That’s it. In my opinion, ‘because’ is the now the most important word every parent should teach their their child, especially in this day and age.
You wouldn’t immediately think that the word ‘because’ could change your toddler, child, teen, or young adult into being to a more social and interesting person. You wouldn’t think the word, ‘because’ should be the most important word that kids should learn these days. But it is. Here’s why.
Recently I was at a dinner with a group of people, including a couple of people in their twenties. They were on their phones for most of the evening, which didn’t really bother me, since I often grab my phone and look at it, too. What was completely shocking to me, though, was the fact they couldn’t carry on a simple conversation and they had graduated from top universities. They were so used to texting, or playing games on their phones, it’s almost as if they had forgotten how to converse with other humans. I asked them questions, since they were across the table from me. And it was pretty painful. If only they knew to use the word ‘because.’
‘So you’re looking for a job, I hear,’ I said to one of them.
‘Yeah,’ was his response.
‘What are you looking into doing?’ I asked.
‘Creating video games,’ came the response.
‘That sounds really interesting,’ I responded.
‘Yeah,’ was this man/child’s response.
I stopped trying to work up a conversation with him after that. I shook my head and sighed inwardly at this painfully awkward conversation. I know people that could’ve helped this young man, or at least helped to get him an interview in the career he’s interested in. But I would never introduce him to a potential employer. If he couldn’t carry on a conversation with me, I couldn’t imagine him answering actual questions in an interview to get a job. I thought to myself, ‘If only his parents had explained the importance of the word because’.
It’s frustrating for parents to get one word answers out of their children about their day at school. And it’s frustrating for teachers to get only one word answers out of their students.
But, if you bring out the word because, it completely changes the dynamic, leading to actual answers that are not one word or just a grunt. Very early on, I taught my daughter that the word because should be in all of her answers, when it came to her teachers, and even other family members who talk to her. When Rowan was young, and I would ask her a question, like, ‘Did you have fun at the sleepover?’ she knew not just to say, ‘Yeah.’ She’d answer ‘Yeah, because we stayed up so late, and ate junk food and we watched a movie.’ If I would then ask her if she enjoyed the movie, she would say, ‘I loved it because it was so funny and it made me laugh so hard. I want to watch it with you again!’ She knew the importance of using the word ‘because’ in her answers.
If I ask her how her day went at school, nowadays, she’ll respond, ‘It was great because I had science and dance.’
‘So you like science and dance the most?’ I’ll ask.
‘Yeah,’ she’ll respond, ‘Because Science is so cool. And I love the teacher and we’re learning to dissect things. I love dance. I’m getting pretty good at it. I can now do the splits! ’
That one simple word can be so helpful, especially as we watch our children socializing these days mostly through text or social media. They really have no idea how to talk to actual people anymore.
With my five year-old, I’ll ask, ‘If a teacher asks how your weekend was, what are you going to say?’ Holt will respond, ‘I had the best weekend, because I saw my sisters and because I saw a worm and because I went for ice cream and because I got to sleep in my mommy’s bed!’ The word ‘because’ has been drilled into him, since he began pre-school. He knows not to just answer, ‘Yes,’ or, ‘No,’ bringing conversations to a halt, but instead, opening the door for a back-and-forth.
So, yes, I believe the word ‘because’ is probably the most important word you can teach your tech focused children, in this tech savvy world, with children who will text you from their bedrooms, asking what’s for dinner, while you’re downstairs in the kitchen.
I was super impressed with my daughter while we were on a plane together recently. Because of the word ‘because,’ she comes across as very mature. So often people tell me how well-spoken she is. My daughter was sitting in the middle seat and the women next to her asked her how she was enjoying school. I pretended there was something extremely fascinating out that plane window, but, really, I listened to hear how my daughter would respond to this kind-hearted lady, sitting on the other side of her. ‘I’m in grade nine and I really love my school. The teachers are great. I love being on the swim team. But there is so much homework,’ my daughter told this women. The women and my daughter then had a ten-minute conversation, because my daughter gave a descriptive answer instead of a one word one. The word ‘because’ is like a bridge, turning one word answers into answers that make your child seem outgoing, friendly and mature to talk with.
When we run into my friends in the street, they are all impressed that my children actually can converse with them, and wonder why their kids don’t do the same. ‘Teach them to use the word because,’ I’ve told many of my friends, especially the ones with shy children. If they just throw in the word ‘because’ after answering a ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ question, they are making a conversation. ‘That’s so brilliant,’ they’ll respond. ‘I’m going to start teaching them this!’
Even if you have adult children, ‘because’ is a word that you should encourage them to use after every question asked during an interview for a potential job they want. If an employer asks why they want this job, or why they think they are a good fit for the company, teach them to not just say, ‘It looks interesting,’ teach them to answer with a ‘because,’ as if, ‘I really think I can contribute to the company because of the skills I have learned, which include…’ Or,’ I think I’ll be a perfect fit because I’m outgoing, a hard worker, and am excited to learn all aspects of the business.’
In my opinion, because is now one of the most important words that will help our kids to be social, even though they’re growing up texting instead of talking. Why? Because it works.