Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guilt By Association

In the last post I shared our first experience with the F bomb.  Once, #1 and I had discussed the F-word I realized that we also needed to discuss what to do when a friend makes a bad choice.

Me:  So, do you think we should still play with Gabe?

#1 look's at me with uncertainty.  I start to nod my head yes so he starts to do the same.

Me:  "Of course we should!  We love Gabe.  He is a fun friend.  He just made a bad choice today.  Everyone makes bad choices sometimes. Right?  But he does have a new responsibility.  Do you know what it is?"

#1:  "No.  What?"

Me:  "Well, now he knows that saying the F-word is wrong, he has to choose whether or not to say it again.  I hope he makes a good choice because if he doesn't, then YOU have a big choice to make."

#1:  "Me?  Why?"

Me:  "Well, if you are standing by Gabe and he is saying bad words and a teacher walks by do you think only Gabe will get in trouble? Do you know what guilt by association is?"

I then told #1 a story about a friend of mine in high school who went to a friends house.  There were not any adults at the house and the kids started doing things that kids are not supposed to do.  My friend was not doing any of the bad stuff.  She just wanted to be with her friends.  After awhile the police came.  They took all of the kids doing bad things to jail.

Me:  "Do you think my friend went to jail too?"

#1:  "Was she doing anything wrong?"

Me:  "Nope."

#1:  "Then, no."

Me:  "Wrong.  She went to jail too."

#1:  "Why?  That's not fair.  She wasn't doing anything."

Me:  "Guilt by association.  Sometimes you can get discipline just for being too close to people who are making bad choices.  If you know someone is making a bad choice what can you do to avoid getting in trouble?"

#1:  "Run away!"

Me:  "Yes, you can walk away or you can always call me or dad."

#1:  "I am NOT going to play with Gabe anymore.  And I am going to tell Luke to stay away too!"

Me:  "Well, that sounds like a bad idea.  Why would you do that?  You guys like Gabe.  You should play with him but be prepared if he starts making a bad choice you might need to walk away.  But I think it would make everyone sad if you never played again."

#1:  "Yeah, ok.  He doesn't always say bad stuff.  I will tell him not to.  I want to play with him."

Me:  "I think that is a great plan."

#1:  "Mom, What were those kids doing at that party?  Why did the police come?"

Me:  "They had adult beverages."

#1:  "Ohhhhh.  You mean like Diet Coke?"
Me:  "Yes, like Diet Coke."

I heart the innocence of a second grader :)...

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