Friday, November 19, 2010

Not Because I Said So....

How many times today did you tell your little one to do something, just ‘because I said so’?

How many times did your little one question you back about something you asked them to do and your instant response was – ‘because I said so.’

Think about it, we all do it all the time. Telling our kids to do a certain thing they may not want to do, or may not really understand, and when they come to us with the question ‘WHY’, the best we can offer them is – ‘Because I said so’ or ‘I am your mamma and you do as I say’ or ‘Don’t ask so many questions, just do what I said.’

It’s the easiest way to get out of a tricky situation, or to make it easy on ourselves and evade clarifications, but think about it – what if everyone around you would always tell you to do something of which you didn’t have a clue, and the only reason you kept doing it was because they told you to…how frustrating would that be?

Babies don’t come out in the world with their little heads full of wisdom. The tiniest bit of knowledge and understanding, logic and reasoning that will help them grow into intelligent and better human beings is something that is given to them by us – the parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, friends, peers, family and all other associations they will make over the years.

It can sometimes be exhausting to answer each and every question they have. And sometimes, there are really no answers to what their young minds come up with. It is at times like these that we end up giving them the universally used ‘escape route’ answer of ‘Because I said so.’

My little three-year-old is a pro at questions now. Her curiosity had begun to develop as she was crossing the months, be it trying to understand what that little thing was hanging on her baby crib, or what was that big thing (tree) she saw outside her window. When she could not speak she would point with her finger and make those gurgling noises, the ones that indicated a question. And of course, the day she started to talk, there was no stopping the flow of questions that had piled up.

A few examples of her questions:
“Why are you big?” “Why am I small?” “Why is the moon white?” “Why is the moon in the sky? When will it come down to me?” “Look mamma, the moon is torn (referring to a moon partially covered in clouds)” “Who put the water inside the tap? (when she wanted to put water inside the tap herself using a mug)” “Can Minnie Mouse jump out of the TV if I hold her hand?” “Why is papa inside the phone? Why is he not coming home to me? (talking to her papa and missing him)” “Can I fly? Why? Plane can fly. I want to fly.” “I will not share. Why will I share (referring to sharing toys with her friends)? You don’t share your toys and books with friends na?” “Why are you not sleeping? Its night no? (referring to when I put her to sleep but don’t sleep myself).” And there are many many more….

Most of these questions, when asked at moments when I am occupied, has seemed to be rather absurd and I have committed the sin of dismissing it with a ‘I said so.’ But these same questions, when I thought back later with a clear head, had a deep sense of curiosity and an urge to know. And I realised what a mistake I was making as a parent.

It is much easier now and better too. For I have made it a practice to try and answer as many of her questions as I can. It is informative for her and her seemingly innocent yet practical questions give my thoughts a fresh perspective, a new way to look at things. I cannot but admire my ma at moments like these, who used to answer to my each and every question when I was a kid. She never once dismissed my questions as being useless, and it is to her that I owe any of the good things that I can claim to pass on to my daughter.

'Heal the world we live inSave it for our children' - MJHappy Parenting!!!!
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