“Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


The national PTA asked children to complete the phrase: “Something I wish I could teach parents is...” Many wished they could teach parents to listen. Their urgings are honest, insightful, and important—not only for parents, but also for any of us who have children in our lives.

Something I wish I could teach parents is...”

“… to listen to kids rather than ignore or say 'That's nice.' Instead, listen, really listen, to what children have to say.” -Holly, age 12

“.. to listen to their children. Most children have great ideas, but just don't get to share them.” -Barbara, age 13

“…how important it is to love their kid. They need to talk with their kid more and pay attention to their kids. All kids need is respect and love because that's what I got, and I turned out pretty good.” -Christina, age 10

“…to not lose their tempers so easily and to let us explain first, instead of just yelling at us.” -Tonya, age 11 

“… to get along with each other and when they're mad at each other, don't show us kids. It's scary. I wish I could sit down and talk to my parents like this, but I don't think they'll listen.” -Renika, age 10

“… that we don't know everything you know so stay patient and calm.” - Jennifer, age 12

“… how important it is to always make TIME for us. The more you talk and spend time with us, the better relationship you'll have and you'll also understand us better.” -Christina, age 12

“…Don't say cruel things to people like ‘she's so fat I don't think she can fit through the door.’” -Kathy, age 13

“… parents are just to help and guide and encourage. Please do not press your feelings because we have our own feelings.” -Monica, age 13


“A person’s a person no matter how small.” Dr. Seuss :)


“No one ever said in divorce court, ‘She always listened to me,’ or ‘He tried to understand.’ Children who act out and endanger themselves don’t say, ‘Everyone was listening.’” - Linda Eve Diamond (author and founder of