If I asked you a question and if you don’t know the answer, will you still try to answer? Or will you say I don’t know?
What Do You Do?
Now, I have so many friends in my life. If I ask them anything, they will try to answer. But if they don’t know the answer, they don’t know the answer. They will still try to answer. I was one of them, especially with my child. I remember so many years if my son used to ask me any question, I would try and answer. Of course, why not? I’m his dad. I have to answer all of his questions.
But then something happened that day and that incident changed my perspective and I learned something from that incident. And as a storyteller, whenever I learn something, it becomes my responsibility to share with you.
Arnav Didn’t Trust Me
I was with my son. He’s 11 years old that day in a small grocery shop. And I was busy shopping and he showed it from behind, “dad I want to buy this cold drink.”
I looked behind him and said, “No, son, this is not good for you.” He said, “No, dad, I want to buy it.” “Remember this is not good for you,” I said, and then he did something which really made me very angry. He went to the shopkeeper and asked him, “Uncle is this good for me? Can I drink this?” I know shop owners will say not say No to this question.
I got really angry. I raised my hand; slipped it in my back pocket, took the wallet, and bought that bottle.
Why The Lack of Trust?
Later I was thinking about this incident and why my son didn’t trust me. I told him very clearly that this is not good for you. Why didn’t he trust me on this? And then I got the answer to this question. When I revisited my beautiful journey with him for almost six to seven years, when he started asking questions to me, I realized I was answering all his questions.
Dad, how many players in football? I am a cricket lover. I don’t know anything about football. My response: “I think 12 players”.
We Were Building Distrust
Okay. Dad, why can’t we swim like fish? Come on now, we can’t swim like fish because we are not fish. We are humans.
Dad, why do we yawn? I don’t know. Come on. When we are born, we are young.
Whether I know the answer. I don’t know the answer. I’m his dad. I have to answer everything. But when he’s going back to his own world, he’s learning from his swimming teacher that we cannot swim and breathe like fish because our lungs do not have enough surface area to absorb enough oxygen from water.
Arnav Double Checked
He’s learning from his friends that there are 11 players on a football team.
He’s learning from his science teacher that we yawn because whenever we are tired, we don’t dig deep breathing and we need more oxygen. So we yawn to take more oxygen inside our body.
And then whenever he’s listening to these correct answers, he must feel, so dad was wrong.
I Was So Wrong
So sometimes dad is wrong. Sometimes dad is right, but when is dad wrong and when is dad right? And when you get in this kind of situation, you lose trust.
When I said, I don’t know this bottle is not good for you. This drink is not good for you. So he might be thinking, is dad right or wrong this time. Then I realized I have to do something. And I have made a decision since that day. I decided one thing that whenever I don’t know the answer, I will say, I’m proud to say, I don’t know.
Its OK To Not Know
I will check and I will come back to you. And I’ve been doing this for the last, almost six to seven months now. And today, whenever my son asks me anything and if I answer, he trusts me, because he knows Papa answers only when he knows the answers. Otherwise, he says, I’m proud to say, I don’t know.
If today, I go to that same grocery shop and my son asks for that bottle, and if I say, I don’t know, it’s not good for you, he will listen to me because I have gained that trust now. He knows if Papa is saying, it means Papa is correct otherwise he will not say.
What you do in your life and you don’t know the answer. You answer, or you say, I’m proud to say, I don’t know.
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