Maybe they really do listen

If I were president . . . this was the prompt for my 5th grader’s morning writing assignment in school.

If I were president . . .

I would let kids after taking a test to prove they knew the candidates and what they stood for to be allowed to vote. I would do this because the president and the things he does affects our lives too.

I would also make the school lunch menus more healthy with things like salad options and meat that isn’t hamburger and hot dogs. I would do this because being healthy is very important.

I would do whatever I could to stop the multiple genocides in Africa. Haven’t they suffered enough? If it was happening here wouldn’t we want someone to help us? So why shouldn’t they? To help I would try convince China to stop helping Sudan.

If I were president I would make it my lifetime struggle to make the world a better place.

This brought tears to my eyes. Aside from the beauty of what she writes; She actually processes what I say.

This is a child who turns her nose up at all vegetables; begs for chips and hot dogs and candy; and fights every step of the way about eating healthy. Yet, she obviously hears my reasoning and thinks it valid.

I’ve taken her to several marches, including one in DC related to Darfur. I want her to learn that she needs to speak up when she sees something wrong. Perhaps these experiences have made an impact.

My anecdotal experiences seem to bear out in research. For example, one study says “adolescents who perceive that both parents would respond negatively and be upset by their smoking are less likely to smoke.” Another study says “Encouraging parents . . to discuss smoking-related issues with their children in a constructive and respectful manner is worth exploring as an intervention strategy to prevent young people taking up smoking.

And goodness know there have been tons of PSAs on the topic of talking to kids about a range of high-risk behaviors.

And there are some classics dealing with drug abuse.

So I will think of her writing the next time she rolls her eyes at me, stomps up the stairs, or gives me the “mom!” in that tone that all mothers of daughter have heard. Somewhere in there, she must actually be listening.

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4 Comments

Filed under parenting

4 responses to “Maybe they really do listen

  1. Lisa

    Aww Tra that brought tears to my eyes too! I would be very proud of her. And it is heartening to know that what we say does get through…hope mine are also listening. XO LS

  2. Leslie

    How beautiful! What encouragement for all of us who wonder why we continually repeat ourselves.

  3. Amy

    This is a great piece trace, it’s inspiring and motivating to keep talking to our kids even when you aren’t quite sure if they are processing what you are saying…they clearly are.

  4. Pingback: Everything Family: Issue 7

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