We all hear it. We all say it. We all notice it.
"Society has changed."
"Kids nowadays are so different."
"I remember when..."
We all do it. We compare our society/culture nowadays to the world we grew up in. Our two-year-olds can work an iPhone. Our teenagers are having babies (and getting on t.v. for it!) Our society is obsessed with monitoring preservatives, lead-based paint, organic products... how did we *ever* survive before? :)
But, yesterday, something in my classroom made me think -- Wow. What an awesome change in our world today.
This week is "Red Ribbon Week" at our school. We talk about staying drug-free, and taking good care of ourselves in general. I don't talk to the kinders about drugs, specifically, but yesterday, as I handed out their ribbons at the end of the day, we discussed things that are good for our bodies and not good for our bodies.
The kids came up with some great examples. Good for our bodies? Eating vegetables, exercising, drinking milk, taking vitamins. Bad for our bodies? Eating candy all the time, watching too much t.v., taking medicine without mom or dad's permission.
Then, of course, a little guy brought up drinking alcohol. I answer it the same way I do every year: "That's a choice grown-ups can make, but alcohol is never for kids."
Another little one brought up smoking cigarettes. And here lies the heart of this story.
Student 1: "Smoking cigarettes is bad for your body."
Me: "Yes. It's bad for your lungs and body."
Student 2: "My dad smokes. I always tell him to stop, but he doesn't listen."
Me: "Yes. Mrs. A doesn't smoke, but kind of like alcohol, that's a choice some adults make. But smoking is never for kids."
-- Then, one of my sweet little darlings looks up at me with a puzzled look...
Student 3: "What's smoking?"
Me: "Well, have you ever seen someone outside with something in their mouth and there's smoke coming out of their mouths? It smells really yucky."
Student 3 (still puzzled): "No. I don't know what that is."
AWESOME!!! Hooray for our society! We spend so much time focusing on the negative changes in our world and society... this is a perfect example of a positive change in our society. A couple other kinders also looked quite puzzled... and I was thrilled. What an awesome change.