Attack of the Why’s – And Why I Embrace Them

At the Air & Space Museum, Figuring out how engines work.
At the Air & Space Museum, Figuring out how engines work.

My daughter is two and a half, and she’s well into the “attack of the Why’s”.

“Why is that car broken, daddy?”

“Why is that tractor spraying water, daddy?”

“Why did that baby do spit-up, daddy?”

“Why is the sun asleep now, daddy?”

I’ve met plenty of parents who positively dread the Whys.  Evidently, they find it annoying that their child is constantly asking them, “Why, why why?”

I don’t find it annoying at all.  I embrace it.

The explanation for such has a lot to do with my own philosophy about life.   When I went to school at the Delphian School in Oregon (likely the single best move my parents ever made for my sister & I), I was studying chemistry & physics.  A lot of what I was studying seemed inapplicable to any professions I was considering.  But, the faculty of the school very adroitly suggested that I work out for myself why I was studying it before I went any further.

After some reflection, I did end up deciding that I actually wanted to know how my world worked, and that the more I understood my surroundings, the better I felt.   I made a decision that I wanted to actually understand anything I saw around me, so that virtually nothing would be left in my surroundings that was a mystery to me.    And that’s what I want for my kids.

 Application of Study Technology to Life

There’s a core piece of Scientology technology at work here.  And that’s L. Ron Hubbard’s Study Technology.  A cornerstone of such, is that in studying, one does not go past words that one does not understand.   And if you encounter them, you get them cleared up fully to where you understand them conceptually.    Go past misunderstood words & symbols, and you end up yawning, tired, blank, and end up leaving courses of study you ‘re in.   Please see this video for a further explanation of this phenomena at work.

But extend this out to everything you encounter in life – advertisements, newspaper articles, text printed in your car’s dashboard, etc.    Your car has a button that says, “Traction Control Off”.  What’s “traction control”?   How does it work?  Your car says “fuel injection” on it.  What’s that?   The lights you go past on your city street are yellowish-orange in hue.  Why’s that?   You ride on a subway with signs that say “750VDC WARNING!”  What’s that mean? How does your subway get electricity to run?

My philosophy is that you can either pass these signs & just blank out on them, and choose to not understand your world – and live in the partial fog that goes along with that, or you can actually understand the things around you.  Understanding breeds control and responsibility for your environment.

How this applies to my Parenting Philosophy

I want my children to have total control & understanding of the world around them.  I do NOT want them operating in a fog where life sort of happens around them somehow, and they’re not active, understanding participants of it.

As such, I am not shying away from bringing my daughter to a construction site to have her look at excavators & bulldozers.  It’s not that I’m trying to make her a tomboy who likes tractors – I want her to understand how houses & roads are built!  I want her to understand how airplanes fly, how engines work, how lightbulbs operate, how electricity is made, how subways run, and how food is grown.   When she’s a grown-up, and someone says that their computer is busted, I don’t want her to look at it with a foggy stare and be scared to touch it – I ‘d want her to be able to flip it over and replace the broken parts if need be.

I want my kids to end up as competent, responsible adults who can control the environment they’re in.   And that starts with understanding it.

So, while some parents might roll their eyes and tell them to get back to their video games when their kids start asking too many questions, I instead relish another opportunity to help them explore their world.  And hopefully, with each question resolved, that can be one less misunderstood word they’ve got in their environment.



2 thoughts on “Attack of the Why’s – And Why I Embrace Them

  1. Love this! Awareness and understanding is so often missed! My kids are really good about asking questions and recognizing when a word is said they don’t know. I know it is one of the greatest gifts I have given them!

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