Over lunch today my three-year-old son was telling a story that was half fabrication. “You need to tell the truth, not make stuff up,” I told him.
“I made up Cinnamon Man,” he said. Okay, so he’s not developmentally ready to have this conversation. Or should I say it isn’t so easy to explain to a young child the difference between storytelling and making up something that is intended to mislead?
Besides, the distinction between fact and fiction is sort of fuzzy at this age, as we were all reminded again this evening.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” my husband asked our younger son.
“A lion!” our three-year-old responded with all sincerity. His big brother said he wants to be the president. No small ambitions around here.
Then our kindergartener pulled out a certificate he brought home today from our school district’s Office of College and Career Readiness. “Graduating class of 2026” it says, encouraging the children to think of themselves as “college and career bound.”
Career ready? We’re still working on it.