When I was seven years old, I was learning some very important life lessons that carried me—and some of them scarred me—for life. First, I learned that if I forgot my boots, I could not play outside during recess. Second, I learned that not even God knows the content of the hot lunch entree called Chuckwagon. And finally, I learned that, left to her own understandable desire for me, Sonya Peters would chase me all day long until she caught me and kissed me against my will. And then I would have no choice but to cry and go tattle on her (to my knowledge she was never paddled for her many sins against me).
Contrast the “valuable” lessons I absorbed from school at age seven from what my friend Jocelyn’s daughter Sascha brought home from school the other day. I think this is a great list about how to get along with others:
- Be nice
- Walk away
- Ignore the person who is bothering you
- Tell the person to “please, stop”
- Take deep breaths
- Share and take turns
- Don’t yell
- Forgive the person/Apologize and tell the person you are sorry
- Wait and cool off
- Stick with other friends
- Talk it out
- Listen to the other person
- Find a quiet place
- Tell yourself nice and positive things
- Remind yourself about the consequences
Did you notice what’s missing from the list they teach kids at age seven? I couldn’t find the section that said:
- Bad-mouth others when you don’t get your way
- Talk about everyone behind his/her back
- When you don’t get your own way, sabotage
- Wait outside after school so you can kick someone’s butt
- Scream or intimidate others into submission
Apparently, poor Sascha isn’t old enough to learn those other rules, the unwritten ones, that dictate many personal and professional relationships between so-called adults.
I love these 15 points of wisdom geared for second graders. And if Sascha and her generation can absorb half of those traits into their character, there is a reason for hope in the future.
Feel free to send this to anyone who may or may not be smarter than a fifth grader, but who would appreciate the gentle encouragement and reminder about what decent adults and bright young children try to practice each day.
P.S. Can anyone can give me an update on Sonya? I might have a very different view about her behavior today. Sonya, CALL ME!