Bewilderment: The Childhood Benefits of Being Confused

I’m no child psychologist. I’m not a doctor, school teacher, guidance counselor, or even a mother. I have no formal education in the proper development of children. My only credentials whatsoever on this topic are my own upbringing, a keen observance of the world around me, and the fact that I am a father of five. Today, some might claim that being a father does not make me qualified to share my thoughts on parenting, but that is a topic for a different day.

I watch my children go about their day-to-day lives and often the questions they ask are fascinating. The questions that people ask, no matter the age, are an excellent indication of so many things – their thoughts, their emotions, their experience, their understanding of the world. Through those inquiries and the looks in the eyes of babes as they try to work out the subtle details of life that adults take for granted. It is that internal struggle that makes all the difference.

I was recently watching a show with my daughters called “Ann with an E”, a Netflix series based on the children’s novel, “Anne of Green Gables”. I watched little Anne in the first few episodes trying to assimilate into civilized culture, learning how to interact with the children at school and what it was like to have a family. She was confused in the same way that I remember being when trying to respond to any change, and it inspired the words you are reading.

We try so hard with our modern parenting ideas to protect our children from any discomfort. We forget though, that it was through similar discomforts as children that we were able to learn and grow. The stoics taught that we must embrace challenges and recognize them for what they are – an opportunity for greatness.

Bewilderment is an important part of development.

All for now. Thanks for reading.

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