Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Child and His Conscience

I've been reading this book The Sociopath Next Door. So I've been paying more attention to how people act since I've started reading it.

This weekend was Memorial Day weekend, and we decided to cook out on Sunday. I heard the boys outside - something was obviously going on. When I went to the porch, they were watching this tiny little snake that was a few feet away. Ryan, not knowing if it was poisonous or not, dropped this concrete stepping stone on it. I felt terrible! It was such a tiny little thing, and I know that wouldn't kill it - just hurt it. It was on some pine needles that had been put around the tree, so there was plenty of cushion to keep it from being squashed. So, I say something. Camden proceeded to jump on top of the stone, hoping that would solve the problem. I was actually pretty sad for the snake! It most likely is not poisonous, and it wasn't in our way. It was staying in the bushes, and it had actually been under some other stone that Camden moved (one I've told him not to move many times...). And if you're going to kill something you think might hurt you - do it quickly so you don't cause pain, you know. That's how I am.

Once Camden took a moment to think about all of this, he got really upset. He told me he felt really bad that he might have hurt or even killed the snake. He was actually upset about this for the rest of the day. After we removed the stone, the snake was still for quite a long time, but he did move later on when we weren't watching. I felt bad, too, but I tried to reassure Camden that the snake must be ok since it left. But he still felt bad even at bedtime. I felt even worse for him because I hate to see him hurting like that and not being able to take it away. There's nothing like seeing your child hurt like that, regretting something he can't take back (even if it is a snake). I told him that I was so happy he had such a big heart, though.

So what was the point about mentioning the book at the beginning of this post? Well, like I said, I've been paying attention to how others act. So, with all of this going on, I couldn't help but be happy because it was very obvious that my child has a conscience and is definitely not a sociopath (I already knew this, but it's nice to be reminded - haha!). He had seen the cover one day and asked what "conscience" meant, which I explained to him. I even told him during all of this, Camden, see you have a conscience because you show that you care about this snake and are concerned you might have hurt it. So while I felt bad for the snake and terrible for how Camden felt about his part in it, there was definitely a silver lining to see my son care so much about this little creature and how his actions can affect other things.

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