important to bring your Bible if you plan on using it during Sunday School and aren't just bringing it as a show piece.
I guess the whole thing irks me because I can't for the life of me figure out why they introduced this point system in the first place. Sunday School was one of the few places were they weren't getting graded, earning points, earning prizes, etc. I think Sunday School is a bit above that, and now, well, we are struggling with trying to teach the kids to do things simply to do it and not for getting points.
Well, a few hours later I heard my 7 year old say to her cousin (who had just commented he liked the dancing he saw on tv) "Why? do you think that's doing the x word?" He looked at her like she grew two extra heads, ignored her, and kept watching. Now, I caught this and thought I knew what the "x word" was but knew I had to be wrong so I called her over and point blank asked her what it meant. She told me "you know mom, sex."
Crud. I wasn't wrong afterall - and no, I have NO idea why she thinks it's the "x word." I'm assuming she saw something on TV where someone was dancing and someone else must have commented that they were sexy. That's the only way I can figure out she thought the dancing was sex.
Well, of course, I then asked her if she knew what sex was. She shook her head no. We had all of a 2 minute conversation where I requested she did speak of things she didn't know about, and should she want to know about them, she can ask her father and me about it. She ended the conversation pretty quickly, to get back to the cousin who was visiting.
I felt really unsure about what to do ... I wanted to keep her there and have a talk with her, but at the same time, I knew she didn't want to do it just then with other kids at our house. Dh nad I have decided that sometime within the week, we will be sitting down with her to have a real conversation about the topic - one that will maybe last more than a few moments. I admit, I am nervous about this. I'm not sure what kind of questions she will ask and just how much information she will want to know. I guess on one hand, I'm thinking how come the topic didn't come up sooner? But here it is, in our life, and we will deal with it. But I admit, they'll be some butterflies in my stomach during this conversation!
Ah, the joys of the children growing up!