Blaming your parents for messing up your life is about as cliche as pointing out that kids speak the truth. A Divine Caroline post featuring children's advice on relationships reveals both ideas really are kinda sorta... true. The site polled a bunch of rugrats on the topics of love, marriage, dating and kissing. The responses range from insightful:
What do most people do on a date?
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
Martin, age 10
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...to slightly disconcerting:
When is it okay to kiss someone?
When they’re rich.
Pam, age 7
...to downright hilarious:
How would you make your marriage work?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.
Ricky, age 10
While utterly endearing, these responses also offer an interesting case to the nature/nurture debate about gender roles. Kids start picking up on relationship behaviors and attitudes long before they have the vocabulary to address what's going on.
For example, when asked what her parents had in common, one 8-year-old girl responded: "Both don't want any more kids." Freddie, a 6 year old, said only a "fool" would get hitched, and 10-year-old Alan offered this advice about how to know whom to marry:
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You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
Besides amusement, these responses reveal that watching Mommy deliver snacks while Daddy watches sports on the couch are gendered behaviors that don't go unnoticed. So, if kids grow up to see their parents both heading off to work, both doing dishes and cooking (and fetching the chip and dip) will they in turn take on Equally Shared Parenting-like duties when they're older? Clearly we don't know for sure, but it's certainly something to ponder.