When Becasue Doesn't Cut It

At three years old and his favorite word was, as is with most three year old children,  "Why?"  He used to ask that so many times that I would run out of answers and finally just have to say, "because" or "I don't know."  At eleven, his ever inquisitive mind is still asking questions.  The questions, still "Why," now have more thought and more words.  These whys require more than a one word answer, an answer with more thought and explanation.

The answer "Because" does not work in our house.   Not only does it frustrate the inquiring minds who would like to know more, it does not give them the skills to take a question or situation, gather information, analyze it, and come to a solution.   Because, when used alone as an answer, is often a conversation-is-over answer.   I don't want our children to be satisfied with just taking my answer.   I want them to ask questions, wrestle with different view points, and come up with their own understanding of the topic on hand.

Jason Mraz says in one of his songs:

Don’t dress up your children like dolls from your past
Or They’ll run from you madly, they'll never look back
And when they grow older, they’ll do just the same
The world’s a reflection of how children play

Failure to offer my children the chance to explore the world, expecting them to believe only what I believe and to understand everything and I understand it, creates a world of limitations and restraints.  I want to be open to discussions with my children.  Discussions where we both wrestle with and gain new knowledge.   Discussions that may end with all parties in agreement, but also with the possibility where there will be disagreement as the end result.

If I can create this environment in our home, where it is safe to come to different conclusions, then I feel we have succeeded.  Home is supposed to be the safe place where we can test out our thoughts and opinions because it is a safe place.   A place where love reigns. 
If you agree with me, you are loved.
If you disagree with me, you are loved. 
If you just don't know, you are still thinking about it, you are loved.
No matter what, you are loved.

Loving my children with open arms won't always be easy.   There will be days when it is easy to love, when life is going smoothly, and everyone is happy.   But there will also be days when it is hard to love, days when we don't understand each other.   Either way, if my children know that they can practice making their own decisions in a safe place, one where mistakes are acceptable and even expected,  and to think different thoughts, then they will be able to better make sense of the world around them.


  1. Don't we all want a safe place that we feel loved regardless if we agree or not? A safe place to land and to figure out who we are as individuals. Your children are blessed to have a mom who is raising them with unconditional love!

    1. Yes, Tiff, I do think we all want a safe place that we feel loved. Thank you for your kind comments. :)