Sunday, June 6, 2010

Is naive a bad word?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary cites the definition of naïve as deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment. However, what the dictionary doesn’t talk about are the ramifications of being such which as a parent of ‘soon to be middle schooler’ who is extremely naïve, should this concern me?

As a result of watching the evening Nightly News, Nicholas and I were engaged in a conversation of the Gulf Oil spill and it was incredibly apparent he was troubled by the happenings of the crisis, especially watching the animals undergo such hardship. This is a child who can’t even watch the commercials of abused animals and as a result of that first flash on the screen will race to the remote to turn off the television. His heart is very soft and deeply affected by such tragedies. At any rate, we’re having this exchange of how irresponsible he thinks BP’s response is and clearly struggling to find the word to emphasize his anger. He turns to me and says, “Can I say a bad word?” To which I grant permission. Here I am, preparing myself to hear the word ‘damn’ or ‘shit’ come out of my child’s mouth and he says, “BP is so stupid for not having a plan in place before they started drilling!”

Not only was I proud of Nicholas for truly listening and caring about the world in which he lives, I was taken aback by the fact my son, at eleven still thinks the word ‘stupid’ is a bad word. I had tears in my eyes as I listened to his explanation of the catastrophe, but also wondered and a bit concerned how he would fare in middle school, inundated with cruel, mean children, and peer pressures, new life experiences, temptations, which refer me back to the world ‘naïve’. Yes, Nicholas is naïve but he isn’t deft of worldly wisdom or informed judgment in matters that are most imperative; matters of the heart.

So I ask, is naive a bad word?  I’ll keep you posted of our adventures…


Donna said...

Tracy - I had these same concerns two years ago. he will be just fine. He may 'grow up' a lot quicker than you might like, but he will do just fine.

Tracy said...

Thanks Donna for the reassurance; I imagine 'growing up' is as much for us as parents as it is for the child, do you suppose?