Friday, February 09, 2007

What Interests Children

Well, we are officially a leper colony. After almost two weeks, sickness continues to isolate us from the outside world. Today, it's J.J. with a case of a runny nose and major sleepiness.

Johnny, my hyper-active son, has been back to school for some time. I sent him before he was 100 percent healthy, but he didn't have a fever, so the school couldn't prove it.

When you're cooped up like this, everything gets your goat. For instance, I read about a picture book called, "Why mommy is a democrat."

It kind of got under my skin. Not because of the political party. I'd have the same reaction to "Why daddy is a republican." Or "Why your uncle supports tort reform." Or "Why granny thinks private social security is a crock."

What bothered me was the assumption that kids care about what grown ups care about. I mean little kids. Sure, they might ask about the war. Or what the president's name is. But generally, they don't think about politics.

If kids could vote, it would be on the following issues:

How many friends I can have to my birthday party.

If they interviewed a candidate, it would go like this:

Can I have a friend over?
Can we go to a movie?
Do you have any chocolate milk?
What are your thoughts on salad?

Oh well, let people write their books about politics for little kids. They should also write a children's book about how awesome dental floss is. The kids would love it.

Next year, I'm getting the kids flu shots. I read somewhere that they give you autism. But later I heard that standing close to the microwave or heating things up in plastic containers does it.

From what you read, autism is more prevalent nowadays. I think that with all the brain-based research going on, scientists will soon unlock the secrets of the autistic brain. I'd like to find out what's going on in there.

In high school, I worked at a camp for special needs kids. A little boy with autism became attached to me...probably because I, too, am autistic, in some ways. But he asked the same question over and over. And it really made you think.

The question was: "Roast beef?"

I tried out a few different answers, such as "on white," and "with mustard."

But it turned out that the correct answer was to throw your head back and laugh like a hyena.

Hmm. I wonder what it all meant.

Most likely, the boy just liked the ring of those words: "Roast beef?"

See, this is the type of thing that occupies the minds of our children. Politics? Not so much.


Anonymous Jeremy Zilber said...

Kids care about the topics we tell them about. Most kids don't care about math, science, literature, history, etc. until someone explains to them why it matters. Government and politics are no different.

Jeremy Zilber
Author, Why Mommy is a Democrat

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

BUSTED!!!! I hope they don't want to start talking politics - another thing I wouldn't be able to explain to them!!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reminds me of the time i ran for school pres in 6th grade as the new kid and said i would try to get chocolate milk in the drinking fountains! didn't win, but made some new friends!!

8:18 AM  

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