Posted by: cochinblogger | October 23, 2011

Teach Your Parents Well

I was going over a science lesson with my 8-year-old son. One question dealt with the various waste products of the human body and how they are eliminated. So the answer mentioned carbon dioxide from the lungs, sweat from the skin, feces from the anus — and urine from the kidneys. But since it’s exit points from the body that are being listed, it should be the nose for carbon dioxide and not the lungs. And for urine?

Ah, there lies the nub. The answer neatly side-steps the differential delivery mechanisms in males and females. An opportunity for educating kids about basic anatomical differences was lost, an important teaching moment squandered.

In the same lesson, the reproductive system is defined as a system that allows a woman to bear babies. My son asked me why mothers had to bear their babies if they loved them so much. 🙂

And, hey, what about us males, eh? We always knew we are not exactly Mother Nature’s favorite sex, but are we so dispensable as to be cast out where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth?

One more tidbit, and I’ll depart. In an illustrated science book for children, my 8-year-old was reading about Copernicus and Galileo. This book, rather unusually, did not shy away from mentioning the role of the then church in putting down inconvenient scientific truths with an iron hand. In fact, the book stated that in those days one could be put to death for advocating the notion that the earth and planets moved around the sun. Theology demanded a geocentric system.

My son was aghast: Putting someone to death for a minor difference of opinion??

Kids are more clear-eyed than adults. It’s probably because they’re more wide-eyed too.

Photo: Babysitter with child on their evening walk.

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