Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

No Such Thing as “Just A Kid.” Or  Seven Things to Do to Honor a Kid as a Growing Human

I pegged the kid at eleven.  Eleven years old.  He was offering an alternative purchasing option to his mother as they were grocery shopping.  I couldn’t hear the specifics but I could tell he was presenting a logical support for his case.  Whatever he was suggesting was in stark contrast to his mother’s plan.  Exasperated she said, “Where do you GET such ideas?  You are just a kid.”

That’s when I knew there’s no such thing as “just a  kid.”  There’s just you. And me.  At various stages on our journey.  When a human hits a certain age it’s as if a memory synapse simply stops working.  The synapse that connects the extraordinary rich recollections of what wonders and breadth there is in the childhood view with the adult that one has become.  Bridge just washed out in the storm of growing up.

1.          Actually listen to what they say.

2.         If you can’t actually listen tell them the truth, “I can’t listen to you right now.  When you can decide a shorter way to tell me this – I will be able to listen to you.”

3.          Tell them the truth.  Period.

4.          Remember their name and address them by their name.

5.         Consider the plausibility of their suggestions.  Some of the most successful ventures on the planet have come from what appeared to be ludicrous ideas.

6.         Resist the urge to discourse their dreams.  Instead of “schooling them in reality” let them build a few castles in the air and see if they can muster a foundation to put under them.

7.         All these things to apply to the child in us all.  Try them on your friends that are considered adult.  It will make you a better friend.  Try them on yourself – it will make you a better person.

I try to apply these principles to the child in myself.  And using these guides is the reason why single digit humans think I’m okay.  Because I recognize the good brain and the breadth of thinking they engage in.  I ask them questions.  In a regular voice.   I still laugh out loud to recall the scene of a fifty eight year old grandmother speaking to her nine year old grand daughter.  She raised her voice.  She slowed her speech, carefully enunciating each word.  Finally the granddaughter rolled her eyes, put her hands on her hips and said, “Meemaw, I may be nine but I’m not DEAF.”

So true.  In fact, nine year olds hear things in ways adults have forgotten how to listen for.  Just ask one.

Mary Anne Radmacher is an internationally collected and quoted author and artist.  She invented and guides a process called Focus Phrase.  Information available at: new way – radmacher focus phrase.


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