The mother of my grade-schooler daughter's SPED classmate posted today a photo album of school children in SM. Whoa...there are pictures of my little girl with her classmates and teacher. The moment I got home, I had a conversation with the young one.
Mom: Gawani, you did not tell Mommy you went to SM. I saw your pictures on Miguel's mom's Facebook wall. I saw you and your best friend Mary France riding on a fake animal. You both looked pretty. (Momentary pause) Oh, by the way, when did you go there?
Gawani: Oh, last week. (Looking guilty) Mommy, I am sorry I did not tell you we had a field trip there. I was afraid you would get angry.
Mom: What made you think that?
Gawani: Because we are not supposed to be going to SM. You told me.
Mom: And why should we not go to SM?
Gawani: Because the owner is greedy. He wants to kill 182 trees. But I had to go because the class decided to go. I was afraid to tell Teacher we should not go there.
Should I be concerned that this human being who is barely out of the crib kept something from me, or should I be happy that she had guilty feelings about going to SM (which I would like to think means she realizes there is something wrong about it)?
By the way, this is the girl who always asks waiters in restaurants if the milk being served is a Nestle product or not before she orders. Of course, the milk she drinks must be non-Nestle. ("Why again should we not buy Nestle ice cream or milk products, Gawani?" "Because it is like drinking or eating human blood.")
Did I brainwash her? No. I am a believer in this: We have to teach them young. This is a paraphrase of that biblical passage: "Train up a child in the way s/he should go, and when s/he is old, s/he will not depart from it."