by Michael Pearl in 1995 from the first issue of No Greater Joy Magazine – Why? But Why?
Editor’s note: It’s pretty sick that the mere question of a child is considered a deficit of character. Some kids are just going to ask why or ask about different things and it has nothing to do with anything remotely like rebellion. I remember that my youngest asked me lots of questions, many that I was forced to answer that I didn’t know what the answer was, but I would find out. I always thought that her ability to always turn to me to ask questions was a healthy thing, not a rebellion. There’s nothing evil in a child wanting to know things, it’s a sign of a healthy lively growing intellect. Please don’t try to beat that out of your children.
When a child is told to do something that he doesn’t want to do, he will often ask, “Why?” It most cases the question is not prompted by a spirit of cooperative inquiry — it is prompted by a spirit of rebellion.
The question is thrown at the parent as a challenge to his or her authority, wisdom, and motive. The child’s question is actually a statement of defiance. The wise parent will know that the character of the child is better served if the question is left unanswered. The child should trust the wisdom and good intentions of the parent.
The issue is not a deficit of information but a deficit of character. The child who is perfectly compliant in spirit doesn’t need explanations. Yet, in some cases, he may delight in knowing why because he enjoys playing his part in the scheme of things. Be sensitive.
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