Real Talk

Should We Demand Common Sense from Our Kids?

Our impatience with our kids sometimes comes from our assumption that they should have common sense.

When we become impatient with our kids, it’s because we expect them to know certain things without us telling them. Those things are what we know as common sense. While common sense does have its pros, it also has its cons. Some of those pros can involve kids being able to learn more complex steps such as cooking their own meals safely without messing up the kitchen. However, the cons, unfortunately, involve understanding that “common sense is not so common” after all.

Where did the term come from?

The term ‘common sense’ allegedly came from Aristotle, who stated that it occurs when the mind and senses work together to discriminate. It was more of a survival response, helping society maintain itself. However, it started becoming a household word during the Age of Enlightenment and served as a standard for everything. Today, it remains to be so and serves as a backbone for most cultures. Unfortunately, the message here gets muddled as cultures are constantly changing and evolving to adjust to the time.

Why common sense isn’t so common

Ironically, common sense isn’t common because it’s constantly changing. Every day, something new happens which can change a person’s behavior and thus alter what’s common. Being on lockdown is novel to many because the common sense of “being on lockdown” is that one’s supposed to be a “threat to mankind”. Yet, our kids were kept inside more for safety rather than being a dangerous element.

Another is how years ago, it was “common sense” that kids needed to sit 8 hours a day in a classroom to learn. But today, we know that sitting 8 hours in a classroom isn’t beneficial for kids. Especially, when we ourselves find it exhausting to do so when we work.

Kids & common sense are constantly changing

Just like how the times change, so do kids and common sense. Common sense changes along with culture which adapts to the existing environment. Kids grow up too with their brains eventually “pruning” the knowledge they don’t normally use to make room for the ones they actually do use. To rely on common sense is to acknowledge that it’s constantly changing. What we know may not be able to work in the time our kids are living in today.

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