Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Why use Logic to Answer a child's "WHY"

As busy parents time is never on our side. More than often you're tempted to shoot down the "Whys", "Whats" and "Hows" in the shortest possible manner. The "Whys" are the hardest to deal with which is the why we parents try to either make up believable (read: fairy tale) stories or we simply shut them up with our favourite ones like "Because I said so"!

My 3 yr old has suddenly shifted to a lot of "WHYs" in her daily conversation with me. Last night she wanted some butter and bread. Her idea of it was that she does it ALL by herself end to end from spreading it to eating it. Well, obviously I wasn't going to hand over a knife to her so I told her that she can't spread it by herself. Upfront came the much expected "but WHY mama???" and I thought for a split second about the possible answers I could give her... "because you can't", "because you're a kid", "because we are late for bedtime?"  But I ended up using a more realistic and logical one instead. I told her "You can't use a knife because its too dangerous. Knives are sharp and they can hurt you" (yea I know it was a butter knife, but they have teeth too!) 

My daughter reflected "Oooh..it's dangerous? hmm...." there was a silence of about 2 seconds and then she spoke up ecstatically: "Mama! Give me that plastic knife you got from the plane, that's not dangerous! It's not sharp!" The excitement in her eyes was to die for! She was so excited to have drawn the comparison and I was even more excited that she thought it through. So I gave her the harmless plastic knife; she not only applied butter neatly all by herself but also bit on every inch with accomplishment!

Moral of the story: By telling my daughter the logical reason behind not allowing her to use a knife, I discovered how intelligent a 3 yr old can be and how well they can reason back with you. This conversation lead her to believe that with reason she can win over people more powerful than her, and she gained the confidence of accomplishing something new! 
To top it all I just became a "Prouder Mom!"

Also found an interesting article on this topic that helps understand  WHY Kids ask "WHY". Check out this link: http://www.drgreene.com/qa-articles/why-children-ask-why/


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