Philosophical Thoughts Of Kids
It’s easy to say?
Saying that children are natural philosophers is easy. The truth is harder to deal with if you look at how curious, demanding and questioning children are treated ‘in the system’. But let’s not demonise anyone and instead just look the demands of everyday parenting and the avalanching content which the internet brings with it. How do parents of bright, inquirying kids keep up with the moral and ethical dilemmas they face everyday as their much loved progeny explore and discover new insights. Put bluntly, how do parents keep their children safe while simultaneously supporting their development into be independent, autonomous beings.
As an educator and a ‘baby-boomer’, I grew up in a time when lack of parental supervision of my playtime (i.e. running around town with my friends) was ‘normal’. Now we have terms like ‘helicopter parenting’ and ‘free-range children’ that describe some of the manifestations of what’s changed for modern parents.
Having noted the change, we need to be careful not to piggyback onto the amount of media tools at our disposal and catastrophise the state of the world. A Facebook meme on children and screen-time, an Instagram image criticising our schools are so easy to produce. We should remember, for instance, how the sell-same parents of baby-boomers did not have unharnessed playtime which they gave their children- they lived through a massive world war that turn their playgrounds and schools into bomb craters. It’s not wise to romantise ‘the good ol’ days’.
Working with what we’ve got
Our approach in publishing the YOUNG PHILOSOPHERS SERIES, beginning with The Book With No Story, is be altogether less grandiose. Instead, after many philosophical discussions of our known, including looking at the current set up of the Philosophy For Children movement itself, we decided to focus of the ordinary storytelling moments in family life like bedtime reading and stories told around the table when grandparents came to visit. We asked ourselves, how could we support imaginative parents to enjoy their daily task of communicating with children.
Did Einstein really say that imagination was more important than knowledge?
I’ve never discovered the source of the quote attributed to Einstein that ‘imagination is more important than knowledge. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting sentiment, one which resonated with author Clare-Rose and illustrator Yongho Moon as they created the four book of the Young Philosophers Series of The Book With No Story, The Fake Dictionary, The One Thing And Anothers and Why In The World Are We Here?
Collectively, the books are philosophical texts that enable parents to have rich, imaginative conversations with their children. They aim to give back to parents the kudos and status of discussing issues with children from 10+ in an information rich digital world.
Anyone who knows anything about philosophy holds the truth that philosophical approaches are always about the quality of the questions we dare to ask. If you haven’t yet done so, ask your children if you can accompany them when their school runs a ‘Socratic Circle’ to get the feel of the demands of coming up with great questions.
Asking the right questions?
The Book With No Story is about priming parents to ask the ‘right’ questions, interesting question which they have not finished answering for themselves in their lives.
- How do you have an imaginative discussion about telling and seeking the truth with a child? What are they seeing, listening to and reflecting on? How are they validating what they perceive and feel is the truth? When do lies come into what is being said and thought about?
- How do you have an imaginative discussion about love with a child? How is love connected to thriving physically, emotionally and spiritually?
- How do you have an imaginative discussion about MAKING MEANING with a child? How do we answer the WHY questions? How do we avoid them?
- How do you have an imaginative discussion about different forms of expression with a child? What poetry, prose, music and drama do you share? What dances do you experience with them? What images captivate you?
- How do you have an imaginative discussion about a sense of their ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ worlds? What can be said about the outward appearance of things?
- What can be said about our inner feelings? What do we do when the two don’t add up?
- How do we have an imaginative discussion with a child about death? The end of things? The beginning of something else? Transformation?
One of The Best Days ~ I wasn’t having a great day. I was struggling to find the clarity in a piece I am writing…
I have set up RED WOOL EDITIONS as a publishing company dedicated to unravelling the philosophical thoughts of kids, by taking them through enchanting stories, twinkling soundtracks and accompanying educational packages for parents and teachers.
Can you draw a picture of a creature you can see in your mind, and perhaps there are some questions you might like to ask them …
Masqued is very bad at perceiving what he’s like as a person from another person’s perspective. So he can’t tell you much about himself at all. He spends 50% of his time staring the grim-knuckled truth dead in the eye and the other 50% of his time pretending it doesn’t exist. And when he pretends it doesn’t exist, like magic, it doesn’t. People who engage in conversation with him automatically talk backwards and think sideways.
Habadasha & Jinx are interviewers. They just interviewed 3 billionaires who were pouring a vast amount of cash into scientific research promising to extend their lifespan and eliminate their death. Surely there was another way of living forever. Habadash and Jinx tried to convince the billionaires that they could use their power and generosity to go deeper into living, instead of just elongating life. But the billionaires didn’t understand that something so radical could eradicate the very fear they were trying to defeat in the first place.