Life Starts at the Beginning

*Posts contain affiliate links and I’ll earn a small commission if you shop through them.  This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.

I remember being a kid. Do you? I know why I don’t drink soda now nor play video games. I just don’t like them; but why? Do you remember what you could and could not do as a child? Do you remember what your parents or caretakers wouldn’t let you do? Well, for sure, I remember that my mom and dad wouldn’t let me drink cokes or sprites or other soda, except on the very rare occasion. And my mom certainly wouldn’t have cable tv in the house, much less allow me to play video games. And so it continues through to this very moment–though I do love movies on Netflix.

One particular experience I had yesterday made me think of all this. My family recently moved into a new neighborhood. Though our particular inroad was relatively peaceful at night and there were good neighbors with good kids for our kids to play with, our previous neighborhood literally had the occasional drug raid–a meth lab, if I heard correctly. And from what I heard, the situation was better recently than in the past. Needless to say, that was one big reason why we moved.

But another big reason was because of all the successes my husband and I have worked hard to achieve, and so achieve we did, and moved into a wonderful, established neighborhood in a newly built house. A dream come true for us. Yet, one never knows what is just around the corner. So, when my 6-yr old wanted to go down the street to play with the 15-and 18-year old boys shootin’ hoops, my husband and I were hesitant. That’s a huge age difference. I was suprised my youngest would feel comfortable enough to even want to play with them. I certainly would not have let him at our previous house.

My son started crying. The thing with this particular child of mine is that he doesn’t cry for nothing. Something has to really bother him for him to cry. He’s not a whiner, unlike my middle child, who is the best actor on the planet and whines away sometimes. Nevertheless, because my youngest boy was very upset, I carefully thought about what it meant for him to visit down the street to play with these older neighbors of ours.

Here is what I came up with.


  • He’s much younger than they are.

  • I don’t know these other kids yet.

  • They’ll reject him.

  • I’ll have to watch him constantly.

  • And on and on.


  • His brother was over at friends house.

  • My son is lonely.

  • He is 6 and strongly wants to connect to others in our new environment.

  • What an amazing thing that he is not embarrassed or shy to go out into this world of unknown and obviously older kids.

  • I don’t want to stifle this instinct in him to act in a positive way to connect to the world.

  • What a shame if I don’t let him try.

  • Okay, I’ll go sit out in the yard and keep a very distant eye on him while he connects with these other boys.

He was super excited!

He actually ended up having a wonderful day. I felt comfortable with the situation and didn’t have to helicopter him. They played basketball and soccer, played with a little dog, ate lunch outside with them. He came back to our house to get drinks and generally check in. When I told him to come back if the boys go inside, he did it!

He connected with the world and received a positive response. This is now ingrained in his psyche. He will do it in the future. This is a developmentally wonderful experience. The other boys were accommodating with my son and shared their soccer and basketballs with him. They threw hoops and kicked a soccer ball around with him. So as he connected with the world that day, so shall he do in the future.

Isn’t it the Bible that says something to the effect of: train up a child the way he should be, so shall he be as a man. (Okay, so I’m not a specialist on the Bible, but hopefully I am close to paraphrasing what it says and captured the meaning of it.) Now this makes more sense to me–like one of Oprah’s “Ah HA!” moments. As is often the case, terms, words, and sayings have a deeper meaning than lies at the surface. And, experiences carve out meaning and habit in a person’s psyche–for better or worse.

So what will you do the next time your young child wants to:

  • Help do the dishes (and make a mess)?

  • Fold the laundry (and fold it wrong)?

  • Fix their own breakfast (and spill the milk)?

  • Pick out their own clothes (and look like a cowboy going skiing)?

If you say yes, your child could learn:

  • To help their partner do housework.

  • Cook breakfast for the family.

  • Learn who they are as an individual.

Life Starts at the Beginning. Get them started off right. Learn more here.

For babies and toddlers, learn more here. has the booty for your baby.

Leslie A Jones is a blogger who earned a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Philosophy from Guilford College. She earned her Master’s degree in Technical Communication from NCSU.