Right and Wrong

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Here is a little sign I created and have posted on the fridge. These are the words of Michael that I took from a post he made last spring. It tells the child to not blame others or make excuses for doing bad things, but to think, correct those premises and take responsibility instead. Every so often I have my son read it aloud. I believe that kids do need a moral compass. Unfortunately, in light of recent discussions, this is even more so in Objectivist circles than I had originally thought.


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~~ That is a very cute, and clearly, simply 'laid out' set of RULES for tykes to follow. =D>

~~ One of my 2 are not that adept at reading...yet. The other (13 now), however, is (ahem: still-l-l-l) in his 'little lawyer' stage, chronic with the "Why do I 'have' to?" question...on EVERYthing. #-o

~~ Any suggestion on answers? :-k


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Kat, that is a really great sign...and I love the graphic design.

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I don't want to overstep my bounds and step on anyone's feet. I know this is a sensitive subjects for moms and dads.

Me, personally, I encourage my son to ask as many questions as he possibly can. The reason being the more questions he asks and the more answers he is given as to why he is not allowed to do something or why ar we going to the store, why does he have to eat this, etc., the more he asks and is encouraged to ask and is given answers to his questions, the more he UNDERSTANDS so the more intelligent he becomes.

My husband John tells Chris, you ask too many questions, stop asking so many questions or he will say you don't need to know why, just do it. And you better believe, I'm right there telling him don't do this. The more he understands the smarter he will become. If you read the post I put up regarding initiating the process of understanding and remember this and then look at your kids, this is what we were born to do but it is destroyed as we get older.

I don't mean to say that to offend so please, please, please don't think I'm saying this to be mean when I use the word destroy. It's just human beings are so curious by nature and we are born with the foundations of law of causality and law of identity which was talked about in that email about initiating. This is what human beings do. This is how we learn. My son's visual acuity astounds me. He is so observant and asks me questions that I don't know the answer to but I will try to sit down with him and I will tell him to look at it and try to figure it out and then tell me what he thinks it is and 9 times out of 10 he is right.

A good example of this. I know absolutely nothing about the solar system. My understanding is very rudimentary. But one day he asked me, mommy, what is wrong with the moon. I said good question. Let's see if we can figure it out for ourselves. The moon was stunning that morning. It was directly in front of and the sun was all the way to the right of us to where you had to turn your head with chin being directly over the shoulder. You could still see that the moon was completely round even the darker portions of it. It was just beautiful and this is what he was asking about and why it looked so funny.

He has an understanding of left and right. He understands that the earth spins and goes around the sun. He understands that when it is light outside that it is dark on the other side of the earth. So I asked him to tell me where the moon was in relation to where we were knealing. He said that way, front of us. I asked him to tell me where the sun was. He said to the right. I told him to look at the moon again and then look at where the sun was. I then asked him what happens on the other side of the earth when it is daytime here. He said night time. I told him to look at the moon again. And this said it all. He said, Wow, mommy. That was the understanding and figuring out a problem that at first baffled us. But that Wow, mommy was his way of telling me that he now understood what was wrong with the moon.

My son is also notorious for asking the same questions over and over and over and over and over and do I need to say it again, over and over. It gets so irritating. I sometimes catch myself telling him to stop asking me the question. Well, I've gotten to the point where I stopped answering. I don't want to keep giving him answers and then he grows up thinking that he should doubt his mind and what he is percieving with his own two eyes is not correct and doubts his abilities to solve problems, his ability to answer questions and that in order for him to get answers to questions, other people have to tell him.

So now if he gets into the pattern of the ultimate redundancy in asking the same question 5, 000 times., I will tell him, Christopher, you tell me what you think the answer is. I'm not going to answer the question for you. You know what the answer is. What do you think is the answer. And again he is correct 8 times out of 10.

It is in our nature as humans to be so curious and our desire and insatiable need to understand is immense. They have a right to know why they are being told to do something, or why they have to take a bath right now, or why they have to eat a certain food, etc.

So please, please don't think I'm trying to be mean. It's just read my post and then look at your kids doing exactly what I described in that post, they constantly ask questions in the hopes to further their understanding and knowledge. This is what human beings are born to do. This is why we came out of the caves so rapidly for only being here so short of a time compared to animals. What little I know about this subject....this is called evolution and why man has progressed so rapidly compared to lower ranking animals. It is our ability to think in terms of cause and effect, Law of Causality and Law of Idenity.

This is the first time I'm going through the site and checking out all the posts, etc. Kat, my intentions are good, trust me.

Angie :D

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Hi Angie.

Let me welcome you around here too.

As the inadvertent author of the words for that little sign, let me say that I am in complete agreement with you. However, there is no need to apologize. Nothing you said contradicted the sign. On the contrary, it pointed to the child's need to properly understand through questioning. Only through a lot of questioning can a child "learn the difference between right and wrong."

Fostering curiosity in children is high virtue in my book.

About the kid asking the same question a whole lot of times in a row regardless of the answer, this signals a tickle attack. And it is as unstoppable as a freight train. At such a moment he wants attention, not knowledge, so then he has to deal with the attention he gets. (He asked for it!)



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Hi, Michael. I also agree with the attention part....that's a good way to look at it. Chris can be very demanding with attention. He is an only child for many reasons. Being diabetic, my pregnancy was extremely difficult. After Chris, it became a detterent to have anymore kids.

Chris was dxd with high function autistism so he does do things that are very redundant and over and over and over. It's not really obsessive compulsive. Sometimes if you are trying to explain something to him, in order for him to understand it, you literally might have to explain it to him 5 different ways before he catches on.

He's extremely intelligent. But Chris sees things differently than most which I find interesting because that's how objectivists are. They are different from other people and see things typically for what it is, you know, A is A.

But as Chris has gotten older, many of the traits of high functioning autism have disappeared. Socially, he doesn't really know. But when it comes to sciences, etc., he is right on top of it; such as, the solar system. For a 5 year old, he knows the names of all the planets and some moons. Knows which planets are hot and which planets are cold or freezing such as pluto. Has a concept of time. He trips me out. Or he will ask me, where does lightning come from, where does fog come from, how do you make mud, why are their clouds? Just questions I haven't seen most 5 year olds ask. He trips me out big time.

But that is very true regarding attention. That is something Chris needs a lot of sometimes. I wanted to apologize because I know this is such a sensitive subject for most parents when someone points something out and they take offense to it. But I guess that is one good thing about being an objectivist....Rationality is to be the only judge.

But thank you, Mike. And it is nice to meet you. I've seen your name everywhere on the board. I'm slowly going through when I get a little extra time to check all the posts out.

Angie :D

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And also being a harcore objectivist for so long now, when I read about autism, some of it is very typical of people that who have actually reached what she called Atlantis. I read quite a bit about Ayn Rand and how she was as a person and Leonard is the same way.

When you read the symptoms for autism and then look at hardcore objectivists, there are many similarities. I took a test to see if you would be considered autistic. I'm not autistic. But they gave a scoring range of what they consider to be high function, moderate, to severe austism. If you scored in between like 34 and 56, you are considered autistic. I scored 33. But I'm not autistic. Autistic kids and adults are typically not emotional people. They do better with facts and evidence. They don't do well with grey areas and contradictions or estimates.

Autism is an interesting disorder. When I took my kid in to be looked at, the doctor tried to put him into a "group" of kids and didn't take into account my son being an individual. While watching him, he said, well, he doesn't play like all the other kids do. I said, well, my son has his own personality and his own way of playing. He's not sitting in the corner by himself. He's interacting with all the other kids. He has his own style of playing. The doctor said, well, he doesn't fit in with what is typical of the other kids and he doesn't fit into the group. Oh, you better believe that made me upset. So I said, so you don't take into account individuality with these kids and you classify them in to a group. You just figure that if society as a whole sees them as being different and not playing LIKE ALL THE OTHER KIDS do, there must be something wrong with them. So you are more into "grouping" than being an individual.

He gave me a dirty look. I was upset. So that doctor appointment was cut very short. I picked Chris up and walked out with him still in the room. Unfortunately, this doctor was the best that Irvine had to offer, their best neurologist and director at UCI. So unfortunate that even doctors are prone to grouping and not individuality. These people, the doctors, the scientisits, etc., are the guiltiest ones of the bunch. These are the movers and shakers of our soceity, The thinkers. Similar to when Francisco in Atlas was talking to Hank at his house about their philosophy that holds the code of pain and destruction as man's constant state of existence. Hank didn't understand it at the time but Francisco told him out of everyone here, you are the guiltiest one of them all. That statement that Francisco made was very accurate.

But Chris is doing well now. Still is socially inept.....he will be considered a nerd. But reality is, the nerds are the ones that survive longer because they are the thinkers.

Enough of the rambling. It was very nice to meet you, Mike. I hope you don't mind if I call you Mike. :)

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good job> sorry i did something to my keyboard and need to fix it> we can talk about autism> it"s been a while since i hashed this up but i"m sure my memory will be triggered when she talks to me> thank you< mike> my keyboard sucks right now

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My son asks a lot of "what happens when" questions and it makes everybody crazy. He is finally slowing down on that, but he would talk about some disturbing and hurtful stuff at times and I have had to tell him that it will not happen in a million years and the question is inappropriate. I also let him know that he can talk to me without the "what happens" questions. "What happens when a refrigerator falls on your head?" is a pretty typical question. Does your son ask weird questions like that too, or just curious questions?

What type of autism does Chris have? Sean has PDD and it took a long time to diagnose. Unfortunately, there is really nothing they can do with it except try to control his impulsive behavior with ritalin, which I prefer not to do. He may not be the sharpest tack in the box, but he is pretty smart. He asks the tough questions and keeps us honest. :D


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Hey, Kat. Before I respond to your question, I want to read up a little bit to make sure I remember everything. The last time I thought about this was 3 years ago or more. I remember it but I want to make sure I have enough information on it before I say something. But I will say what I do remember of it.

Sean seems to be more autistic than my son but I also believe autism dx is overused.

My son doesn't ask questions such as that. Sean seems he wants to understand more but you also don't want him to dwell on such ideas as death and gore. He may become obsessed with the idea of gore and death, etc. and that's all he wants to know about. Do you know what I'm saying? This is just an opinion. That's all.

He wants to understand and learn by asking all those questions and I know it is tiring but encourage it so he can understand and learn and become smarter. But the questions about death, I can understand he may want to know why and what might happen so he'll know to stay away from it. But if he starts asking them obsessively, don't let him dwell on it. You know what I"m saying. I'm sure you know all this already. You guys seem like really good parents. :D

But I do know that so-called autistic kids and adults shy away from anything they believe will harm them which to me is self-preservation and is characteristic of Objectivism. I do know and have read about kids pacing in their rooms when they see something like a leak in the ceiling where the plaster is obviously wet, etc. They know that this is a possible danger and it threatens them and they may worry about it obsessively. Because if the leak goes on for too long, that part of the ceiling may collapse and possibly injuring them in some way.

My son doesn't do this. But he is very aware of actions around him that could prove painful or harmful. Such as he was watching go karts racing really fast with small kids in them and he responded, ooooh, that's dangerous, you can get hurt. Which is true. So he is aware of possible dangers and knows what to stay away from because of course who wants to get hurt. I know I don't. But I personaly would take a go cart for a spin but not at blazingly fast speeds because it is fun but I know full well what could happen if I crash. So I go into that situation knowing full well the ramifications on me. But to take a small go cart out going 40 or 50 miles an hour is ludicrous and so dangerous. And then on top of it, to have kids that are 8 or 9 years old doing this is absurd. I wonder what is going through these parents' minds when they allow a small kid to travel at these speeds with very little protection around them inside the kart.


But I will say that the more severe the autistic child is obviously something is wrong medically and needs to be addressed; such as in the case of the Rain Man.

But it seems that the dx of autism is greatly overused, especially if the child doesn't fit into a group of other so-called normal kids. Hey, he's his own person and he likes to play a certain way. Or the kids that are considered autistic because they would much rather work on chemistry problems rather than go outside and socialize with the kids down the street or put tracks together on a train set such as my husband's nephew Brennon did when he was 3. His set ups were extremely complicated to look at. If you walked into the room, the entire room is laid out with track, hills, bridges, tunnels, etc., and truly is beautiful to see and all of this is coming from the mind of a 3 year old at the time. Brennon now is 13 I think, is hard core into science and also wants to be an engineer, extremely intelligent but feels he is misunderstood by his parents and his friends. This boy needs to start reading Objectivism which I did tell him to read her books the last time he was down from Washington. He's still so young but eventually will understand it better.

Or the little girl that I read about that was kicked out of her school when she was in kindergarten because she was acting defiantely towards the teacher and wasn't following directions like all the other kids were doing. They were learning their ABCs. This little girl had mastered it already. The teacher told them to practice the letter K. So she obviously got irritated because she is having to be held up and waiting for the other kids to catch up to her so she truly can't progress in her class. So she flipped the page over wrote the alphabet backwards perfectly and underneath it wrote the letter K numerous times over and over. The teacher saw it, got angry, sent her to the office and said that since she cannot follow directions and is too defiant, she wasn't allowed back in her class. Unfortunately, the little girl was kicked out of her school for being too smart. Now this is the ultimate punishment and destruction of the GOOD for being the GOOD.

This little girl was just taught that to use your mind is futile and worthless and won't get you anywhere in society because if you use it, you'll get in trouble for it. And at times can be punished so severely for it that you may even be kicked out of the group to be destined for solitude and loneliness. And the best thing to do is to always stay within the group. You have to stay at the group's pace and never to progress at your own pace. This little girl got severely punished for being smart. To the point, she was actually kicked out of the school for it. And that is so sad to see. This is the mind that needs to be challenged. This is our future shaker and mover. She's the thinker and she got punished for it.

More later on this. I want to get my books out and read some more on it before I say anuthing else. But I will say I can't really say anything about your son because I don't want it to be construed as medical advice. I do have training in medicine but I can't give advice regarding it. There is a book by a hardcore autistic lady and she gives her perspective of it and her life, etc. I saw a program on her not too long ago but her name escapes me right now. I'll think of it though.

If you want to talk more such as temper tantrums taht are thrown due to difficulty in understanding, etc., I know about this. Chris would throw the mother of all temper tantrums. He would try to communicate to me what his needs are or wants but couldn't find the words to get it across. But as he's aged and he is learning and understanding more, the tantrums have pretty much disappeared. So his tantrums were due to a lack of knowledge and understanding on his part on how to communicate his needs.

Let me know and I will keep thinking about that lady to see if I can remember her name

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Kat - I love the poster ... really refreshing!

However I would want to add somehow, maybe not a poster, but certainly in my frequent discussions with my kids about right and wrong that learning to DISCERN right from wrong is key.

It can't possibly be 'because I said so' (are parents incapable of ever being wrong?! Not THIS one! LOL)... figuring that was meant on jest, but unfortunately that IS what a lot of children hear from their parents.

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