I love to tell this story to illustrate how people of different ages relate to the same thing.
A six-year old boy told his father he wanted to marry the little girl across the street. Being modern and well-schooled in handling children, he hid his smile behind his hand and with a serious look on his face exclaimed, “That’s a serious step,” “Have you thought it out completely.”
“Yes, his young son answered. “We can spend one week in my room and the next in her room across the street, so I can run home if I get scared of the dark.”
“How about transportation?” the father asked.
“I have my wagon, and we both have our big wheels,” the little boy answered. The boy had an answer to every question the father raised.
Finally, in exasperation, his dad asked, “What about babies? When you’re married, you’re liable to have babies, you know.”
“We’ve thought about that, too,” the little boy replied. “We’re not going to have babies. When she lays an egg, I’m going to step on it.”
The students laughed every time. And I would ask — “Why does this story make you laugh?” The answers were always very similar. It’s so sweet. My follow up question was – “Why do you think it is sweet?” I never got a good answer.
I would then draw a small rectangle. I would then explain:
He is a very intelligent 6 year old. He has thought about marrying the little girl across the street. They have talked about it and made decisions. Together they have used their knowledge and reasoned every issue out. They know what they know (to them they are right). Have you ever tried to tell someone why they can’t do something you know they cannot do? Do they listen and say thank you for educating me, or is there an argument.
Next I put a larger box around the smaller box.
You laughed because you know the information outside the red box. The 6 year has no idea and if you tried to explain it to him, he cannot relate. Innocence is charming in children. When people get older we call this being naive. It’s not as funny. Naive/innocent people don’t know they are Naive. As we age we are exposed to more life experiences, therefore our judgement and common sense is superior to the 6 year old.
I draw another box; this time around the purple line.
Notice, there is a box larger than your box. That’s the adult or authority figure box and you’ve got the exact same dynamic going on. You know what you know, and your parents tell you, that you are wrong because. . . . . and your reaction is. . . . . for the exact same reason. Every generation rebels against their parents/authority figures culture – this includes music, what is right/wrong, clothes, language, what is cool/not cool. If you don’t believe me, check mom/dad’s high school yearbook.