Originally posted on Facebook in 2013. I cleaned it up a bit for posting here as I felt it relevant to share again.
I've had many interesting discussion with my son and daughter that I suspect will be going on for a very long time. The are in their mid and late twenties now.
Even when my kids were very young I used to carry on some very interesting conversations with them. My now ex wife would be gone away at horse shows around the Pacific Northwest region and southwest for a week or even three at a time and so I had a lot of time with the kids.
You're missing some truly valuable resources if you don't see how smart the young can be, or even people with semi or even at times severe mental difficulties.
I'd talk to my kids about things way beyond their ability to understand them, just to entertain myself. I'd simplify them enough so that we could actually carry on a conversation, but they frequently had some very interesting and wise things to say.
Out of the mouths of babes.
We seldom do that. Which is sad. For all involved, because it builds critical thinking in them as well as self esteem in their being treated as equals. They usually don't get enough of that. It's actually even solved problems I've had.
One time when my daughter about four, we were on the floor, playing in her room. Out of the blue, she asked me what was wrong.
I was actually having problems at work. So I honestly told her that I didn't think she could help me. She said, "But maybe I can." I laughed. It was ridiculous. She was four. I worked in IT, in a high level computer and internet job. I'd been on some of the top teams in America as a Senior Technical Writer at a large communications company.
But then I figured, purely for her benefit at first, what did I have to lose? And maybe she could simplify things in a way that I couldn't, because I was too close to the problem. If for no other reason. I have a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. I should be able to pull this off, after all. And she was an interesting kid. I won't go into that now but there was something very unique about her. Other people noticed it just in seeing her.
So I got serious, really thinking about it. About how we don't chance things. How we see things so often in such limited ways, in not thinking out of a box and so on.
I thought, what the hell. I simplified the problem down enough for her to grasp and then sat back and listened. And she solved my problem!
At first I took her comments and couldn't figure out how it fit my situation. I almost dropped it right there. But I tend to be tenacious (tenacious "D" fan that I am, or even otherwise). I took the tact of, what if it actually did fit? Maybe I just wasn't applying her answer properly. Perhaps I wasn't seeing it clearly.
As I thought about it I found more and more over those next few minutes that did fit. The more I thought about it, the more I realized...she had actually solved the problem.
From then on, I asked her about other things. I asked my son, who was five years older than her. Like I said, we had some interesting conversations over the years. Especially from that moment forward.
We have so much wonder and wisdom in our lives that we frequently just disregard it. And it's sad. Sad for all involved.
Pathetic really, in how we don't make use of all that we have available to us.