I Will Kik Yore Ass Dad!!!! – My Daughter Learns to Write
Summary: Hey, at least she’s excited about writing.
My daughter’s making invitations to a small Halloween party we’re having at our house. It’s so small there is only one other person invited. Originally the annual get together was going to be at her friend’s house but in a moment of frustration, her mom cancelled the party due to her friend’s misbehavior.
We contacted the dad and suggested we have it at our house. That way they can technically stick to their punishment, but not punish our daughter in the process.
This is always a conundrum when punishments affect innocent bystanders like friends and family.
So I get her some construction paper, some pens, and write out what she wants to say so she can copy it. She starts working on the invitation while I go back to my computer and work. A little while later she announces it’s done and she’s going to make one more. I find this a bit odd because there is only one invited guest.
Ten minutes later she comes into my office and hands me a note. It says “I will kik yore ass!!!! dad.”
She’s quite proud of herself and thinks it’s just hilarious.
Of course, I agree. Getting a note like this from your seven-year old daughter is pretty darn funny.
Now if she was into torturing animals, or hitting, or stealing, or any number of sociopathic behaviors, then this note would not be funny – it would be a warning sign.
But she’s not.
She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She’s just got a wicked sense of humor and we have a pretty tight relationship. She’s used to me goofing on her and she’s getting better every day at dishing it back.
I also know where the reference comes from. I showed her the “School of Rock” a while ago and it’s turned into one of her favorite movies – which is totally understandable. Kids love Jack Black and it’s your classic child empowerment movie that embraces the idea of doing your own thing and bucking authority. And she absolutely loves the line in the “Teachers Pet” song that goes “kick some ass!” That’s a highlight for her and she waits for it anxiously. She also hums “Smoke on the Water” all the time now and I’ve been teaching her that riff on the guitar. So you could say that the movie has been integrated into our life to an unexpected degree.
A few days later after the “kik yore ass” note she brings me a far more sophisticated creative writing piece. This wasn’t an assignment, she just felt inspired and got out her school supplies and did it. She’s quite proud of her work, and by the big grin on her face, I can tell she thinks it’s a pretty clever and funny story.
And I agree.
I like the narrative and that she gave it a title, which we know is a title, because she labeled it “title”. It also has a nice Cohen Brothers twist at the end that leaves the reader eager to learn more. I read it out loud, and then she reads it out loud, and then we read it together. We talk briefly about the structure and I only touch lightly on the misspelling. Almost in passing. It’s important to point out mistakes so she can make a mental note about it and improve upon her work, but not to the detriment of enjoying the experience.
I’m a big fan on focusing on what went right and keeping negative feedback short, non-judgmental, and in the framework of acknowledging the success. It’s no secret among great managers that you always point out the many things went right before you point out the few things that went wrong and you keep the blame and shame to yourself. This keeps the employees motivated and eager to learn and improve – and with children it works exactly the same.
Her story about ass kicking, bone breaking, and throwing someone in a river also reminds me a lot of myself. I don’t think I wrote like that until later, but I also had a soft spot for black and gallows humor and the absurd. Unfortunately, my less sophisticated teachers had problems with my writings and drawings. Though it was a bit too disturbing for the Philistines, the good teachers appreciated it and encouraged me. And I want to be one of those good teachers.
However, except for my art which she sees me doing every day, I’ve never shown her any of my edgier writings. She also hasn’t seen my two televisions shows that I produced in the 90′s or listened to my band yet. A lot of my creative output is adult in nature and she’s needs a bit more time to be able to understand it properly.
I also don’t want to influence her too much. She needs to find her own voice and I want to keep my role as an inspiration in finding that voice rather than dictating it.
So far, so good.
File Under: It’s More Important That a Child Write Regularly Than What They Write About – Don’t Censor Your Child’s Creative Writing Process. Let Them Find Their Own Voice – Young Children and Creative Writing – How to Encourage a Child to Enjoy Writing