Ds Scholarship

Whom Do You Turn to for Good Advice?

Here is some of Clark’s advice, in bold, with his mother’s explanation below each idea.

“You gotta say your affirmations in your mouth and your heart.”

“Another mom on Twitter talked about saying affirmations with their kid before school. We tried it. Sometimes I tell him, ‘Say it like you mean it.’ I guess he translated that.”

“You say, ‘I am brave of this meeting! I am loved! I smell good!””

“He knows you can be scared of something, so he talks about being brave of things. I love the grammatical construction. I’ve never corrected it because I like it better. I don’t know where the ‘I smell good’ came up, but I like it. I’m going to use it a lot.”

“You gotta walk big. You gotta mean it. Like Dolly on a dinosaur. Because you got it.”

“He really loves Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of Many Colors.’ When kids are making fun of her in school, she still went in and was brave and talks to those kids. I don’t know where the dinosaur thing came from.”

“Even if you cry a little, you can think about potato chips!”

“When he’s upset, sometimes I tell him to think about things he’s looking forward to. Potato chips are high on his list.”

“You gotta take a deep breath and you gotta do it again.”

“I’ve been teaching him breath exercises when he gets upset.”

“Even if it’s a yucky day, you can get a hug.”

“There have been so many times when there’s nothing I can do. I tell him, ‘Even if it’s a bad day, when you get home, I’ll hug you.’”

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

  • What do you think of Clark’s advice? Would any of it be helpful to you?

  • Who in your life gives good advice? Can you remember a time when this person’s help was especially useful? Why?

  • Are you usually comfortable asking for advice, or do you prefer to solve problems on your own?

  • Do you like to give advice? Why or why not? Whom do you find yourself helping this way?

  • Is there a young person in your life who, like Clark, might have some wisdom, or knowledge, about how to live and deal with challenges? Who and why?


Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

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