Growing up too fast

It seems like the month of April has been an eye-opening one for us.
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Between the tornadoes and the burglary of a classmates’ house, my little four year olds seem to be growing up too fast.

The schools around here were wonderful during the tornado scare on April 3rd, 2012. There were several funnel clouds actually sighted in Garland, but thankfully none touched down. My twins told me excitedly how they learned to tuck and duck against the walls of an inside hallway, and how one of the teachers walked around pulling plastic coins from their ears and juggling for them. Yet, even with the distractions and the best efforts of their teachers, my son told me that he didn’t like those kinds of storms at all. After telling them often that thunder is nothing they need to be afraid of, their realization that the weather CAN be scary–and that even the adults in charge have to be scared sometimes–seems like a big step towards adulthood.

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Just one week later, someone broke into the house of one of their classmates. This caused much conversation in the classroom, and my daughter crying at bedtime. She said that she couldn’t make her mind turn off, she was worried about the bad man coming in our house. It took a lot of assuring that all our doors and windows were locked, that daddy checks them ALL before bedtime, that mommy and daddy would be there the whole night and even pointing out that no one could climb through her second-story window before she finally agreed to go to sleep. Poor thing, she has a great imagination but that backfired in this situation.

It is moments like this more than anything that make me realize how grown up they are becoming. We protect our children as best we can, but the real world makes itself known despite our best efforts. How do you prepare your children for the big wide world?

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