When Kids Ask Big Philosophical Questions

Kids are unknowingly Zen Masters. They teach us patience with their Why? Why? Why? They say profound things that make you question your very existence or inspire you. My Daughter once said to me when she was about 7. “What if life is a dream and what if what we dream is real.” I didn’t know what to say to that other than to distract her with candy and a trip to the park. . Its not so much their questions that stump you it’s their observations that are brilliant. My son once said,  “There has to be a way out or you never would have gotten in. What a great analogy for life.  But when they ask those Big Philosophical questions like “How did I get here?” “Is there something more to the Universe?” “Why is daddy always looking for his keys?” I sort wish I was a teenager still because back then I knew everything but now I know nothing.

Sure we do our best to answer these questions or pull out Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss to justify maybe the existence of other universes, life forms on other planets or speaking elephants. But when it comes to answering questions about our world and why people are the way they are. Like Why do people die? How are souls formed? Or why do people hate each other? If I can’t answer if scientifically I answer it from my heart or go back to distracting them with candy. Many of the questions they ask we can’t answer truthfully because it is just way to heavy a topic or gross. Although many people say including my own mother (who told my kids Santa wasn’t real just because they asked and we’re Jewish) tell them when they ask… Tell them when they ask! No don’t tell them just because they ask! Make up something or avoid the questions by saying it’s time to make dinner.

When is the age of reason? My kids want to discuss philosophical questions with me and I told them we’ll discuss them when they can spell philosophical.