A child’s use of logic

My wife gave my daughter a chore. After several minutes my daughter came down from her room to negotiate with my wife.

“You need to come and help me do my job.” (I should mention that she has a difficult time completing chores unless she gets a LOT of help).

She continued before my wife had a chance to respond.

“You cannot just tell me what I’m supposed to do without helping me do it. That’s like the evil step-mother in Cinderella. You need to help me.”

I had a tough time containing my laughter as I overheard this, but it reminded me that logic and reason are not some kind of social construct that gets imposed on humanity as we grow up, but they are tools inherent to the human thought process. If I were to take her reasoning and spell it out slightly more formally it might look like this.

  1. You gave me instructions for chores that I am required to do, but you have not offered to help.
  2. Cinderella’s step-mother gave Cinderella instructions for chores that she was required to do, but Cinderella’s step-mother did not offer to help.
  3. What Cinderella’s step-mother did was wrong, therefore,
  4. What you did was wrong.

It’s a classic argument from analogy. Of course, there’s more to the equation than her simplistic Disney-inspired interpretation of the facts, but I’m actually quite proud of her for eloquently articulating her perspective, and providing reasons for it. She negotiated well for her age.

And I enjoyed getting a good chuckle out of her negotiation tactics. Oh, the innocence of children…

Advertisements

Thoughts? Objections? Let me know...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s