While driving in the minivan with Cooba (age 5), I decided to ask a few questions about the scenery that we were passing. My goal wasn’t to stump him but instead to make him look smart.
“Why is the flag on the mailbox standing up?” I asked.
“It’s because, those people are sending a letter and they want the mailman to take it,” Cooba replied.
He continued to answer my questions correctly. Not only did he look smart, he was feeling smart too!
“Why do they have stoplights?” was one of the questions.
“So that the cars know when to stop and when to go and then they don’t crash into each other,” was his confident answer.
He was right again, and feeling good about it!
After a minute of not asking anything, Cooba’s next comment was a surprise but it made me chuckle.
“Dad, ask me more questions about the stuff out there.”
So I did. Cooba didn’t get every answer right as we drove home but, for those ones he missed, we had the opportunity to talk about the correct answer and he was ready to learn.
And with every question he answered correctly, he sat a little bit taller in his booster seat.
It feels good to be right. We desire that.
I can help my son gain confidence by taking the time to intentionally build him up, even if it seems that I’m asking “easy questions.”
For the questions that Cooba didn’t answer correctly, it was a reminder to a good lesson: Not knowing the correct answer isn’t a bad thing, it simply means that you have an opportunity to learn.
Are you ready to take the opportunity to learn?