Common Sense Isn't Really That Common
Updated: May 18
Have you ever noticed that common sense isn't that common? I realized that not everyone was born with common sense. If you don't believe me look at the news or social media. Someone is always doing something or posting something that makes you wonder, "are they serious," "is this a joke," or "what were they thinking?" People would not make unwise choices or rash decisions if common sense were common.
What does this have to do with parenting or kids? Well, as parents, we are role models for our kids. They watch the choices and decisions we make, whether healthy or unhealthy. They observe how we manage our money and habits, good or bad.
But wait, Jen, you just said that some people are not born with common sense. How can I teach my child to have common sense?
I'm so glad you asked. You can role-play different situations and ask them how they would problem-solve that scenario. You teach them basic life skills, so they know what to do instead of running away from the hard stuff. You let them learn through consequences and discuss what they could have done differently. You point out the things that they don't take into consideration. You talk to them regularly.
When my son was in 2nd grade, he and his friend got trapped in the school elevator. When they were three years old, I taught my boys what the buttons' functions were in an elevator and why there was a phone in some of them. Fast forward four years later, my son had to use his common sense. His friend did not want him to call for help or touch any buttons because he did not know what to do. My son confidently picked up the phone and explained to the operator his current situation, and help was on the way. Was my son upset? Yes, he was but not to the point he would never ride that elevator again. My job as his mom was to support him and commend him on how well he used his judgment and remained calm throughout the ordeal. It wasn't to feed an irrational fear of riding an elevator ever again.
Even though common sense may not be that common in some people we meet daily; there is hope for our kids. We can teach them how to see things when they don't perceive them the way we do because they have limited experience. Let's make common sense common for our kids so that they have the tools to make the right choices when they are not with us.