One thing’s for sure, and that is, I am tired of hearing the word Why? So much, that I have considered telling my child that he has a one why maximum on the usage of the word why, per day. Or, if he uses it more than twice in a day, I am entitled to have the exclusive right to say, “I don’t know” even when I really do know. Plus, I should get to say, I don’t know, at least one time per every two why’s. Yea, that sounds like a plan. I think when you are over a certain age, your why’s should come with an Excel spreadsheet and payment on every third why in a day. Maybe, us parents can conduct a WHY Convention, where we answer all the children’s why’s in one day…. Headline: Bring your children on Friday to the Summit Beach House, and don’t ask us why. Boom! That’s it
Truth be told, I love my son’s thirst for knowledge, and the fact that he always asks me; even though it challenges me to channel my inner 6-year-old child, in which most cases, I find out that I am not smarter than a 5th grader. Juuuust kidding. But I really cannot remember anything from 5th grade. Does that make me less smart though? Hummm… I will have to think about that one before fully deflating my ego. At least when he asks why, I am forced to go into those rooms that have laid dormant in my body’s northern hemisphere, in the brain region. So, it’s not all bad. I do get a kick out of seeing if I can beat him to an explanation that will cancel all the following why’s. Just searching for something good enough for him, without having to tell a lie… and of course before resorting to saying that I don’t know. I think we should limit the times we tell our children that we don’t know something, to prevent them from growing up thinking we are dumb as a box of rocks. Or, to prevent them from asking other people and getting the wrong answers all together. I think if we do not know, we should try to find out WHY.
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins
As moms, we have all heard the expression that children are like sponges. All to say that they soak up a lot of knowledge as they grow into their personalities over the wonder years. It’s never a terrible thing that our children have so many questions about how things work, what they do and what they are used for. I am happy that my child wants to know if there are people in the back of the television. I am not so happy that he wants to take the TV apart just to find out. I am also happy that he wants to know exactly why he can jump up and down on the bed and bounce high. However, not too pleased when he tests just how high he can bounce, when it’s followed by a big fall off to the side of the bed.
I totally get it, that it’s extremely annoying to hear the word why, when it’s in response to something where the only answer is: Because I said so! Because there may not be an answer other than that to: Mom why can’t I go outside right now. Well, maybe it’s too late in the evening, maybe he’s already had his bath, maybe you are too tired to go outside with him and watch him, maybe you’re too busy to go out at that moment, maybe you don’t feel like getting him dressed appropriately to go out in certain weather conditions…. These reasons will still be responded to, with a why. Therefore, when he asks, why can’t I go outside, the answer is simply, Because I said so.
See, you must be smart about your response to the questions of why, because they have already planned their next why. You need to find ways to beat them to the punch and shut it down or it can go on for hours. Some children, like my own, will sit and deliberate on the answer, and use the Scientific Method without even being taught that in school just yet. He will began thinking it all the way through, forming a hypothesis, making an educated guess. And here we go again. Most recently, he asked to go outside and it was hi-noon in Houston. It was 58 degrees in the shade. It was a dry heat and no wind was blowing. Even your breath blew stifling air. If you saw anyone holding hands, it just made you hot because you are already sweating, shirt sticking to your back, your shades are even hot while they rest on your noses to see someone hugged up, was like scratching a chalk board. Yes, that hot. So, when he asked, I told him that it was ‘fainting weather” He asked what’s fainting weather. I explained and told him that it’s too hot, and it’s the kind of weather that you are liable to pass out in (faint) heat stroke. I told him that we needed to get some water so that we could stay hydrated while out in that kind of weather.
The next day, as a consolation prize for being indoors for the afternoon, on the day before; I took him to the park. It was just as hot. On the way, he asked, “Mom, is this fainting weather.” Me: Yes, baby. 40 Minutes later after silence in the car, he asked, “Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? Why would he want to kill the people he created?” I literally felt my mental elevator crash somewhere between my heart and head. I was totally defeated. I answered, He did not do it to kill anyone baby. He made it hot because the trees and grass need it. So, he asks, “Why?” By now, I am in the front seat banging on the dormant doors to my brain. No one would answer. I just told him that the trees and grass can take it. We can’t. But if we stay hydrated, we will be fine. He then asked, “Well, why can’t the trees and the grass stay hydrated?” All I know is, I was so happy to be pulling up to the park right around that time!