Street Smarts for Kids

street signLast night driving to work I was faced with one of my pet peeves.

People, namely kids, just standing in the middle of the street. Not moving. Just standing there. Observing life. Nature. The world around them moving ninety miles and hour. They were enjoying a leisurely moment in their childhood.

I looked at them after driving around them with an ugly look on my face, fighting the urge to point out that they were number one in my book, only to realize that, hey, maybe they were on to something. So I thought to myself after a while, what’s wrong with standing in the middle of the street? There could be a lesson in that. I mean after all I try to find something good in everything. So I did just that.

Reasons why it’s OK to let your kid stand in the middle of the street:

1. It builds confidence. Confidence is great! Everyday a young child is shot down in life because either their science fair project wasn’t good enough, their room wasn’t cleaned to perfection or because they couldn’t get the nerve up to make a new friend. Standing in the middle of the street? That builds confidence. Nothing says, “I am powerful and supreme and can do anything I want in life,” like standing in front of a moving vehicle. That takes balls. Really is commendable. You go kid.

2. It fosters gratitude. There are so many unfortunate children in third world countries who will never know what hot pavement feels like under their bare feet. I think this is something that every child should experience. This one could go hand in hand with #1 because think about it. If you make it standing on a hot paved street in the middle of summer without moving away from a two-thousand pound moving vehicle, you can’t help but be confident!

3. Improves agility. Just think. Bobbing and weaving like Muhammed Ali away from cars and trucks on a busy street, or trying not to step on broken glass or maybe you’re just learning how to handle hot tar on your delicate skin. Takes agility folks. Lot’s of people pay large amounts of money to have their dogs trained for agility competition. Come to think of it, these kid’s moms and dads could make a killing training dogs.

4. It gets your face out there. How many millions of people move to California each year in pursuit of fame? I don’t know but I think it’s a lot. Just standing in the middle of a street though will get your mug out there immediately. I mean who has the time and money for headshots with some big time photographer? Not me. They can kill two birds with one stone. What is it those cameramen say to their models? “Love the camera! Show me CONFIDENCE!” ( See #1…and #3 could come in handy for those interesting poses in front of the camera.)

5. Last of all, it’s an early lesson in finding out who your real friends are in life. It’s taken me a long time to figure out who those people are. I’ve had so many heartaches from befriending people only to find out later they really weren’t my friends. Let me tell you, if someone drives around you, they probably care. If they run you over, well let’s just say it’s safe to say they probably are toxic to your life.

So parents, don’t feel bad or like a horrible person for letting your kids stand in the middle of the street. When you get mad and yell, “GO PLAY ON THE FREEWAY!,” just know that while others may think you deserve jail time, you’re A-OK in my book. Oh, and I’ll be sure and let your kid know they are number one with me!

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