I am about to commence a research. The topic would be: to look at [something] from children’s perspective.

What is in the bracket does not really matter. It is the way of seeing the world. Everything applies.

Why it has high relevance to my current work. Let me say, partly it would make my job easier, if I can understand what is going on in the little minds that are so big, that it blows an average adult’s mind.

If you try to be in a child’s shoes, everything is a wonder. Once they grasp the gift of language, and use it like a tool… Soon enough they will ask “Why?” “Why!” Why?!” “Why!!” Whyyyy??!!!!”

For now, I can still address to every single question of such, as if they matter. I trust that the children would listen and their little ears would take in what I try to offer and keep that little thought in their little head.

A nanny once saw me at the verge of despair. She rolled eye at the child while simultaneously winked a mischievous wink at me and said definitively, “Because.”

But still, it’s a wonder there is so much wonder why.

Some of these questions demand logical explanations, presuming that children can understand the bite-sized version. Some of them demand reasons with a sprinkle of a fun, loving touch. Some of these questions challenge your way of doing things.

The last of which drives adults nuts.

“Why end playtime now?” “Why tidy up?” “Why one chocolate not two?” “Why can’t climb onto that?” “Why, why, why?”

Based on general observation, a typical Asian caregiver, if I am permitted this careless stereotyping, would try to answer with the threat of severe consequences:

“Because otherwise I will not let you use your iPad later.” “Because otherwise grandma will get mad and slap your palm.” “Because your teeth will rot.” “Because you will fall and have a lump and hurt big time.”

Or simply, “Because I say so!”, which is a threat severe enough in itself.

A typical “Western” caregiver, however, would adopt a more laissez-faire approach, which is no less stereotypical.

They are likely going to answer “Why not?”

Let the little ones try, fail, and be chuffed.

Oh well, if at that moment I put myself in a child’s shoes, why not?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Photo taken in Festival Walk, Hong Kong.

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