What does your child know about ageing?
When it comes to age and ageing, my daughter is more than a little confused.
It was during a journey home from the local park that I discovered my daughter is a little confused about ageing.
“That girl is going to die soon,” she announced moments after a teenage girl had jogged past us.
Thankfully she didn’t hear, but I was left wondering where on earth this comment had come from.
“Because she is very tall,” my daughter explained.
And the penny suddenly dropped. In her mind, the older you are, the taller you are, which makes me older than mother but younger than my younger brother.
I tried to explain that it doesn’t quite work like that.
On the subject of age
In her mind, of course, I am already ancient. So imagine her horror when I told her I would be celebrating my fortieth birthday the year she turns ten.
She looked at me with a mixture of sadness and pity, as if I had just announced I would be taking to the hills and spending the rest of my days alone in a wooden shack with little more than a blanket and a flask for company.
These things are easily forgiven because I would have thought exactly the same aged seven. When your age is still in single digits, anything over about sixteen is bound to be considered ancient. So forty is completely off the scale.
But that does not explain why she has asked me more than once, “Is Granny younger than you?” I coped better with her reaction to my impending fortieth birthday.
Age and health
We have managed to have some sensible conversations about looking after your health as you get older. We’ve talked about the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
More than once we’ve talked about eating the right foods to keep your skin and hair healthy. I’ve even encouraged her to take a children’s vitamin tablet as sometimes her diet does seem lacking.
To that she further boosted my confidence by commenting that she doesn’t think I’ve been taking my vitamins. Pointing to my hair by way of explanation, she remarked, “Mummy, I can see a little bit of grey.”
What does your child know about ageing? And do they know what age you really are?
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