How do you deal with questions adults ask with an answer that’s not especially suited to their children or other young people in the audience? When there’s nothing inappropriate in the inquiry but it inadvertently introduces a topic that’s heavier than the young brain is fit to accommodate- do you have a method for handling it? In Robert Hunter’s word’s “What’s the answer to the answer man?”
‘No Bad News Before Ten’ is the takeaway I have heard from the research about communicating subject matter that is in someway sad or otherwise difficult for single digit kids to assimilate. What ends up happening is their grey matter does not yet have the fullness of development to file the information in a way that feels comfortable so later in life upsetting information just gets rejected and not dealt with at all.
I get asked how my owl coworkers became permanently impaired. Car collisions are by far the most common culprit for serious raptor injuries. Barbed wire has serious consequences as well. I would say they both fall into the ‘bad news’ column on most score sheets. I have explained it plainly plenty of times and always also include the good news that it is easy to help but maybe there’s is a better way. I may try wording it so adults know what I’m saying and kids may miss it just to see how it goes. Then again, my kids pick up on most things as well or better than many grownups. Any ideas would be most welcome. Happy fall all.