Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ask Questions!

This is not what you think it is...really!

I learned many, many years ago while employed at a large computer company that when asked a question by a potential customer and being unsure of the answer (or if you need to stall for more time to think), ask a question back.

Question: “Will you give us a discount?”
Question back: “What part of our service don't you want to receive?”

Question: “Why is the color of the monitor gray?”
Question back? “Why is that important to you?”

Get the idea? A little abrupt at times, but it works well in most situations.

And so I have used this technique many times over the years with my own children. Here’s a little sampling that comes to mind…

Caleb: “Mama, how is a baby born?”
Me: “How do you think a baby is born?”
Caleb: “I think a baby crawls up through here (pointing to his throat) and out your mouth.”
Me: “No. Actually, God gave mamas a very special place called the birth canal. At just the right time, the baby comes through the birth canal.”
Caleb: “Oh.”

And he skips away satisfied.

You see, I could have gotten all technical and started talking doctor talk, but he was only two or three years old and just curious. Or I could have lied and said something silly like, "A stork delivered you to our door!" A very simple and truthful answer satisfied his curiosity.

Given its extreme popularity in today's culture, some of you might want to skip this next one…

While walking on the beach at a lake, Caleb (who is six years old) sees a woman with tattoos all over her back.

Caleb: “Mama, is it OK to have tattoos?”
Me: “What do you think?”
Caleb: “I don’t know.”
Me: “What’s that Bible verse you just memorized?”
Caleb: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19”
Me: “So, what do you think?”
Caleb: “No.”

He answered it on his own after filtering his own question through God's Word. I'm good with that!

I am seated on a chair wearing a pair of shorts. Caleb is only three years old at the time.

Caleb: “Mama, what’s that?”
Me: “What do you think it is, Caleb?”
Caleb: “Thunder and lightning!”
Me: Immediately starts laughing out loud.

Oh, yeah. He was pointing to my leg where there’s a cluster of beautiful varicose veins. Come on, now. Do you really think I should have answered, "Varicose veins?"

And so remember this all you young mamas out there. Give yourself some extra time...ask questions. Lots of questions!


  1. AnonymousJune 10, 2010

    I try to keep a level head at moments like that! It reminds me of my girlfriend's little girl who asked her what sex was. Her answer? "It is the difference between males and females." She was perfectly satisfied with that answer! ~julie

  2. Hm, I'd love to be quick on the draw with questions like that...that's good...