Friday, May 23, 2008

A Major Accomplishment In Logic And Reasoning For My 7 Year Old



Anyone with a child can relate to this one.

The "Band-Aid" has magical powers in the mind of a child. Upon covering up both the gushing wound or the slightest scrape that drew no blood with a Band-Aid their mind is made content.

My young daughter just asked me for a "Band-Aid" because she had what I thought to be a scrape on her leg. I corrected her, saying "bandage". You want a "bandage". "Band-Aid" is a brand name of a bandage.

As soon as I asked to see it she quickly responded "Its bleeding a little bit" because she knew the next thing I was going to say - which I did. "Think about it X - that bandage is nothing more than a piece of tape with something that soaks up the blood. There is nothing in it that is magically going to cure your pain".

She then said "Band-Aids cover up the sore and keep it from getting infected". Good one. She knows me too well.

I showed her a bottle of "Band-Aid" brand antiseptic wash and said that this says that it will kill germs and keep her sore from becoming infected. "The fact that you don't have any blood - you don't need a bandage. Just use this."

She then told me that it was actually a bug bite and that she had another one. I told her that I had a bottle of anti-inch spray up stairs that she could use. I have about 3 ant bites on my arm from working in the garden. This has done a good job to stop the itching so I won't have to scratch.

I am happy that I get to interact with my children on a daily basis. For me one major task that I have is to disassemble many of the "Why is it that way?", "BECAUSE" type of challenges and responses that are often heard. In their minds it is that way "because" they say it is with no concept of how they have arrived at that conclusion. I want my children to be able to EXPLAIN their line of reasoning as much as possible or at least to keep in mind the tricks that others who attempt to impress upon them when they seek to gain their confidence. This will also condition them to ASK QUESTIONS. If indeed "Speaking Truth To Power" is as popular as claimed within the Black community - there needs to be a new round of it acculturated to empower us to ask questions INTERNALLY without having offense being taken for the question.

Update - she just came back over to me after applying the Band-Aid liquid. She told me that it doesn't work. It's still bleeding. I asked "Is it a bug bite?" "Yes". "So how is it bleeding? Look at the ant bites that I have on my arm. They are not bleeding".

She told me "They are bleeding BECAUSE I KEEP SCRATCHING THEM".
I told her "This is why I told you to go get the anti-itch spray. It will make the bites stop itching and you won't feel the need to scratch and the bleeding will stop".

I can't lie. My son's irrational fear of monsters upstairs which causes him to avoid being by himself up there hits home with me. When I was a child I feared the monsters in the basement that were hiding behind the walls and used to call my dog to come along with me to the basement for protection. I can fully relate to the constrains and imagination of their youthful minds.

My job as their father, however, is to get them beyond the thoughts of a child and instead to use their structured thinking ability to solve problems and redirect people who would have them to depend too much upon the "sight unseen" rather than constructing a logical path to actually get there.

I can tell that my girl is getting older. Two years ago I would have never been able to talk her out of using a Band-Air. She would have complained until she got the Sponge Bob Band-Aid on her skin. The fact that she was at least willing to try my suggestion is a major advancement and a sign of mental growth.

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