Because. That’s Why. Day 15

Today I was reading a blog and the author brought up an interesting point:

“I mean, how many times have you heard parents answering the child’s genuine question “Why?” with the words “just because” / “because! (with high pitch sound) / “because this is what it is” / “because this is how it works” and the most famous one: “Because I said so”.

How many parents do you know that actually take the time to explain the child the exact mechanics, relationships and the time lines involves within the child’s questions? How many parents actually considered the child’s ability to understand a point so specifically despite of their young age and lack of experience in life?
How many parents justified for themselves that there is no point in explaining the nitty gritty details to the child because the child would not be able to comprehend it anyway?”

From what I have observed, almost every parent does this. So the question is: WHY?  And the answer is: Not simply BECAUSE.  There’s actual explanations of WHY this is happening and it all starts with the parents.

The Problem:

Often times a child asks the parent questions about how the world works are within this they will repeatedly ask ‘why’ – this is not a question without purpose as the child is actually wanting to learn how their world and everything within it works.  Sometimes the parent will answer the questions, sometimes the parent will work with the child to investigate the answers, and sometimes the parent will say, “Because.”  The answer, “Because,” is the problem here.  I have observed parents answering, “Because,” when: The parent is distracted, the parent is doing something that they do not want to stop doing, the parent is doing something that they can’t, for some reason, stop doing to answer a question, the parent literally does not hear the child and their automatic programmed response to the Word, ‘Why’ is with the Word, ‘Because’, or the parent does not know the answer and says, “Because! That’s why. That’s all you need to know.”

I say this problem begins with the parent as the parent of the child asking WHY was once the child asking WHY of their parents and they got the same BECAUSE answer.  Another point to consider is that in Crisis Intervention training we were told specifically to not ask, “Why?” and to instead ask, “How come?” as a person’s immediate response to the Word WHY is ‘because’ and from here, the person shuts down and usually will stop communication. We were told that the reason for this is goes back to childhood to when and as the parent would ask the child, “WHY did you do this?” and as a child they did not have an answer, reason, nor the vocabulary to explain to the parent why they did what they did and aware that they were in trouble and that they had no choice but  to say something so they answer with, “Because …”

So, has the Word BECAUSE has become an expression of: I don’t know the answer and I fear that?  Do we become paranoid when we hear the Word WHY? What happens when we hear the Word WHY?  We react because in our minds we have associated the Word WHY to past memories or experiences that may have been uncomfortable or even traumatic. We will dismiss the Word WHY, try to separate ourselves from the Word as quickly as possible, we become frustrated with the Word, and/or we will just not hear the Word WHY at all.

The Solution

Instead of answering, “Because,” when a child asks, “Why?”, answer the question.  When and as we aren’t certain about the answer, research for the answer with the child.  The child will then associate the Word WHY will research, investigation, and finding answers for questions that aren’t yet defined or explainable.  If we are busy or have our attention focused on something of importance at that moment, simply set a time for when the question can be researched and/or answered to the best of our ability. When making a decision of whether or not to stop what you’re doing to answer a question or not, suggest to see:  We have a small amount of time within which to educate our children and an even smaller amount of time to assist a child with living expressions of Words.  The time goes by quickly and when it’s done, it’s done – there’s no going back.

The Reward

The child will be less-likely to react to the Word WHY in a way that is not best for them and instead they will come to live the Word WHY as a cool and fun expression of finding the answers.  The child will be better equipped for assistance and support when and as they are on their own in the world as they will have the tools for self-support and not react to the trigger Word WHY from others who may be assisting them with points in their life.  The parent in the child will establish an actual relationship of trust with themselves and each other as we give as we would like to be given and work together to find out how this world functions, why things work the way they do, and look at, discuss, and continue to ask questions about how we can improve upon what’s here.

On Death

We recently had a death in the family.  It was a family member that my son had a relationship with.

To begin, when I got ‘the call’ that this family member had passed away, I stayed calm, and immediately directed myself to stay at home with my son while the rest of the family rushed to support G,  the wife of the person who died.  I also made the decision to not tell my son about the death on that day in the event that his father or other members of the family came to our house with reactions.  I saw that it was my ‘job’ to prevent my son from connecting death to reactions.  When his father came home that night, we quietly and calmly shared and discussed any points, concerns, events, and experiences that had happened in the home of the dead person.  As far as my son was concerned, this day was like any other day in his world.

I decided that it was best if I were to stay home and support my son through the week so I called my boss who gave me several days off.

The day after the death, I turned off all the media in our home and asked my son to come sit with me because we had something to discuss.  He came up and sat next to me on the couch and breathed to make sure that I was clear before I began speaking.  I began by referring to our dog, Jake, that we had ‘put down’ last year and said, “So, last year Jake died. And when he died, he died he was gone.” My son said, “Yes,” and I continued, “Like Jake, P has died.  And he is gone.”

“P is dead?”

“Yes, he is dead.”

My son let out a short cry – it was a cry that was familiar to both of us as it’s more of a sniffling-whine that he attempts to use to get something that he wants. And as he let out this ‘cry’, he said, “BUT I WILL MISS HIM.”  When he expressed this with the ‘cry’, I saw my son hear himself, he sniffed once, and he stopped as he was aware that this cry was something that we’ve discussed and proven to be ‘fake’.  From here, my son began talking in his ‘normal’ tone and we discussed his concerns and answered his questions.  When the discussion ended, I told my son that I had taken the week off from work and that I would be here for him -all week- to support him.  He was cool with this.

We continued to stay home together while the family gathered each night.  I did not see it as best for him to connect ‘G falling apart’ with death.  We did not participate until the funeral.

At the funeral, my son did fine.  He supported his family member by going up to hug her as she was bent over and crying at the casket.  And that is all.  It was done.  When we got in our vehicle and left the cemetery, he reacted in anger that he did not get to see ‘P’s dead body’.   His father and I explained that it was ‘just a dead body’, however, this child really wanted to make that connection so we made an agreement that we would investigate what dead bodies looked like on-line – he was cool with this.

Last night, my son was watching a movie where a dog had died and the cast of characters worked together to bring the dog ‘back to life’.  Seeing this created Hope within him and he became excited and exclaimed, “Wait! I can bring Jake back! And P!”  I told him that in real life, this does not happen – once we are die, we are gone, and we cannot come back.  He said, “Yeah … I know.” He was disappointed – even though, what he has seen and learned from life that beings do not come back when we die.  He wanted to believe – and I understand this because I live this myself – I hope and I believe because I do not want to experience my fear of loss, my fear of the future, and my fear of death.  It is easier to ignore our disappointment over-and-over-and-over again rather than face our fears and figure out where these fears come from – and so we fall into the trap of Hope, Belief, and misplaced Trust.

We call this LIVING?

And the cycle continues …

Cycles are easy.  But cycles, patterns, or anything we do over and over and over and over again, get us no where.

And running in the same pattern day-in and day-out – how is that we can call this ‘Living’?

Okay, so we may be ‘fine’ and ‘comfortable’ with our patterns – I mean, hey, they’re predictable – don’t worry NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.  PHEW.  And we may see our fear of change and we may even be aware of what created it but do we change?  No man, it’s comfortable.

So, my question is:  Is this really what we want for our kids?  Suggest for parents and future parents to be self-honest about this point because if we ‘just aren’t interested’ or are ‘just not into’ bettering ourselves or breaking out of these patterns, then our kids don’t have a chance.  One can start by investigating ‘Hope’ and watch how our children are being ‘fed’ with it by the media, other parents, grandparents, our friends, etc.  Is a life of disappointment what we want for our kids?

So, suggest to understand where our hope is coming from and begin the process of removal of hope, faith, beliefs, and misplaced trust.  A cool starting point is by taking the DIPLite course.  It’s free and you’ll have a buddy to support you through your process of educating yourself and thus have the tools to teach the children what opportunities are available to us in this Life.