January 28, 2010

Follow-up: ‘6 Year Old Living With A Burden’

By andrewiverson

I wanted to follow-up on my last post, “6 Year Old Living With A Burden“…. (read this first, if you haven’t already…)

Yesterday I came home from work and was in the kitchen talking with Suriana and Kyle came running around the corner and I was shocked to see him dressed in his Captain America costume.  The same costume that he begins to kick and scream if we see him wearing it!   He ran up hugged me and then ran off.   A few seconds later, Tyler came running into the kitchen with his Batman costume, hugged me and then ran off after Kyle.

I didn’t want to make a big deal out of Kyle wearing the costume.  Again, I was just shocked that he was running around in the costume and not hiding it from us like he has been for two years…

I  said to Kyle,

“WHOA it’s my superhero!!”

Kyle hugged me, laughed and ran off.  Around 10 minutes went by and I finally asked Kyle about the costume…

“Kyle, so i’m curious, why are you NOW okay with wearing your costume in front of us but you weren’t before?”

Kyle said,

Wellllll, I’ve thought about it and I’m okay with it now…”

Kyle ran off with a big smile, while laughing and chasing Tyler….

After they ran off, I sat there and couldn’t believe the difference our conversation had on him.  Then I began to wonder what it would be like if we as parents and pastors could ‘free’ kids from issues such as this at such an early stage in life.   Break them of bondage and burdens at 6 years old rather than later in life.

Could you imagine the freedom someone could have living their life without these burdens!  Most people hold on to issues into the later stages of life.   I think of issues I’ve dealt with at 33 that I could have dealt with 20 years ago.   I know of a few people that are between 30 and 50 and dealing with issues he/she had at 7 – 10 years old.

Kyle ran around our house yesterday with a sense of freedom he has not had in a few years.  He was laughing, screaming, wrestling and doing it all in this costume he desperately tried to hide from us up until a few days ago.   It’s not just about the costume.  The bigger picture here is that he’s discovered a freedom knowing he can talk to his dad about these issues.  Knowing that I’m not going to laugh at him or take these things lightly.  Kyle now has the security in his young life knowing he can talk to his dad.

It’s opened my eyes.  I can no longer pass off a 6 year olds attitude or behavior as it’s nothing to worry about or he’s just being a  6 year old.   How many parents do this?   They dismiss a childs behavior when in reality that child’s feelings and behavior are very real.  There’s a real emotion and real issue involved and it’s never attended too.   By the time you know it they are 30 years old and they call you up and ask if they can talk with you.  You sit down with your 30 year old son / daughter and they confront you with things that happened when they were 6 or 10 years old.

It may not even have to do with you but something that happened to them.  At the time they never talked with you about it or anyone for that matter.  It’s taken them 20 years to get over it and move past it.

I’ve been thinking about all the things I’ve been through and experienced in my life and how a simple conversation could have drastically altered how I approached life or responded to it.

Powerful if you think about it.  It’s a frightening responsibility as a parent but a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously.    A 20 minute conversation with Kyle freed him from a 2 year burden..   A burden that may possibly tempt him again, but that 20 minute conversation opened his mind and heart to how he will respond to it in the future.

All said and done, I guess I better break out my superman costume.  I have a feeling from now on we’ll have superheroes running around our house.

Up, Up and AWAY!