Are there bad guys out there daddy?

[ 0 ] 07/06/2018 |


Erik has been obsessing lately about the ‘bad’ guys. Who is ‘bad’ who is ‘nice’, whether there is a good Spiderman and a bad Spiderman, whether Hulk is mean, the Bad Wolf in ‘Red Riding Hood’ is always bad, and the Woodcutter is good.
‘Are there bad guys out there daddy?’ he asks. Roy thinks a bit, and tells him the truth, ‘Yes, there are’. Our boy gets super scared, you can tell by his face expression, and Roy rushes to add on to his reply “…but they’re all in jail” and Erik sighs with relief.
The day after this short dialogue, I stumbled upon a picture on a magazine with a lioness running after a zebra among luscious grass, similar to the one I uploaded here. I thought that this could be a great example to start a discussion with Erik on a different level about ‘good’ and ‘bad’, with good and bad being the two sides of a coin which can be flipped and land at any of the two sides.
During lunch, we sat at the table and I presented Erik with that picture. “You see the lioness? He hunts for zebras, this is what she eats. If you ask the zebra if the lioness is good or bad, she will say that the lioness is ‘bad’. The zebra hunts for grass, this is what she eats. The lioness doesn’t eat grass. If you ask the grass who is good and who is bad, the grass will answer that the lioness is ‘good’ and the zebra is ‘bad’.”
Erik looked confused. He appeared to be processing what we said for a brief moment, he then started saying something but he cut his sentence midway. He then changed the subject. This train of thought might have been a bit advanced for his age, but I would like to think the seeds have been planted.
I feel it’s never too early to initiate such discussions on difficult matters once the kids show an interest and ask questions. Slowly, with each conversation adding to, and feeding the next one, I hope he will learn to see notions such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ from different perspectives, and how things always look different depending on the viewer.

Category: Erik and me

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