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Kids' Opinions Matter: If You Don't Believe Me Try Ignoring Them

by Cindy

SFS Bike, not used

SFS Bike, not used

It's true. Kid's opinions do matter. Have you ever tried ignoring a kid's opinion? It doesn't go so well, whether it is your friend, your brother or sister, or someone you just met. I know one little girl who refuses to eat sandwiches. Unless they are cut into tiny heart shapes. Well, do we want her to eat a sandwich or not?

Sometimes grownups make the mistake of ignoring kid's opinions, or worse, not taking the time to find out what they are. When I was a kid I hated serious bike riding. I was a good sport, I didn't mind fun little rides on fairly flat surfaces, but my family was psycho! They loved to ride for miles and miles, at insane times in the morning, up and down hills so steep your head was almost at the top before your feet even started pedaling.

I'm pretty sure everyone was fairly aware of my opinion on bike riding, every time we went, I would end up crying silently but trying to just gut my way through the trip.

When I grew up, I just said, "That's not fun to me, I'm not going to do it." Not sure why I didn't think of that earlier. Anyway, every year my uncle gave us kids a trip to San Francisco. We raced up and down the outdoor elevator, ran through fountains, and rode the cable cars. It was always one of the highlights of my year. I don't know where you live but have you heard of the ginormous hills in San Francisco? I get scared just driving up them in a car they can be so steep! Well, you guessed it, one year my uncle decided to take us BIKE RIDING in San Francisco. I told you my family was a little psycho about bike riding, but what kind of idiot takes small kids, especially one that hates bike riding, to do it up hills that are famous nationwide? Needless to say, I'm sure my uncle knew my opinion, but he ignored it. And wow, did that trip suck.

Have you ever gotten a present that you looked around and waited for someone to say, "Oops, I put the wrong name on that one?" I know a girl who loves green, (her sister loves pink). This girl's room is green, her clothes are green, her mom only buys her green socks, because why bother with anything else? One time she got a pink sweatshirt from her grandma. Nothing against pink, but you better bet that that sweatshirt was thrown aside never to be thought of again. And for just a second, before she threw that gift aside to open another one, I saw this strange look on her face. Like, "Doesn't she know me? Doesn't she know or care what I like?" And I felt sad.

Knowing, listening to, and celebrating kids opinions is fun, rewarding and is like giving a kid a big hug and saying, "I love who you are." If you've never tried making purple pancakes or experienced the exuberance of a little kid picking their outfit and doing their hair by themselves, you're missing out. Listen to a kid's opinion, because it matters, plus, it sure can make things a whole lot easier!

Comments for Kids' Opinions Matter: If You Don't Believe Me Try Ignoring Them

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Nov 28, 2009
Opinions DO matter
by: Jill Menger

I agree totally with the comments in this article. Kids should have their own opinions and parents should listen - in most cases they do not listen.

Allowing one's child to be herself is vital for the kids whole future and self esteem. I see kids lose their self esteem by constant invalidation by inept parents - parents just don't know they don't know! If they take the trouble to find out the child would have respect for the parents instead of all the nonsense you get with tweens and teens!


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