It's hard sometimes to know when, as a father, one is striking the right balance between sheltering one's children and letting them gain experience of the world. The following story made me think that maybe an adjustment is in order.
Sunday last we were at a friend's house for a party, and my 5-year old, Joseph, was playing with a friend, Andrew, about the same age, who attends a public school in a moderately tough area. Someone overheard this exchange and later told me about it:
Andrew: "I'm going to kick you in the crapper and knock you in the bonkers!"Clearly, not the coolest or toughest kid on the street. The movie he's seen most recently? March of the Penguins--not exactly filled with vicious penguin aggression.
Joseph: "Oh, yeah? Well I'm going to act like a penguin."
And yet... what he said made just as much sense.