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Find Your Own Answers to Your Questions

– Psychology attributes great importance to two notions called “mixed messages” and “direct messages.” A classic example of a mixed message is to tell a joke, while a direct message is to answer a child’s question seriously and directly. What is the more correct way to interact with children: To answer their questions directly, or is there room for jokes and games?

– The best thing is for someone to ask a question and then to find the answer by himself. When he asks you a question, it might very well not be a question at all, that he is just asking it to distract you or to distract himself, or that he wasn’t the one who came up with it but just overheard it somewhere.

A question is a need to receive a certain informational or sensual fulfillment. Does this necessity exist in him? Did it ripen in him or not?

Therefore, the best approach is to bring a child—or any person, for that matter—to a state where he finds his own answer to the question. This means that he really ripened on the inside for receiving the answer, for fully realizing it, for absorbing it, and afterwards, for applying the conclusion he reached on his own.

Therefore, I would never give anyone answers to anything. It is precisely through all sorts of debates, court cases, discussions, conversations, and forums that children hold with each other, aided by educators, as well as trips to different places, followed by discussions of what they saw, why and how they saw everything differently that children learn how to find their own answers. They also hear questions that others ask, and that induces questions within them. They develop those questions, understand them, and find answers to them. This approach expands a child’s perception and creates an expansive world within him, through which he sees the external world correctly, in a multi-faceted manner.

– So in essence, a child goes through the process of self-attainment and self-analysis?

– Yes, by discussing things with others. A person can never achieve anything alone, through personal attainment. He has to integrate with others. It is precisely the diverse and conflicting views that he accumulates that develop his perceptual abilities.

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