Thursday, 1 December 2011

Public Sector Strikes - From a 5 year old's view point!

So I spent a good 10 minutes on Wednesday morning explaining to my 5 year old daughter that only half of her school was open.  That her class was still attending school, but that it would be a lot quieter because some classes had to stay home.  That the reason for this is because adults, when we are not feeling happy about something, don't cry and scream like babies.  Instead, one way we can let our bosses know we are not happy is to not go to work.  And another thing we can do, on the day we don't go to work, is to stand outside work with a big sign that tells everybody why we are not at work.  That way we don't have to scream and shout.

I did explained all this because I wasn't sure if there would be a need to cross a picket line to get into the school (what with only half the classes being told to stay home, and the other classes being required to attend).  And I wanted her to understand a little about the protests.

I also explained that the reason the teachers weren't happy was that they didn't think they were being given enough money for the work that they did. (I know that's not technically accurate in this case this week, but you try explaining pensions to a 5 year old - I know I didn't fancy that digression!)

My daughter was, in the way that children with fresh, open, non-cynical, clear eyes can be, utterly eloquent in her response to this explanation.

"But Mummy...." she said, with a confused expression.  The expression that I've seen before, when I've said something particularly silly.  She said:

"In this world, you don't always get what you want.  You have to be happy with what you have."

Perfect summary if you ask me.  My work here is done!


  1. You've trained her well - the girl will go far! :)

    It's always cute when you hear your child echoing your own words e.g. heard from my daughter recently: "How many times do I have to tell you?"

  2. Mine have a tendency to say "...actually..." a lot. It's freaky when you realise they are picking it up from you!

  3. I'm impressed. You've done well!
    I love it when they suddendly remember something they have been told, like : 'he does not want to share mummy, it is not nice, he should share, I always share' Yeah right! or when my middle child says to his older brother ' if you want something, you need to ask nicely, say please and not cry'. I wish he would do that as well!!!

  4. My eldest likes to tell the youngest off. "Don't shout! There's no need to shout! Sit nicely. Don't snatch, say please!" Similarly she's not the best at complying with these rules herself!

    It's interesting though that so many people these days do think they are entitled to get exactly what they want, so if I've managed to teach her that you don't always (and that you have to work hard for it) then I will be very happy.


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