Monday, April 27, 2020

Top 10 Things Kids Taught Me

Top 10 Things Kids Taught Me

About a year ago I published a fun article titled "You Know You're a Children's Librarian When..." that was all about the quirky things we find ourselves doing as children's librarians, and I was thinking we could use something in a similar fun and uplifting vein right now. Then I came across a post in an online library group that I thought was exactly the kind of fun, feel-good read we all need right now, to help remind of us the joy (and chaos) that comes with working with kids, while many of us are feeling very disconnected from our patrons.

This list of the "Top 10 Things Kids Taught Me About Being A Children's Librarian" was written by Mychal Threets, a children's librarian with the Solano Public Library ( and is shared with his permission. "Mr. Mychal", as his young patrons call him, frequently shares some of the cute or precocious things the kids say to him, and his enthusiasm for the work he does is very evident. 

Top 10 Things Kids Taught Me About Being A Children's Librarian
  1. EVERYONE loves dinosaurs.

  2. See "Frozen" or be asked to leave and not come back.

  3. If you have "fluffy, pretty, princess hair" you are the tooth fairy.

  4. There is nothing more important than birthdays.

  5. Kids have no idea what a question is.

  6. If one kids tells you their age - get ready, they are all about to tell you their age.

  7. Stickers are gold.

  8. Being called a witch (even if you're a man) is not uncommon.

  9. Personal space is not something kids are aware of.

  10. Kids are ruthless, and somehow make sure that there’s always someone within earshot when they mention whichever flaw in you they’ve discovered.
I can definitely relate to numbers 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10! I once had a first-grader systematically point out EVERY single thing that was imperfect about my face, and I've been asked if I had a baby in my belly [I didn't] more times than I care to remember.

Unsurprisingly, Mychal's post got quite a few reactions and comments, with people either relating to various things on his list, or adding their own. One particularly hilarious corollary to #6 was that if one kid tells you about their boo-boo, all the kids are going to have to share theirs, even if they are imaginary. Once commenter elaborated that "boo-boos are also contagious, I've noticed! One kid needs a bandaid and suddenly it's like the whole class has just returned from battle." That is SO true!

Mychal inspired me to come up with my own list, though there may be some overlap with his:

Top Ten Things I Learned From Kids

The Top Ten Things I Have Learned About Kids, From Kids
  1. Some kids simply do not have an inside voice.

  2. Children have a mob mentality, if one or two kids do it, then the rest will follow suit. Especially if one says they have to go to the bathroom.

  3. Kids REALLY do not know what a question is. They will say they have a question, only to proceed with telling a 20 minute convoluted story to relate something that only took 2 minutes to happen in real time and is completely unrelated to anything you were talking about.

  4. Kids will tell you their family's dirty laundry, whether you want them to or not.

  5. A mob hug from a group of preschoolers, while very heart-warming, can knock you off balance if you're unprepared.

  6. Kids are either extremely decisive, or take FOREVER to make a decision. There is no in between.

  7. Kids love jingle bells! So much so, they will try to sneak off with them and hope you don't notice they failed to turn them in at the end of the song.

  8. Hearing a sweet little voice saying "Cup of tea?" behind you, and turning around to find a 3-year old holding a pretend cup of tea he made for you can completely turn a bad day around.

  9. Kids never get tired of baking soda and vinegar experiments.

  10. Everything is better with googly eyes, preferably attached with 5 gallons of glue.

What items resonate with you? What would you add to your own list? I know we have a while to go, but I cannot wait for things to get back to some semblance of normal so I can get back to work and see all my little friends and their families!

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