Yesterday at school, Samuel went to the "Santa Sale," the annual opportunity for kids to buy cheap stuff for their families for Christmas. He bought some things for his brother and sister, and then apparently gave some of his money to his classmates. One boy told Samuel that if Samuel gave him some money, he would stop being mean to him. Well, we had to explain to our darling son that this wasn't OK, and that he should not have given money to the other boy just so he would be his friend. And that the other boy -- and anyone else he gave money to -- should not have asked.
Rick explained that this is what's called "buying friends," and we had to have a conversation about how this isn't appropriate, etc., etc. Samuel is pretty sensitive about things, and he felt really terrible about this. Unfortunately, he felt like he had done something very wrong, despite our efforts to reassure him that it was not his fault, that this was something he just didn't know about beforehand.
I tried to make him feel better. I said, "Samuel, there are lots of thing in life that you just don't know yet, and there's no way for you to know until either we tell you about them, or you experience it on your own first. It's not your fault if you do something and you don't understand what it means or why it's not appropriate; mommy and daddy will try to explain things as you are growing up. Please don't worry about things you don't yet know or understand, sweetie!"
His slightly teary response: "Can you just tell me everything I need to know now, so I'll be ready in the future?"
If only life were that simple...