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Try smiling at a kid

Dear Editor,

Carrie Click made an important point in her column titled “Looking Other Way Isn’t Looking Out for Kids.” We need to notice young people as we go about our everyday business. Feeling unnoticed is akin to feeling invisible. Being “invisible” is a great cover for misbehavior.

What I would add to Carrie’s comments (and I am sure she would agree with me) is that we need to not only call attention to misbehavior when we encounter it, but we need to acknowledge good behavior as well. We need to take note of positive things as we go through our day and let kids know of our appreciation.



It is easy to feel “invisible” ourselves. But be assured, young people are astute observers and we are their models. Be the first to say hello and offer a smile to a kid, even a teenager! Nine times out of ten, you will get a greeting and a smile back. The kid who gives you a blank stare back is likely in shock at having been spoken to by an adult.

Don’t just take my word for it, say hello to some kids you pass on the street. See what happens. When you are really feeling brave and ready for the big time, go to the grocery store at lunchtime on a school day, on purpose! You are guaranteed to find plenty young folks to say hello to.



Speaking from experience,

Debbie Wilde

Glenwood Springs


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