Pick up your popsicle stick

Is your goal to just not make things worse? Or to make things better?


It finally stopped raining. The sun warmed the playground. Someone brought popsicles.

The kids finish their popsicles. They stir the muddy puddles with the naked sticks, making whirlpools. Their curiosity wanes. They throw the sticks in the puddle and run off in search of fun.

One father admonishes his son.

“Don’t litter! Pick up your popsicle stick and throw it in the garbage.”

His son dutifully picks his garbage out of the dirty puddle. He wasn’t raised in a barn.

But the puddle is still a stinking mess, full of discarded popsicle waste. It’s equally dirty, with or without that kid’s stick. What is this well-meaning dad actually teaching his kid?

Should the goal merely be to not make things worse? To pick up after yourself? Or do we want our kids to make the world a better place? To make things nice for everyone and throw out all the junk that other kids left in the puddle? Better yet, lead the other kids in cleaning up together.

How do you teach your kids to make the world a better place?How do you teach them to just mind their own business and worry about their own garbage?

In two weeks I’ll give a free piece of Kidorable Knitwear to whoever makes my favorite comment.

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