So what do you say to a five year old who openly discusses his interest in dating with you, specifically, the acceptance of his potential partners bad habit? Today, I realized that my son’s journey toward embracing a healthy and loving relationship could be mapped out at an early age, given the tools to understand his self-worth and self-empowerment.
As I sat next to him in the movie theaters today watching OZ the great and powerful, I started to write. The wizard in this film had just revealed his dashing style and playboy type mannerisms. We, the audience can assume he’s capable of landing love with any fair maiden, even with a witch. He appears to have it all, charm and power, a keen ability to lie, and he’s in tune with the effectiveness of gift giving.
Earlier today, my son and I had a discussion about a nasty habit, smoking. As we left an appointment, we stepped out of the elevator with the trail of cigarette smoke from someone that had been smoking still lingering. He could smell the odor and asked me why people smoke? I informed him that smoking is an addiction, it’s bad for your health, and it’s a good idea that he never smokes. I also added that he shouldn’t associate himself with anyone who smokes as these people may tempt this habit upon him. He said, “what if I like a girl who smokes?” Great question. I replied, “I probably would not date anyone that smokes because why would you want to date someone that doesn’t take care of herself?” His reply was, “would it be wrong to date her if I smoke too?” I replied, “you can do what you want once you are 18, once you become an adult, but I suggest you don’t smoke and don’t date any girls that smoke or do drugs.”
It’s not too early to ask these things of him. We concluded this conversation with me asking him to promise me that he’ll stop and think about what we have discussed before he try’s smoking for the first time and that he will try not to date anyone that smokes. However, I did include that if both him and his girlfriend smoke, the next best thing is to help each other quit. As his parent, it’s my goal to teach my son about taking care of himself. Teach him good eating habits, teach him manners and teach him the importance of surrounding himself with polite and health conscious people.
I finish writing this blog while watching the final scenes from the film OZ. I continue to observe the character of the wizard; he felt he was not capable of saving the people of Oz from the wicked witch until he realized that he was capable of creating a plan to overcome the witch’s power with the help from the people. Witches have nasty habits but they can be defeated. My son will be equipped with knowledge of all that’s wicked and will know how to follow the yellow brick road to get to where he wants because he will have a plan.
In the final few minutes of this film OZ, the good witch and bad witch battle it out. The bad witch looses her emerald necklace also loosing her fake beauty. She turns into an old maid looking like your typical Halloween styled witch riding a broom in the sky. In the final scene, my son says, “oh she has turned ugly.” I said “that’s what happens to your skin when you smoke.” Ok, yes, I know a little too aggressive on my end. Anyway, he says, “the wicked witch smokes?” I replied, “most likely.”
A parent will be their child’s most important critic in life. It’s important to review your children constantly and rate their life progress as we do with films. It’s important to assume that your child is experimenting with sex, drugs and other destructive and enticing elements of life. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. In my next blog, I will discuss equipping your child with knowledge and confidence, a plan to have every base covered even if there’s no home run.