Thursday, April 03, 2014

Clarify Before You Speak

Monday I was in the kitchen making dinner when Elizabeth asked me a startling question.

"Mom, when you smoke weed..."

Rather shocked, I turned to give her my full attention. I do not - nor have I ever(!) - smoke weed. I was poised to give my defense, while simultaneously questioning my daughter to find out where on earth she got the idea that I smoke weed.
But as it turned out, none of my words were necessary.
When Elizabeth finished her question I realized she was saying "you" in the generic sense.
Not "you" as in me.
See, she's writing an article for journalism in which she has been assigned the "anti" side of an argument. She has to write about why marijuana should not be legalized in Michigan. And the whole of her question was, "When you smoke weed, does it harm your lungs?" She wasn't asking me about my experience, she was looking for an argument against weed's legalization.
Well, that made a big difference.

Reminds me of the time my high school psychology teacher told us how important it is to know what your kids are asking.
Her son approached her with the question, "Mom, what does 'Lay me' mean?"
She said she was about to dive into a discussion about the birds and the bees when he clarified, "You know, when someone says, 'Now I lay me down to sleep.'"




Jerralea said...

This makes me think of that verse in James where it tells us to be swift to hear but slow to speak!

Karen Hossink said...

Jerri - Yeah. LOTS of wisdom in Scripture! ;)