• There are many things in this world that simply don’t make sense. As adults, we either choose to accept them, ignore them or don’t even notice that they exist. Kids on the other hand often have an untainted, naive and uncensored perspective. They ask questions or point things out that we may have never thought about on our own. They seem to take nothing for granted and love to ask “Why?”

    This past week I had the pleasure of taking my kids to a Dodger game. We had a great time but had to take a restroom break during the 7th inning stretch. I usually try to avoid the mad rush to the restroom and ask my kids if they have to go during other innings. But, of course, somehow they hold it in or don’t have to go until everyone else does. They don’t want to miss out on any of the action.

    “Why does everybody else only wash their hands when they are done and not wash-up first?”

    My six year old, upon entering the bathroom, went straight to the sink and started washing his hands. “I thought you had to go to the bathroom?” I asked. “I do,” he answered, “I’m washing my hands first.” That made me pause. He then joined me in line and asked, “Why does everybody else only wash their hands when they are done and not wash-up first?” Truthfully, I had no answer for him and simply said, “I don’t know, but that’s a good idea!” One of the other patrons standing in line overheard our conversation and half-jokingly remarked, “It’s to conserve water, son.” Good point, I thought and joked back, “Well, in that case I guess he’ll have to cut out washing his hands after he’s done using the facilities.” I then turned back to my son and assured him that it was okay for him to wash his hands both times while still being conscious to conserve water.

    “That’s just the way it is!”

    I’m sure that we have all, at some point, gotten annoyed by the non-stop questions kids often ask. Why this, why that…etc. Out of frustration or a lack of knowledge, we may sometimes fall back upon, “That’s just the way it is!” This incident made me realize and appreciate how often the most brilliant creations, improvements, and effective changes come from people asking questions (e.g.; Why can’t we do things differently or is there a better way?).  It reminded me to encourage my kids to ask questions, learn from them and even more importantly give them the ability to effect change.  At the very least, you’re promoting creativity by allowing them to think “out of the box.” It’s a learning opportunity for everyone, and you never know…you might just have the next great inventor sitting right next to you!