I was driving with Zach the other day and as we were sitting at a red light we both spot a homeless man with a “Homeless, Need Help” sign. Immediately, I begin digging through my purse to find some money to give him. I thought I would even take it a step further and get Zach involved in the “giving” process, so I give him the money to hand to the man.
He totally seemed proud of himself too, happily handing the money over with a big grin. I have to admit, I felt pretty good as well. I had not only opened up the stage for a discussion with him on the importance of giving but also involved him in the giving process.
And the questions began. We have talked about “poor people” before, it’s usually when he is “done” with breakfast after asking for a HUGE amount, only to tell me 10 minutes later he isn’t hungry and I have to throw it all away. I then go into my rant about how some kids do not have anything to eat and how they would not waste the food given to them but I guess that was just words. Actually, seeing someone in need right in front of him makes it more “real.”
I first tell him what the sign said and explain to him how some people are homeless, without jobs and do not even have money to buy food. And sometimes they become so desperate they ask others for help.
I then continue on about how we should give to the poor and always helps those in need. This is not our first talk about it but it seems like this talk really is hitting home this time.
Because he just can not believe that the man did not have anything, not even a place to live.
I thought this would be a good learning lesson for him but seeing how he is sitting there in deep thought and looking a bit confused, I began to question myself. Maybe this was too harsh of a lesson at his age? Maybe it is hitting home too much for him? I want to teach my kids the importance of giving but I also want to protect them (for awhile) from the cruel circumstances some of us are dealt. And I especially do not want him to start worrying about us ever possibly being homeless or starving. And now I started to worry as his next question came….
And the innocence of children win in the end.