At what point in most people's lives does common sense become evident? If it ever does, because we all know people who never seem to have understood common sense. However, that's really not what I am referring to. I mean common sense in our children. When does common sense make it to the part of their brains they use? Although as I write this I am thinking to myself I really do know a lot of people who can't seem to use or have any common sense whatsoever...so I guess we can open it up to everyone.
Now of course using the 2 year old as an example is much more fun and understandably he hasn't reached the common sense territory as of yet. But like I said its is fun, so here it goes.
Over the last few days my sons favorite thing to do has become going upstairs (under the disguise he is going to his room to play, more of an assumption on all of our parts) and taking a lovely glass ball ornament from the small Christmas tree that overlooks the foyer below, and tossing it over the railing to the floor below. It makes the most amazing popping and smashing noise all at once. I can see where he would be mesmerized by this fun activity. It is kinda cool, the noise, the blast radius of the colored glass ornament, and the sparkly mess left behind. Not to mention the words that daddy seems to shout out each and every time he does it. Then someone comes running, turns on the vacuum and cleans up the mess.
To a 2 year old, that's some serious entertainment! To mommy and daddy its a pain in the tush and a worry someone will step in the glass and cut their foot open (daddy worries about mommy doing it mostly because I clean it up a lot and I am a total klutz).
So common sense says don't throw ornaments and break them on purpose, no matter how cool the sound, because someone could get hurt. Easy one, right?
Common sense has many different interpretations which I found very interesting (which means it will be boring to you so I promise to be brief with this stuff). According to Aristotle, the common sense is an actual power of inner sensation (as opposed to the external five senses) whereby the various objects of the external senses (color for sight, sound for hearing, etc.) are united and judged. Where John Locke proposed one meaning of "common sense", each of the senses gives input, and then something integrates the sense-data into a single impression. This something is what Locke sees as the common sense — the sense of things in common between disparate impressions.
Ok so enough philosophical stuff for you that can be confusing and mind boggling therefor if it doesn't directly have any affect on you, its boring. But to me interesting.
So how does the average teenager gain and begin to use common sense? That is the mystery. There seems to be a time between toddler hood and teenager where they can understand common sense and actually use it, but then it slips away like a thief in the night.
I think they know about common sense, understand it, and could use it if the situation demanded it (to acquire something they wanted or for their own personal safety of course), but there is that "teenager code" that states although they are allowed to be kind, loving, supportive, and even helpful at times, but they must also fight all laws of nature tooth and nail. I swear if my girls could defy gravity, just to prove they could, they would!
I have far too many examples of no common sense in my teen aged girls that would fill this post to the brim of complete boredom and who wants to read all that? Not me. You know what your kids are like when they have no common sense. Well mine are the same...and sometimes worse.
The battle for common sense in our home is like the picture above...rolling waves, pounding surf, unreachable to anyone out there in the waves... so apparently if you can grab it, contain it, and use common sense in your life your a set above the rest!
"Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes." Ralph Waldo Emerson