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Daddy Why Do We Have …?

My three-year old son is at an age where he is trying to make sense of the world. He is currently at the stage where he is constantly asking questions. Yesterday as he and I were lying beside each other in bed he began asking me why do we have questions.

“Daddy, why do we have fans?”

“We have fans to keep us cool.”

“Daddy, why do we have blinds?”

“We have blinds to block out light so we can nap.”

So far I’m batting a 1000.

“Daddy, why do we have tongues?”

A little bit tougher, but I got this one.

“We have tongues so that we can taste our food.”

I’m sure there’s more to this one, but he was satisfied with my answer, and so was I.

Luckily for me he is only three and luckily for me he fell asleep in the next few minutes.

But he will wake up soon and when he does he will be five, then ten, then fifteen.

And he will have much tougher questions like;

“Daddy, why do we stop reading fun books in 3rd grade?”

“Dad, why do we take so many tests?”

“Hey Dad, why do we have to keep our laptops at home?”

I have no idea how I am going to answer these questions and still look him in the eye. Because you see right now, at three years old, he fully accepts the answers I give him as truth, without question. And he should!

But he’s going to be up from his nap soon. And he’s going to start asking tougher questions. I can’t let him down. He has always come to me for the truth. I better be ready. Because right now I am not. Right now I know that the answers that I have for him are not good enough.

Yesterday I saw this image, attributed to Eric Sheninger, and I feel it applies perfectly to my situation.


My son is very important to me. I better figure out how to answer his questions before he wakes up. Better yet, I need to eliminate the need for him to ask these questions in the first place.

He deserves better!

All of our children deserve better!

Their naps are almost over.

Are we ready for their questions?






2 comments on “Daddy Why Do We Have …?

  1. Dennis Schug says:

    Jon, thought-provoking post, as always! Listening closely to our children’s and our students’ questions can teach us so much. We have to make a point to listen and to be willing to admit, we may not have all of the answers. But the REASON children ask the questions they do, can guide us to do better, for our children.

    Thanks for sharing…you make me a more reflective educator.

  2. Ben Gilpin says:


    Boy oh Boy does this take me back. Actually it’s sad, that I don’t get all the questions from my boys that I used to. Now my boys “act” as if they know all the answers. I wonder when it became tough to ask questions? I wonder if my attitude ever steered them away from asking questions?

    Now look what you’ve done Jon! You’ve got me thinking!

    Your post makes me think and even more it is correct. We need to do our best for our students…we need to try new things and model healthy adult relationships. We need to encourage kids to ask questions, and then when they do, we need to either A) accurately answer them or B) empower them to find the answers.

    As always Jon, I appreciate the angles you take…you never cease to get me thinking.


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