“Mom, when I’m president, I’m going to make a law that you can’t kill someone without going to jail for the rest of your life,” said Spencer.
“Well, they have that law already.”
“Then why isn’t she going to jail?”
It’s tough when these high-profile criminal cases become fodder for discussion with your kids, but it gave us the opportunity to discuss some important issues. Even if I think he is too young to learn them.
I explained about how sometimes, it can be hard to prove who did something wrong. I gave him an example: he walks into a room where there is a broken computer. He goes over to try to pick it up, and someone else walks into the room, seeing him and the computer. What will they assume? That he broke the computer. Without evidence to the contrary, it could be hard to prove otherwise.
We discussed some of the finer points of the justice system, what the judge does, what the jury does, what the attorneys do, why their jobs are important.
And we talked about people, and I assured him that even though we hear a lot about those people who are doing the wrong thing, they are far outnumbered by people who do the right thing. And I reminded him that it’s important to do nice things for others, to counteract all those horrible things that we hear about every day.
That was as much for his benefit as it was for mine. It can be difficult to parent children these days, when we see these horrible stories on the news, stories of people who are making selfish, harmful choices. It can be hard to stay positive.
Later that day, when we went to the store, he held the door open for the people behind us. He picked up the coupon dropped by the mom across the aisle.
Let’s hope this is one lesson that sticks.