Sunday, January 15, 2017

Children: Little Lawyers

I had amusing thoughts this morning as my granddaughter built her case for she perceived that she had been wronged. Of course she is only three, but her case was this: Bubby (her brother Lucas) got two M&M's and she only got two. She wanted equity and demanded it! She needed what was due her. She wanted more M&M's. She built her case well, but Bubby had four, the same as her and it was only perceived injustice!

This scenario brought to mind: What if children could defend themselves? She was acting the lawyer; why not let her be the lawyer? Let's look at this fantasy as Kaitlyn appears in court to present her case.

Judge: Complainant come to the bench. (Kaitlyn walks forward and looks way up there on the bench. She thought, "He's important. How can I get him to side with me?" Her first thought was tears. If she started to cry, her usual M.O., perhaps he would have sympathy and side with her. "I'm a big girl now!" she thought. "I need to present a big girl case."). The judge continued: state your case.

Kaitlyn: Bubby got four M&M's and I only got two. That's unfair. Grandma should have given me four as well.

Judge: And what resolution do you seek? Also, state your full name and age.

Kaitlyn: I want two more M&M's for equity and a bag more for discomfort which I suffered. I'm three years old and my name is Kaitlyn Joy. Please don't call me Kait because that's not how it's written!

Judge: The plaintive is recognized, but discomfort! How were you made uncomfortable? How did you suffer?

Kaitlyn: I felt like I deserved the same as Bubby, but when I didn't get four like Bubby it hurt my feelings.

Judge: Did you cry?

Kaitlyn: Yes... I cried hard!

Judge: Was it real tears or tears to manipulate?

Kaitlyn: I cry a lot to get my way, but Grandma can't tell the difference between real and fake tears. (Let that be our secret, your honor; she whispered).

Judge: Why did you deserve any M&M's Miss?

Kaitlyn: Because I'm me and I like good free things.

Judge: And are you accustomed to getting your way?

Kaitlyn: Yes because I cry and manipulate if I don't!

Judge: Do you have evidence that Bubby got more M&M's than you?

Kaitlyn: I ate my first two really fast, so they don't count. I only had two more, but Bubby ate his slowly and still had four while I only had two left.

Judge: Then you really had four, did you not?

Kaitlyn: I told you the first two didn't count because they were gone when I compared!

Judge; Are you ready to mitigate with Grandma and settle out of court?

Kaitlyn: Only if she gives me a whole bag of M&M's for myself!

Judge; Will you share them with Bubby?

Kaitlyn: No... they all will be mine!

Judge: I don't know what to say.

Me: For the reader, what should be the judge's decision?

Next case:

Judge: What is your full name and age?

Sorta: I'm Sorta Calt and I'm 33 years old.

Judge: And what is your complaint?

Sorta: I failed to get my welfare payments, but my neighbor got his.

Judge: Present your case.

Sorta: I'll use Kaitlyn's argument. That's my feelings also.

Judge: I will go into my chambers to mitigate (as he rises).

How will the judge rule in Sorta's case?

Analysis and comparison of both cases:

As the judge mitigated, he thought, Kaitlyn is just a child, but Sorta is acting like a child. Perhaps as an adult Sorta should have grown up and started acting mature, but she obviously has not. I'm inclined to let Kaitlyn have a bag of M&M's, but I don't want her to grow up to be like Sorta. I'm going to deny both complaints.

Judge: (back in the courtroom): Both complainants approach the bench. (He waits while Kaitlyn runs full speed forward, but Sorta strolls lack-lusterly forward).  Both cases dismissed for lack of cause. Kaitlyn Joy, you are just a child, but to reward you for being you will encourage future Kaitlyn to be like Sorta. Sorta, your thoughts and actions are like a child's.

 - - - - -

My point with this tirade is that many adults hang onto the behaviors of children. Children are by nature desiring of sweet things, but just because they want them doesn't mean that they deserve them. This type of thinking when rewarded ensures that children never grow up. Maturing means hearing "no". Maturing is coming to realize that we don't deserve free things just because we exist. Maturing is displacing childish expectations with reality.

Kaitlyn is a sweet little girl. She didn't get any more M&M's because Grandma wasn't fooled. She didn't cry and accepted Grandma's "no". She in reality acted more mature than do many adults! That's good for her, but sad for Sorta!

I laughed at Kaitlyn's role as a budding lawyer, but unlike many of those, she wasn't the crybaby. However, it did make me think, What if children were little lawyers?  Although that thought was funny, it made me think of what I just wrote.

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