The why stage – A momentous stage in a child’s life where they repetitively ask you why until the why questioning becomes so exasperating that you loose your cool and affirm ‘because I said so.’
Is this how the why stage turns out in your household? I have to admit when I had the blessing of sharing a home with a dear friend and her beautiful 3-year-old daughter I didn’t handle this period of questioning very well at all. I made it to the ‘because I said so,’ way to quickly, always opting for the easy response, clearly irritated by her incisive questioning.
It wasn’t until I realised the importance of this stage that I wished I’d taken a different approach, appreciating the why and embracing her natural curiosity. The why stage is vital to ones conscious development as children are striving to understand the world around them and are extremely eager to learn. During this time of growth children are pursuing cognitive and conceptual advancement; seeking mental superiors who are in the know so that they can obtain a certain level of development and an awareness of their own self.
So why do we need to nurture this period? Because as soon as your child starts to attend a preschool or childcare center, this time of recognizing and identify their own self is often lost. They are no longer able to question. They are told to play, they are told to share, they are told to understand and they are told to join in. They don’t understand what’s happening or what to do, other than the fact that they must obey and follow the crowd.
This then continues throughout their schooling where they are again unable to question. They are taught to memorize and understand. They are lead to believe that what they are being taught is the absolute truth and that this material is crucial to their development and future success. Their minds are overloaded and crowded with information. Due to this, they do not have the capability of understanding who they are as a person, what they are feeling or what is truly important. They are lost; disconnected from their inner being and inner knowing.
I believe, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, bullying and rebellious behavior are all created through this education system. Yes, education is important and vital in today’s world but are we doing it right? I heard that 1 in 5 children in Australia would have now tried ice before the age of 12. I am unsure how accurate this statistic is, but it’s a clear representation that we are failing as a society to nurture and support our children.
So when your child next asks you why, take a moment to truly appreciate that your child is striving to develop their cognitive and conceptual abilities. Nurture, support and promote this stage of development, for it is truly one of your child’s most important. If a child can grow to be a free-thinking individual, mastering their inner thoughts and continually questioning the world around them, they will be better equipped to withstand the modern day pressures of society. Conscious children are needed now more so than ever before, so lets foster their conceptual development and encourage real learning.
Amy Shayanna x
Psst: Want to know more about how our education system affects our children today? Check out the chapter ‘The Comprachicos,’ in the book, The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution by Ayn Rand.