My daughter wouldn’t say more than four words to me yesterday afternoon. Actually, at one point she said five, but then she had to give herself a demerit in this little notebook she’s been carrying around. And it’s all because of this book by Andrew Clements.
I read NO TALKING to her over Christmas vacation and for some reason, the story really resonated with her. She kept wanting to have a “No Talking” competition with the children in her class, but they didn’t get it. So we loaned the book to her teacher and her teacher read it to the whole class. Yesterday, five of the girls decided to start the competition.
These kids are doing it a bit differently than the book. First off, it’s not girls against boys. According to my daughter, the boys in her class could never take part in this competition because they’re always talking. Secondly, the class is working on a play right now so the girls are allowed to say their lines without those extra words counting against them.
But what I love most about this, is my daughter’s determination to follow through on an idea she discovered in a book. She has influenced the (small) world around herself and changed the course of the next few days (the competition goes until Thursday recess!) because of a concept she thought was cool.
I guess some people could see this as a bad thing, further proof that you need to carefully monitor what your children are reading, especially if they’re easily influenced. I choose to see that my daughter learned about Mahatma Gandhi, the man who practiced silence one day a week to bring order to his mind. And like that great man, she’s learning how to make a difference in her world.
With as few words as possible.
I’m thinking I could actually learn something from this child…