Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Answering With "I Don't Know" is Better Than Screwing Up Your Kid in Under 20 Seconds

You've heard of Louis C.K., right? He's raunchy, but quite insightful (not to mention hilarious) if you  pay attention and ignore the excessive f-bombs. Actually, he's not all that excessive about it, but he does use them so if you find that offensive he may not be your cup of tea. I'm getting off-topic. 

Anyway, I was listening to a comedy station on Pandora and he came on and did a bit about how easily you can screw up your kid without even trying. This subject caught my attention because HELLOOOO I'm one-thousand percent positive that our "Kids' Future Therapy Fund" jar is not anywhere close to full enough (plus it's mostly pennies, which in 10 years are going to be about as useful as a screen door on a submarine). We tend to subscribe to the more non-traditional style of parenting called "We have no idea what the hell we are doing and we don't really feel like reading any of those parenting books because they're hella boring so we're gonna wing it and just hope they put us in one of the 'good' nursing homes".

But regardless of how nonchalant I pretend to be about this little gig of raising responsible, contributing members of society, I do worry that I might accidentally say something that I perhaps should have thought twice about, but instead I've gone and opened my big mouth so now they are scarred for life (or at least a week) and that's a real bummer. And from listening to Louis, he confirmed that it is, in fact, an easy thing to do.

He replayed a conversation he once had with his 7-year-old daughter.

Daughter: Does the earth revolve around the sun?

Dad: Yes.

Daughter: Will it revolve around the sun forever?

Dad: Well, no.

Daugher: Why not?

Dad: Because the sun is a star and stars die. So one day the sun will die and everything on earth will die.

Daughter: ....(Horrified, crying.)

Dad: Oh, don't worry! It won't happen for a long time...you know, after you and everyone you know is already dead.

Daugter:...(Further horrified and louder crying. Obviously.)

He failed to consider that she didn't know any of those things before that 12 second conversation. She didn't yet know that the sun would die, as would everyone on earth, including everyone she knew. Nice one, Louis. 

This right here is a perfect example of why I generally stick to "I don't know," as the answer to all my kids' questions. It's not laziness or lack of knowledge, people. It's smart. And cheaper than therapy. Feel free to hop on board.

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  1. Yes! I ascribe to the theory of I Don't Know Go Ask the Engineer (dad) in our household.

    1. He may be an engineer, but subscribing to that theory proves you are a smarty pants yourself.

  2. I use "I don't know" liberally. I use it when I'm not listening to the question, when I don't know the answer, or when I don't want to tell the truth. My kids think I'm an idiot.

    1. I figure if I use it enough, they'll eventually stop asking me questions. Right?

  3. Hell, "I don't know" works for most everything in my life.

    Family, friends, co-workers, people asking the time, etc.

  4. Our grandpeep is obsessed with death right now so we better not have this conversation with him. What are Oliver and Autumn up to?

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Yeah, I'd avoid it if I were you.

      Oliver and Autumn are up to the usual. Laying around, fetching, and peeing in conspicuous places when I'm not looking.

  5. I use "I don't know," but it's generally not for the sake of not wanting to divulge too much information, it's typically because I'm just not very bright. Bonus! - this time it works in my favor!

  6. I always go with, "I don't know," too. But I make sure I sound like I'm thinking about it, so I do a few variations, i.e., "Hm. I'm not sure, Buddy, but that's a good questionn!"

    1. My son has started asking really hard questions - like how people came up with different technologies and the meaning of life and shit. Geez. Can't you just ask me where babies come from? I know the answer to that one.

  7. I can say "I don't know," fifty ways from Sunday, and in four different languages including sign for my deaf kid...Im covered.


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