Home > child safety, entertainment, kid empowerment, kid pop culture, learning, Parents, pro-kid movement, responsibility > “You don’t know nothin’ till you know you’re wrong.”

“You don’t know nothin’ till you know you’re wrong.”

-me (and you can quote me on that)

So this weekend I was chatting with a second grade teacher-friend of mine, and we were talking about world events and kids. I gave my crazed ‘don’t freak kids out, let ’em be kids’ speech, and was suprised to realize how wrong i was.

Yep. Wrong.

Nickelodeon may have reported the rise in fearful kids, which made me fearful, but that doesn’t mean that world education is fearful. I suppose it comes down to the level of intensity that is offered to kids when talking about current events (especially war). Assuming as much as I do on a regular basis (its my filler understanding until someone tells me how wrong I am), I believed that kids were freaked by hearing about starving children that are being murdered in far off countries. –notice my words there, ‘murdered’ ‘starving’ etc. What it comes down to is presentation, education, and understanding. Present the information in a way that is honest, yet thoughtfully stated (avoid hard words like ‘murdered’). Educate the class on ideals and history and what THEY can do to make the world a better place. And then follow up with understanding– listen to the kids, let them express their frustrations, misunderstandings, and fears, and do your best to understand and show them your empathy. Kids need to know that we are listening.

What I forgot is how much kids listen to their parents in the car, or the fact they see the same news program on television while mom’s making supper, or the news dad listens to on the way to church. You can protect the kids as much as you can– in that ‘go ahead and eat dirt’ kind of way… but they still have ears. Ears that listen to every nugget of information, whether they fully understand your meaning.

When I was little, my mom used to make lunch & fold laundry while watching “All My Children.” Not a very entertaining show for young’ns. Most the time my sister and I would be playing blocks or barbies on the carpet, seemingly uninterested with the telly. Low and behold– what’s my second sentence? (first was “Ocko, go home” due to the wandering neighbor dog) My second sentense was “Look, momma, pa-mer not home” Yes, Palmer Cortland was not home. I knew who he was apparently, which was his house, and the fact that he was indeed not home. That freaked my mom out a bit. Kids. Listen.

So… while I still fully believe in the ‘eat dirt, climb trees, fall down’ mentality (see earlier posts for a clear understanding), I also believe in education and communication. Just do it appropriately. Be honest, forthright, and well spoken. And don’t be afraid. When you’re fearful, kids smell it and in turn become fearful. And chickens belong on the dinner table, not quaking under spongebob bedlinen at night, worried for the world.


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