According to a class full of ten-year-olds in a Sunday school class, these are the problems with grownups:
1. Grownups make promises, then they forget all about them, or else they say it wasn’t really a promise, just a maybe.
2. Grownups don’t do the things they’re always telling the children to do–like pick up their things, or be neat, or always tell the truth.
3. Grownups won’t let their children dress the way they want to–but they never ask a child’s opinion about how they should dress. If they’re going out to a party, grownups wear just exactly what they want to wear–even if it looks terrible, even if it isn’t warm enough.
4. Grownups never really listen to what children have to say. They always decide ahead of time what they’re going to answer.
5. Grownups make mistakes but they won’t admit them. They always pretend that they weren’t mistakes at all–or that somebody else made them.
6. Grownups interrupt children all the time and think nothing of it. If a child interrupts a grownup, he gets a scolding or something worse.
7. Grownups never understand how much children want a certain thing–a certain color or shape or size. If it’s something they don’t admire–even if the children have spent their own money for it–they always say, “I can’t imagine what you want with that old thing!”
8. Sometimes grownups punish children unfairly. It isn’t right if you’ve done something just a little wrong and grownups take away something that means an awful lot to you. Other times you can do something really bad and they say they’re going to punish you, but they don’t. You never know, and you ought to know.
9. Grownups talk about money too much, and bills, and things like that, so that it scares you. They say money isn’t very important, but the way they talk about it, it sounds like the most important thing in the world.
10. Grownups gossip a lot–but if children do the very same thing and say the same words about the same people they’re being disrespectful.
11. Grownups pry into children’s secrets. They always think it’s going to be something bad. They never think it might be a nice surprise.
12. Grownups are always talking about what they did and what they knew when they were ten years old–but they never try to think what it’s like to be ten years old right now.
Does this sound familiar to you? If it does, it might interest you to know that these complaints were made in 1953–more than half a century ago. Just what have we learned about being adults and treating children over the last five decades, if we continue to perpetuate some of the treatments that were unfair so long ago?