For Molly’s fifth birthday, we took a trip to Chester Zoo. It was a great day out and we were lucky to see more action this time than all the other times we have been. One of the highlights of the day was watching the lions being fed. They were rubbing themselves along the fence while the ranger was getting what he needed ready, so we got a great up close view of them and Molly pointed out how huge their paws are. Once the ranger was ready, he threw three big chickens in to the enclosure. It was very clear they were chickens and this prompted Molly to ask why the lions ate chicken. I pointed out that lions eat meat, just like we do, and as they have bigger tummies, they need more meat. This then of course resulted in a moment of realisation and the question “do we eat real chickens mummy?” This spiralled into a lot more questions and a pretty eye opening discussion for my lovely five year old. However, instead of being put off, she was intrigued and wanted to know more.
From now on, when prepping our dinner together I am going to be a little more open in the fact that the meat we have is actually animals. She seems to be accepting of this and I finally see the appeal behind the farm to food workshops offered for children. Molly is not quite old enough to attend these yet, but once she is, I know it would benefit her and so will be keeping my eyes open for a local one for her, when the time is right.
So as well as our day out being a learning experience for my two daughters, it was one for myself too. From now on, I plan to be a little more open with these things and stop trying to shield my children from real life as much as I do. Sometimes it is necessary but other times it is more beneficial for them to see and understand the truth.
Twinkly Tuesday Link up.