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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Explaining things

At dinner time today Knox told me he noticed that young men like to play the fighting monsters on their phones. “You mean video games?” “No, the fighting monsters on their phones… it’s called video games?” “I think so… where did you see this?” “In the MRT. I secretly looked at what they were doing on their phones.”
“Yes, those are called video games. It’s very attractive to young men, you noticed. You have been observing!”
“Yes I have!”
I then talked a little about the idea that we used to be hunters & gatherers (some controversy here, I know, but it’s one explanation he can start from and debunk in future if opportunity arises), and that is why little girls, even when they are babies, are very drawn to pretty patterns, particularly red that might be food they can gather to eat. “And I did too!” Knox said, and I said no, you didn’t do that when you were a baby, but both Quin and Inge really liked my (flower pattern) bag and would want to touch it. and I showed my bag. Knox nodded. Yes he was really not interested in my bag.
“And little boys, they are often drawn to things that move, particularly animals they can hunt and eat. So that is why many little boys like cars, because their eyes like to track things that move.” (the tracking thing is proven)
And then I said: That’s why many boys and men like video games. Because it satisfies something in them. But you know, if they satisfy this too much, they won’t have time to do anything else. Like meet girls, and take care of babies. If your daddy were playing video games all the time he wouldn’t be taking care of you and your sisters!
“And I want to get married and take care of my children too! So I won’t play video games.”
“Oh I’m not saying that video games are bad. They can be satisfying in some ways. I’m just saying that you need to make sure you have time to do all the other things you want to do too.”
So many things that I felt while having this conversation with him: Is it comprehensible? Would he understand? (he seemed to) Am I trying to control him or offer him a tool? I am happy that he appears interested in this story and was able to listen.
But predominantly I feel grateful that there has been so much discovered about our world, that I can tell him interesting nonfiction stories that might help him make sense of his life and how he may want to live it. I truly feel that it is important to know your options. Mike occasionally explains things to Knox when he asks, and I can really see Knox’s comprehension from this patient talk of his father’s come out through the things he says – concepts building upon concepts, which only makes it easier for us to explain increasingly complex concepts.
Afterwards we watched a documentary about birds building nests. I was touched by how the narrator said “and all things leads to this – the next generation.” incidentally reinforcing the message about the purpose of our lives. So life continues. And it is precious.
We had previously talked about how hurt people are more likely to hurt other people. And how someone who seems angry might actually be hurting… and so many other interesting things, many of which I had only learnt in the past few years. 
Other thing I hope to eventually cover as opportunity arises:
– reproductive costs for human females vs males

It was surprising to me that video games would come up now. At this rate I’m gonna soon run out of interesting factoids for them!
*sorry about the hetero-central theme here!