Several years ago there was a granola bar commercial that showed small talkative children in various situations saying embarrassing things to strangers followed by the tagline "Chewy stops the chatter."
Lately, I am thinking I need to perpetually keep granola bars in my verbal, curious, outgoing, observant little people's mouths.
Their questions are innocent, but spoken loudly. From 'what's wrong to his/her legs?' when we see a disabled person to 'he/she's NOT doing the right thing, Mommy!' when we see someone with rules different than ours.
Yesterday we were having lunch after church when an elderly gentleman walked over to speak to the family at the table next to us. R started yelling (because that is apparently the preferred volume for 3 year olds), "Oh, yuck! Why is that man so yucky and dirty? He needs to wipe his face!"
I looked over my shoulder and realized he was commenting on the gentleman's large dark age spots on his face.
We had a chat about kindness and making other people feel embarrassed. I realized the children probably have not experienced real 'embarrassment' or self consciousness. Although I am thankful we haven't had to deal with that yet, it is challenging to teach them to empathize or consider a feeling they don't understand.
Above all things I desire to raise children who love God and love others. I want kindness and love to mark their lives. Yet strangely, I am feeling a twinge of sadness as I start trying to 'reign in' their precious curiosity to acceptable social levels. It is another sign that we are starting to grow up.