Last night, my six-year-old son asked me one tough question – pang beauty pageant level!!! Hehe. Well, he asked me how he would know if the person he wants to be friends with is a good person. For a good minute or two, I was speechless to the point that he repeated his question to me. In that moment of silence, I may not have uttered any words, but my mind was rolling. In my head, I have these words – “Even I, given my age, could not easily determine if a person is good or not.”, “It’s better if you be cautious, my son, and mark every person as a not so nice one.” “Nobody is good nowadays!” “It’s hard to know, my son.” “You can’t trust anyone!”.
To be honest, I’m not proud of all these ill thoughts I have against other people. What kind of a mother would turn her young children into cynical people? It’s good that my lips were not as quick as my head. I was able to pull the break before I said something I’d regret later, knowing it has changed or altered my child’s innocent view of the world and its people.
I suggested he observe the person he wants to be friends with and take note of the following:
– How does he treat your teachers? Does he respect them? Does he listen to them attentively? Does he obey the schools’ rules and regulations? How about the way he treats other school personnel, like the janitors, teachers’ aides, and security guards? Does he respect them too and try to lessen the work that they do?
– How he is to his parents, grandparents and/or caregivers? Does he respect and obey them? How does he talk about them? Is it with love and respect? If he loves his parents and honors them then it might be a sign that he is raised well and if he is raised well, there is a better chance that he is a good person.
– Does he believe and love Jesus? A person who believes and loves Jesus would always want to be good and avoid hurting other people. Does he pray when it’s time to pray?
– How does he treat your classmates? Is he friendly? Does he like helping them? Does he know how to share? Do your classmates like him too? Or, they try to avoid him? There is a reason why others would want to avoid him and there is a reason why the others would like to be around him.
– Listen to how he speaks with other people. Is it with kindness? Or, is he disrespectful or boastful? Does he say hurtful words towards others?
– Observe how he carries himself. Does he always hit on other kids? Or, is he gentle and careful not to hurt others?
After everything I’ve said which he patiently listened to, my son simply replied, “so, I need to observe them?”. To that, I said, yes, because only time and only you can tell if your friend or the person you like to be friends with is a good person or not.
Lastly, I told him, you can also pray about it and ask Jesus to tell your heart if this person is good for you or not.
Hay. Sometimes, the kids ask the simplest yet most difficult questions to answer. But, they bring me back to the core. To my son, keep those challenging questions coming. Oh, Lord, guide me as I answer them.
How about you, mommies, what’s the most difficult life question your child ask you?