Friday, September 17, 2010

'Why' Just Has To Be The Most Often Used Word After 'No'

Children have a wonderful tendency to learn what it is that we attempt to teach them. In fact, they have an innate need to learn, evidenced by the “why” stage of their life. In their toddler years, the curiosity of children influences them to ask the question “why” in as many ways as they can think up in the course of a day.
“Why is the sky blue?” the inquisitive child wants to know. Patiently, you answer, not even sure if your answer is totally accurate, but understanding that an answer must be given.
“But why?” are the next words out of the young child’s mouth. A little less patiently now, you give the same answer but word it differently in the vain hope that the child won’t realize that it is indeed the same answer.
“But why?” are again the next words that issue forth from that sweet little face that is causing your blood pressure to rise and your thoughts to swirl tumultuously towards unsafe territory.
For the third time, you answer the question, flailing around in your mind for a failsafe answer that is sure to end this stream of seemingly endless whys. No luck occurs and the question is again asked.
“Why, mommy, why?” For what seems like the tenth time, you answer the question. This time you are wishing that you had paid more attention in school during science class instead of looking out the window and daydreaming about the idyllic life you were going to lead.
You wonder why you didn’t pay attention instead of thinking about graduating, meeting Prince Charming, getting married, and having a little darling baby to love and cherish. “So much, for the love and cherish part,” you think. Why didn’t anybody tell you about this part of it? “Oh, no. There’s that awful word, “why” again!” Finally, you concede that you aren’t really sure and the two of you will have to ask dad.
Children in their infinite wisdom are enamored by their parents. They are awed by their amazing presence that seems to overshadow everything and everyone else around them. Children are sure that mom and dad know everything about anything.
In fact, children ask each question in total innocence with the simple need for the truth. Parents become frustrated by their own sense of inadequacy and the knowledge that the “why” is going to be repeated again and again, not just today, but every day for a long time.
Would it be better to admit, hey I don’t know? Certainly not, if you do, then the question simple changes to “why don’t you know?” Surely, that will be a bit more frustrating than to have to answer an innocuous question for what seems like a gazillion times.

Article written by Susan M. Keenan.

All opinions expressed are that of the writer.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More