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Preschool Education Articles

A New Year's Resolution- Listen To Your Children

When parents begin the New Year, they often make resolutions. Quotes from interviews with children may suggest some resolutions regarding your children. The following are responses of a group of children to the question "What's wrong with grown-ups?" Their answers provide food for thought.

One little girl said, "Grown-ups make promises, then they forget them, or else they say it wasn't really a promise, just a maybe. My mommy does this all the time. She always promises me something and then forgets it."

A very insightful boy said, "Grown-ups interrupt children all the time and think nothing of it. If a child interrupts a grown-up, he gets a scolding and a lecture about manners, or worse, maybe even a whipping if there is an important person present that everyone is trying to impress."

Another child stated, "Grown-ups don't do things they are always telling children to do -- like pick up things, or be neat, or be on time for supper, or always tell the truth. My daddy never picks up his clothes and all Mom ever does is get angry and yells at us kids and then picks up Daddy's clothes."

A little fellow had this to say: "Grown-ups talk a lot about people who are different -- like different colors or races. They say nasty things about them, yet they tell us kids to love everyone."

Yet another child said, "Grown-ups never really listen to what children have to say. Sometimes they play like they are deaf or concentrating on a newspaper. They always decide ahead of time what they are going to answer. Sometimes I never get to finish what I'm saying before they say, 'You heard me.'"

"Grown-ups make kids wear all kinds of winter clothes -- gloves, scarf, heavy coat and boots -- yet they go outside or stand in the open door without even a sweater on when temperature is near zero."

"Grown-ups talk about how bad it is to take drugs and they say they would never take them. Yet, our medicine chest is filled with adult medicine -- they are always taking medicine or giving me medicine!"

A boy observed, "Grown-ups are always talking about being healthy and taking care of yourself, yet so many of them smoke cigarettes -- they will make you real sick, won't they, and maybe even make you stop breathing?"

And finally, "Grown-ups are always talking about what they did and what they knew when they were my age -- and it usually sounds as if it couldn't have happened the way they say it. But grownups never try to think what it's like to be 6 years old right now!"

There are some important nuggets of wisdom in these observations by children. Is there one you might resolve to work on in 2001?

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care -

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