May 7, 2010, Newsletter Issue #283: Being Responsive with Children

Tip of the Week

Children ask a lot of questions. I’m sure sometimes it seems like the questions never stop. Why is the sky blue? Why is it so hot? Why can’t I play in the street? Why can’t I stay over my friend’s house? Why? Why? Why? Answering all those questions with a, “because I said so” or “because that’s the way it is” is not really an answer. Imagine if you had that attitude at work? Your employer asks you, “why are we behind on this project?” and you curtly reply, “Because that’s the way it is.” I’m pretty sure you’d be out of a job after that rude response. Fortunate for us children can’t fire you, we’ll always be their father. We will also make our fair share of mistakes along the way through our parenting career. We don’t have to answer their questions right away, just in a timely manner.
Try fielding questions like the White House Press Secretary. If you don’t have a specific answer, or don’t want to answer a question at a particular time, do a little side step; though make sure you get back to your children in a timely manner. For example:
“Daddy why is the sky blue?”
“Sweetheart, I don’t have an answer for you at this time, but I’ll let you know later today.”
“Because I forgot; I learned in school why the sky was blue, but I have to look it up again. I’ll let you know later today. Is that alright?”
“Alright” – she maybe a little sad, but you responded to her and let her know the importance of her question.
Later that evening get back to her question.
“Honey, do you still want to know why the sky is blue?”
“Yeah Daddy”
“It is because blue light from the sun strikes the air molecules and scatters and our eyes perceive it as blue.”
“Oh, Daddy what are air molecules?”
Well, you may have to do some more research after all.

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