View single post by JoanieReb
 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2007 05:42 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Posts: 620

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Mr. Steve,

Children love to admire people, living or dead, and get rapidly attached to those whom they admire.  Generally, they also seem to me to be far more open to "personalizing" than to intellectual reasoning.

Perhaps, tell her the story  of a "heroic" Southern figure whom will appeal to her.  Don't mention that he was Southern until she expresses approval or admiration of him, then mention casually that he fought for the South - and if an officer, that his men loved him.  But try and pick someone you can defend morally.  Nathan Bedford Forrest has the best stories, but you couldn't defend his moral character to that little girl and win, LOL.

Then, she will have to deal with the conflict within herself:  Can she dismiss someone whom she had developed admiration for just because he wore The Grey?

Or, perhaps tell her of Belle Boyd, a strong and clever - and romantic - woman who might appeal to her imagination.

But remember, you are her father and, at this age, she is still looking to you define right and wrong for her.  Your attitude will speak everything.  If you show moral uncertainty, she will feel something is wrong with your argument.  If you are confident in what you say, she will trust your viewpoint.

And, no matter how intellectually inclined a child seems at that age, use the "KISS!" method (keep it simple, stupid!) - let her be the one to complicate things, so her own issues are addressed.

When I was about 6 years old, I asked a senior uncle if he had killed any Germans in WWII.  When he replied, "yes", I said something to the effect that he must be proud.  And he said, no, he was sad, they probably didn't want to be there any more than he did, and they very likely had little girls just like me waiting for them to come home. That little exchange was life-changing for me. I have never been able to think of common Nazi soldiers, in general, in anything less than sympathetic human terms since that moment. 

Didn't mean to sound like I was lecturing, if I did, I'm sorry.





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