We know a few things about her. Her name was Phaenarete, she was a mid-wife and her child liked to ask questions- just like mine and yours.
I’ve been asked, “How do you raise a child like that?” A kid that knows about Socrates and is really keen on Shakespeare? The truth is that Mason is really the all-American girl next door. I like to think of her as special, but in many ways she is very normal. The point is, you can do this with your own children or grandchildren and I can show you how. Best of all you won’t even have to break a sweat.
If you subscribe to SorcraticMama, you will receive a daily idea or activity that you can use in secular parenting- practical stuff for busy people. Do the ones that inspire you and leave the others. I am a former classroom teacher and you can read more about me here.
Try this today…
Does your child know about Socrates? As a secularist, he is arguably the most important historical role model you can provide. Three-year-old children around the world learn stories about Jesus, Mohamed, Buddha, and Vishnu, so I promise they handle Socrates.
Here’s a fun way to begin…
Wait until your child asks you a question. It can be of the simplest sort like, “May I watch television now?” or “Can I eat paste?”
Your response is, “I can’t answer that because questions can be dangerous.” Don’t elaborate. Wait to see what they do. Keep this up until they are curious or really mad. Now you have created what is called a “teachable moment.”
Little ones will give in pretty easily, but you may have to become really annoying until your teenager responds. Employ the help of your spouse or partner in this game.
Once your child demands to be let in on the joke, tell them the story of Socrates. Teach them how he encouraged young people to think for themselves and to question authority. Tell them that he was sentenced to death for it. If they roll their eyes and think it is boring, then you haven’t told the story properly. Try again.
In a few days we will go on an Internet treasure hunt!
How can you get your child excited about Socrates?