Gretchen Breuner, a graduate of UC Berkeley and a San Diego resisdent, is the author of the eBook How to Plan an Amazing, Kid-Friendly RV Adventure. She was featured in the April 2011 issue of Parents Magazine, blogs for a number of sites and has a new book coming out this fall. She is also available for speaking engagements and coaching. Visit her website to find out more,

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Perspective from a 9 year old

I’ve been working on a project for a presentation I’m giving next month for my business. The presentation is about women, girls and how important it is for girls to get an education.Girls who grow into educated women will be the leaders we need to have a safe, prosperous world.

Specifically, I was researching all the atrocities committed against girls in Ethiopia, Nepal, Tailand, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China etc. My 9 year old daughter came into my office and asked what I was doing.

I explained to her that some girls in other parts of the world have to walk to school (if they get to go to school) across mine fields. These mine fields, I told her, are not marked as “this is a safe way to walk,” they are unmarked and very dangerous. If a girl steps on a mine, and it explodes, many people don’t even care; the belief is that girls are dispensible.

My daughter looked at me, horrified, and we moved onto getting ready for school, along with my other two children.

Getting ready for school, the mine conversation was sidelined, and I became focused on all that I had to do that morning, the work which I needed to complete, the lunches having to be made, the other 100 things a woman, a Mom, thinks about on any typical morning.

As I left the house with my daughter and began our 1 mile walk to school, my mind was pre-occupied with my internal to-do list. My daughter looked up at me and asked, “Mom, are you mad or something?” I replied, “No, I just have a lot to do today, not much time…”

She squeezed my hand and said, “State change! At least we’re not walking across a mine field!”

I stopped and looked down at hear, overwhelmed with the lesson she was giving to me, as I had tried to give to her. Thank goodness kids can teach us, and remind us, what is important.

I laughed at myself, smiled, and we walked safely up to our wonderful school, a place where girls are welcomed, even if they have a mohawk, like mine does. I am grateful for her perspective!

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Comments (3)

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  2. Gretchen Breuner 02/27/2012 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks Katie!

  3. Katie 02/26/2012 at 3:25 pm

    I’m always amazed by how much kids actually retain and how they’re able to process it. Wondrous when they apply it back to us, huh?!

    Good luck on your presentation.