Is There A Right Age To Introduce Philosophy To Students? - Lexicon

This is unfortunately not a frequently or even rarely asked question, or so we think. Even when parents do not ever pose this question in the exact words, there is generally a universal confusion about the right age to expose a child to the realities around them.
When a child asks why the moon is where it is or enquires about a relative that passed away, you already know that the child is too young to grasp or comprehend the reality of the situation. But at the same time, you cannot ignore the very valid questions hanging in their minds, making them curious. So you tell them that the moon comes to say goodnight and that the late relative now lives with god. Then they enquire about god and there goes another fabulous story that is neither a lie nor the complete truth and it is in these gaps that a parent has unknowingly asked – When do we introduce philosophy to our kids?
If you find yourself asking this question, take some relief in knowing that there are no wrong answers, only right ways of giving that answer. How a child is exposed to a certain reality makes a huge impact on how they pursue it. Meaning, children live in a world where they will be taken care of and someone will always have their back and they have to respect the rules and norms around them. This is how the child perceives reality.
But with time, a parent has to make the child capable, self-sufficient and help the child establish a sense of self. For a child, the idea of being alone, not being associated with the parents for identity, and not have their needs catered can be traumatizing at a certain age. This changing nature of human needs is what makes our reality tricky. Because as our needs change, our reality changes.
As a child becomes a little older, they start socializing and prefer to identify with their peers, what they like, what they hate and who they are. In this phase, a child is trying to detach from the parent a little bit and form values that will help them get accepted by their peers. The same child once could have experienced severe loneliness and fear if they were not closely attached to their parents.
A child at the age of 16, cannot live a real and free life if they believe that their grandmother lives with god or that tooth fairy gives them money in exchange for fallen teeth.
Parenting is like unfolding the complexities in the simplest way possible at that moment. Like helping a child digest the world around them and this is exactly why there is no right age to introduce philosophy to a child as long as that child is consistently exposed to more complex realities in a way that does not traumatize them, but instead help them grow.

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