Kids Don’t Learn Through Osmosis

Some parents must think their children should just have certain knowledge as a consequence of being their offspring... or simply just because they should. For example, I was the youngest son of my dad, who was a carpenter. One day when I was not quite ten years old, I was helping him with a project -- none of my brothers were around, so it was either me, or no way he could do it. Well, I was holding one end of a long board and suddenly Dad said to “hold it flush” … does your little kid know what that means??

The only time I had ever heard the word ‘flush’ was in the bathroom! Or when either Dean Martin or Bret Maverick was playing poker in the movies. My lack of knowledge of carpenter’s jargon was a constant source of grief to him; I just did not get that through sharing his genes. Osmosis.

Another example of parents supposing children should know something without being taught comes to mind. A girl I knew in my early teens was asked by her mother to make some scrambled eggs one morning. She did ask her mom how, and her mother simply directed her to crack the eggs into a large bowl and stir them up with a whisk. Then her mom left the room. Several minutes later, she returned to find her daughter still stirring away at the eggs in the bowl. She asked her mom exasperatedly, “How long does it take before the eggs are done??” Osmosis.

Parents, of course, are not totally to blame for this. Think of all the times adults will say something with a child present, thinking their kid will have no idea what is being discussed, only to be embarrassed when Little Ears brings up the subject at the most inopportune time!

I can imagine my dad saying at such a moment, “Why didn’t you pick up carpenter talk like that?”


Maybe your kids should have one of these:
Garfield notebook
 or these: