This is a transcript of a vlog - you can watch the video here, or scroll to the bottom of this post!
We live in a world where it's important that we raise kids who are clear-minded level-headed strong-willed and are willing to question authority because who knows if what people are telling them is the real thing. They need to question everyone but why do they have to question us all the time?
Hey there! Welcome to AfroDaddy. So here's the thing for the longest time I had a fantastic track record of never arguing with my boys but that track record ended when they started talking the moment that they could learn to say words that are opposed to the words that I'm saying they would say those words. Words like "no", "I don't want that", "No I don't want to do that",
"We shouldn't do that", "I don't want to go there". No no no.
I think both of them learn to speak just so that they can argue with me because that's all they seem to do a lot of the time. For instance it's Eli's birthday week this week, he's turning seven but here's a video of him the day before he turned two:
That's right, that's a video of my almost two-year-old son arguing with me that he's turning three. For some reason in his brain he just assumedthat he knows how to count better than his 30-something year old dad even though he doesn't even know numbers yet but no no he knows better
You know both Julie and I agreed that we would never be the "Do this because I told you so" parents but I think that's one of those things that's really easy to say before you're a parent and when you're actually a parent to a child who is arguing with you it is very difficult to keep up that standard because the whole theory behind that right is that you should be explaining your decisions to your children to help them understand why doing these things or living a life in a certain way is important so you're not just telling them to do something you're helping them understand how and why to do it themselves it's a way to help them develop as people which is great except that whole theory forgets that children are completely irrational.
Like, I don't want to have to continually be arguing with my son about why vegetables are important for him or why he needs to make up his bed every day. You just do.
Just make up your bed every day I don't want to have to explain the long-term theory about caring for the stuff that you own because the longer you care for it the better it is for you and having a neat space helps kind of calm your mind I don't have to explain that every time to a six now seven year old every day I have to have the same explanation 'Why do I have to moisturize my skin?"
Okay well this is how the way skin works if you moisturize it you care for it for longer it's gonna be better when you're older you can't have that argument when you're trying to get ready for school every morning and you have like two minutes to get out the house.
You cannot have that conversation and that is where "because I'm telling you to do it" comes up.
But this is where it becomes one of those difficult balancing acts that parents have to do.
Yes, we don't have time to have debates and conversations about every single thing we're asking them to do but at the same time we also want to raise kids who are understanding of the world around them.
Understanding of why we do things in a certain way, kids who are thoughtful kids who also question authority. Kids who go "wait a second this isn't right and no one has shown me why it's right so therefore I'm gonna question it".
The world is changed by those sorts of people that's good we want those kind of people when they're adults but when they're four years old oh my word it is a pain
Here's the thing I want my kids to question the power structures, ask why the world is the way it is, I want them to be creative about changing the world in the way that they think it should be because that is good for them and good for the world, but I don't want them to do all of that with me I just want them to say "Yes dad"
Why can't they just say yes dad?