Relating to Your Audience

For the last couple of days I’ve been battling a soar throat and doing my best to remain sanitized and away from the rest of the family. Outside of my throat being sore though, I never felt achy, coughy, sneezy, or fevery, which was a good thing. But yesterday, Ethan (my 7 year old) felt I was getting too much attention and decided he was going to one up me with a fever.

Being sick can probably seem pretty interesting to a child, laying around all day, watching cartoons, playing video games maybe, or if it’s the school year, being able to stay home.  What they don’t like to do is get lots of rest or eat soup and crackers and drink lots of clear liquids like it’s nobody’s business.

My son isn’t a big soup fan, he likes water but not all the time, and rest is a huge no no when the sun is still up. (does any child like rest?)

As we all were about to enjoy a bowl of soup and crackers, Ethan asked why he has to have soup and drink all this water. I gave him the quick response of “Because it helps you feel better.”

That type of response was probably more like a “Because I said so” moment than anything else, so I decided to explain it a bit differently: I told him that germs are like bad guys fighting your immune system, which is like your army of good guys. They some how snuck in your body and caught you off guard, and now you’re feeling sick. I told him that while he sleeps, every minute he’s resting his army grows more muscles and becomes stronger than the bad guys, and they begin kicking the bad guys butts.

The water? When you drink lots of water, all that water is going through your body like a tidal wave, and all those bad guys are getting swept away and flushed out.

As I was telling him this, a smile appears on his face and he begins sipping on his water. Later, as he went to the bathroom, he comes out and in a proud manner tells me, “Dad, I just flushed out some bad guys!”

I think we’re all like this in some way. We respond and get excited to things we relate to. It’s why some teachers we remember growing up and others we don’t. When people are able to share/teach information in a manner that relates to us, we tend to own it. We want to own it.

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