“Boy, I’d sure like to do that,” the big teenage boy behind the counter of a printer, remarked to me. I was handing over pages of my children’s book with the title, “How To Do Nothin’.” The book came into being because, day after day, in the class I teach to young kids, “nothin'” would be the reply when asked what they did in school that day. Judging by their expertise in reading, I was often inclined to think that maybe that was an accurate answer.
The book shows all the exciting activities a boy, Robbie, experiences, but when asked by his grandma what he has done, he always responds, “Nothin’.” Since publishing the book, I’ve been told by many parents and grandparents that they receive the same answer too often.
So why am I bringing this up? Well, I’m sitting here with my tea and cookie doing my all-important(??) thinking and remembering the conversation (??) I had with my ten-year old grandson on the phone last night. Somehow I believe that to use the word “conversation,” there has to be an exchange of ideas. I really don’t think that “nothin’,” “I don’t know”, “I guess”, “It’s okay”, as replies to my statements and questions really can be called conversing.
There are several websites on this subject. I have a link with the PBS website on my website http://www.nothin-kids-book.com where you’ll find an excellent article.
The subject of my next blog is communication and talking. I hope you’ll join me for that one.
Meantime, let’s think a bit about the feelings we have at the end of a day. A lot of adults believe that they have done nothing if it was a usual day. What I mean by usual is, did you stay at home involved in things you do most every day? Please don’t dismiss those important activities of getting the kids off to school, washing dishes, dusting, cooking, etc. as worthless, which would be nothing. I’ll bet if you try, you will think of many entertaining stories you could pass along to your family around the dinner table. And, doing that is what encourages your children and even other quiet adults to begin to share their stories of what happened during the day.
When I was growing up, I always had breakfast with my parents and we shared our dreams. My dad always won the prize for the craziest ones. I’ve often wondered if he didn’t make them up just to entertain us.
If you don’t have a ready audience at home, that’s why I am here. I would love to hear your stories. Pull up a chair, reach for a cookie and click on comments below.
COMING NEXT: Here’s How I Do Nothing