Tag Archives: peacekeepers

Teaching Dorian about soldiers, resources and poverty

Dorian is increasingly curious about soldiers and guns. Given Anna’s job, and the number of UN peacekeepers we see patrolling around here, it’s inevitable.

Peacekeeping tap-tap

But it’s tricky to explain, without getting into uncomfortable territory.

D: “Why do they have soldiers?”
M: “So they can stop people fighting.”
D: “Why are they fighting?”
M: “Um. Because they don’t have enough money”.
D: “So they shoot them?”
M: “Well, they try not to shoot them.”
D: “Why do they have guns?”
M: “So that people listen to them.”
D: “Do they shoot the bad guys?”
M: “Well, they try not to shoot people. They try to put the bad guys in prison.”
D: “I wish we had a soldier in our house, to stop the bad guys”
….

Why don't they make toy peacekeepers?

D: “Why don’t they have enough money?”
M: “Because they are poor.”
D: “Why are they poor?”
M: “Because things don’t work so well here. And because some people ran away with the money.”
D: “Is Haiti broken?”
M: “Well, maybe a little bit… but you shouldn’t really say that. It’s not nice to say that.”
[Dorian has – to our great embarrassment – already explained to strangers that Haiti is broken and that Mummy is here to help fix Haiti]
D: “Why?”
M: “Because it might make some people sad.”
D: “Why does it make them sad?”
M: “Because they live here, and it is their country.”
D: “Do we live here?”
M: “Yes.”
D: “Why?”
M: “Because Mummy’s job is here.”
D: “Why?”
M: “Well, it is an interesting job.”
D: “She’s going to fix Haiti?”
M: “You shouldn’t say that.”

…..

D: “Poor Haiti is broken”.
M: “Well, it’s not really broken; but it needs to get better. You shouldn’t say that. Just to Daddy.”
D: “The pavement is broken. The electricity is broken. The road is broken.”
M: “Yes. They need to fix things.”
D: “Why can’t they fix them?”
M: “Because they don’t have enough money.”
D: “Did someone run away with the money?”
M: “Some people did.”
D: “Why?”
M: “Because they were greedy.”
D: “Do we have money?”
M: “Some.”
D: “Do we have lots of money?”
M: “Not really. Just some.”
D: “I don’t want the people to run away with our money.”

There is a purity to these questions, and I wish to encourage them. At the same time, some of it is so sensitive, and Dorian will inevitably repeat these things at inappropriate moments.

Also unsettling – he has quickly grasped some of the new power relationships in our world. Only this morning, he casually told our day guard to move his car seat from my temporary runaround to Anna’s UN car. He unquestioningly complied. We had to explain to Dorian there were certain things he should not do.

Still, I like to think all of this is positive, and will contribute to the education of a globally aware child. As long as he doesn’t turn into Little Lord Fauntlelroy in the meantime.

Little Lord Fauntleroy at the new 'Montana Village'... a striking drop of St Tropez chic in PAP