What Should You Do When...? Asking Complex Questions

I like talking with my children. One of my greatest joys as a mom is hearing the developing thoughts of my little ones. The way they grow in complexity and understanding is fascinating. It breathes life into what can appear to be a stagnant world.

Sometimes, I like to ask big questions that I don't have a definite answer for. Just the other day I asked Chris what he would do if he were a well-known baker and someone ordered a cake with something ridiculously untrue written on it, not just a lie, but something he personally hated. I wanted it to be an extreme so I added that the proposed writing was something blasphemous -- like hail satan. Would he refuse to make the cake even though he is not participating in the evil revelry and would simply be filling an order? He is not responsible for what people do with his cakes is he?

I like talking with my children. One of my greatest joys as a mom is hearing the developing thoughts of my little ones.

In some of my asking I was playing the devil's advocate, especially since his initial response was what I had expected. I also wanted to show that I genuinely didn't have the answer. It's good to take a stand on important issues, such as honesty, but the when of it is what's hard -- and crucial.

Our conversation petered out with mutual I don't knows and boredom. Obviously, it was meant to parallel current events without talking about them directly. Plain conversation has always been a significant part of our homeschool. As the kids age, it has been remarkable -- and such a deep pleasure -- to see them grow in understanding. I consider this one of the most important aims of our education -- truly knowing how to think.