Wednesday, September 2, 2009


When you spend a lot of time in the car with Confucius and Socrates, you're bound to contemplate some heavy topics...especially when you're fielding questions like "Mom, how many days until you die?" and "Are dinosaurs aliens?"

Sometimes, even when you think you know the right answer, it's not entirely clear whether you should pass the knowledge on. How early should a child become aware that their mom won't be with them forever? When one child asks "Who made the bugs?" and the other responds "The bug-makers." is there any need to get involved? The only answer more specific that I could come up with was "The bugs mommies." But then I would find myself in a "Who made the bugs mommies?" circle and end up having to explain why 'turtles all the way down' pertains to insects.

I used to be a big fan of raising my kids honestly, not hiding the uncomfortable truths and letting them grow up submersed in the world. As I've gotten to know them more, I'm starting to think that's a bad idea. Their imaginations play a huge roll in the way they develop. What are the advantages of popping that magical bubble earlier, rather than later? If you tell them something can't be done are you sparing them the wasted time of trying or preventing the possibility that they could find a way to do it?

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