Fact 1: The world itself is probably the least kids-oriented place that has ever existed.
It’s way too serious, especially when it comes to things that don’t need to be taken so seriously like, for example, how to make horrendous loads of money instead of just plain loads of money. At the same time, though, it neglects things that should be taken more seriously – such as kids. It’s way too hectic, too. There’s no time for the truly important things in life – yeah folks, I’m talking about naptime. That and trying to figure out whether the cloud on the far right of the oak tree looks more like a raccoon or a carrot after all.
Okay, to be fair: I don’t know of all the places that have ever existed. So the world is really just the least kids-oriented of all the places I know – I have no evidence whatsoever that proves the non-existence of a place that is even less kids-oriented somewhere in the universe (like adultplanet or serious-guys-talk-serious-business-world).
Fact 2: A tiny bit of kids-orientation in many places would most likely make the world a better place.
Imagine the Starbucks on your way to work sends you off into the day with your coffee in a cup with a smiley face, your favorite Sesame Street character or a note that says “you’re awesome, have an awesome day!” (all the a-letters replaced by shiny gold stars, of course; you know you’d love it) – wouldn’t that be a great way to start your morning?
Well, at least it would be a lot better than reaching for your regular coffee cup only to realize that even after being a loyal customer for almost two years the lady that’s been selling you your coffee ever since still thinks your name is Leslie instead of Lisa (that or she really needs to learn how to spell… or seriously improve her handwriting).
Imagine further that your boss rewards your great work with funny stickers! I know what you think: forget the stickers, I’d rather have a raise. Well, the truth is: on adultplanet you won’t get either so you might as well take the stickers and be happy. Who knows, you might even be able to trade in 10 stickers for a no-overtime-coupon! Wait…really?! (Yes, yes!) And guess what? It’s Jell-O day in the cafeteria, too. Admit it: this is bliss.
(These are just a few examples, too.)
Fact 3: Kids are simply awesome.
I am an almost-teacher who has done her fair share of student teaching and it’s just a fact: kids are truly awesome. I admit, they are also sticky, noisy, antsy and they wouldn’t notice irony or sarcasm if you dressed them up in sparkling superhero costumes specifically labeled “irony” and “sarcasm”, but they’re nice enough to laugh at your jokes even if they don’t really get them, so who cares.
Another big plus: even when you draw a picture that consists of nothing but stick figures or you play them a song that is really just one line and the same chord over and over again, they think you’re a great artist. That just makes them really awesome. You can’t argue with that now, can you?
(That’s a rhetorical question: you can’t. I’m serious: you cannot, I won’t allow it – I’ll write a note to your mom if you do…oh, wait: sorry. Maybe I’ll address your mom in your blog’s comment section, though. Ha!)
Fact 4: Kids are (mostly) willing to learn anything you are willing and (watch out: keyword coming up) motivated to teach them
– such as proper restaurant behavior. Kids are like tiny sponges. Not because they wear square pants, but because they have this incredible ability to soak up any piece of (interesting) information they are confronted with. If the information presenter aka parent/teacher/sports coach/you name it shows the least bit of enthusiasm for the matter that they are trying to present, they will most likely spark some interest. Yet beware: kids know when it’s fake, oh yes, they do.
Besides, they intuitively know how to follow your example: if Daddy tries (and successfully manages) to chew with his mouth closed – for a change – they will realize it’s not the worst idea to try and do the same. They think it’s fun to act all grown-up for a while, too (as long as they feel like they don’t have to).
Of course, there are limits. It just doesn’t make any sense to make them sit through a 7-course dinner: they simply can’t sit still for that long because it’s really boring. Why would anyone want to sit through a 7-course dinner anyways? They’re just really long and boring and at the end of all these hours of boredom, miraculously, you’re still hungry. Why are 7-course dinners popular again? Okay, I lost my train of thoughts just now and I’m feeling hungry…hm.
Fact 5: Kids can’t choose not to be around adults, either.
I’m sure they’d sometimes prefer to just get rid of us silly grown-ups, yet: they can’t. They depend on us silly grown-ups for a while (because the world is not only too adult-oriented but also full of crazy people and other crazy things). If they have to stick it out with us, I think it’s only fair if we do the same for them.