Love through the eyes of a Four Year Old

After spending the day at home with a decidedly-under-the-weather Mignon and Daniel and an early-morning trip to the GP (I know! How shocking has this week been??), I took Isabel on some errands with me this afternoon.

She apparently battled a little on her own at school today, so I was determined to have a little alone-time with her. I’m really glad I did.

On the way home we were listening to Adele in the car and talking about her songs. Isabel wanted to know what they were about and I tried to explain that most songs tell a story and that most of Adele’s songs are about love.

So, she asks, does Adele have a boyfriend. Yes, I say, she has had a couple of boyfriends.

Is she married, she asks. No, I say.

Why? Well, I tried to explain, you should only marry someone who loves you very much and that you love in return, like Mommy and Daddy do.

She then wanted to know who Adele loved. Whilst I was battling with how to answer a question about Adele’s love life, Isabel asks me if Adele loves everyone. So I said kind of, thinking about how awesome she was in her concert at Royal Albert Hall and how that probably relates to Isabel’s concept of “everyone” as they have seen the concert.

Which left me in a bit of a pickle. If I say “No, you can’t love everyone” am I teaching her about judgment and exclusion or am I teaching her to have good sense? I had a vision of her going to school and saying to some poor child how much she doesn’t love them.

So I tried this: “you can’t love everyone the same way. You have to love Mommy and Daddy and Daniel and Mignon because we are your family and we will ALWAYS be there and we HAVE to love each other. But you don’t have to love people who are horrible” (with my Calvinistic upbringing ringing in my ears about how God loves us all, followed shortly about the wrath of God)

It was quite an interesting conversation to have, certainly more entertaining and thought-provoking than having to explain that the tampon she was holding earlier was not a sweet.

How would you explain love and the concept thereof to your children?

Edit to add:
Just seen on FB: The average 4 year old asks 437 questions a day. We reckon Isabel is an overachiever.

3 thoughts on “Love through the eyes of a Four Year Old”

  1. LOL @ Isobel being an over-achiever! What the statistics don’t say is that at least half of those 437 questions will have you scuttling to Google (unless you know off-hand whether fish yawn and what noise sharks make) and a fair number (such as those about love) cause you to question your fundamental beliefs and give you an existential crisis!

    BTW LOVE LOVE LOVE your new photo at the top of your blog – STUNNING! Who took it?

    1. Thanks T, it was taken by Catherine Scott and she has taken the most amazing pics of our kids over the last few years!

  2. Love the new blog header -it’s beautiful.

    Ai, our Princess is also an information overlaod child. Her teacher actually mentioned in her report card this term that she has never had a child with such a huge general knowledge in her class. Well, it;’s not us – it;’s the type of questions – some having us googling on phones etc. But yes, the emotional ones are the hardest. We have a lovely series of ittle books called (“I feel” of “Ek voel” love, jealousy, anger etc that goes a far way to explain emotions with some nice tips in the back for the parent form a child psychologist. Available at CNA/Exclusives

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