Check out their answers:
“I would make everyone treat people and animals nicely.”
“I would make fighting illegal.”
“I would make cigarettes so expensive that nobody could afford to smoke.”
“I would put all mean people in jail and stop fighting.”
“There would be one more day to the weekend that was only for having fun with family and friends and relaxing.”
“I would want to focus on environmental problems and not making people mad. We need to be nice to other countries and follow the rules."
"I would make college free for people who didn't have a college fund."
“I would make weapons illegal, have no wars or fighting, and make a world that is focused on taking care of plants and animals.”
“Think more about the people next to you.”
“More education, no war.”
"I would make everyone volunteer their time to help poor people."
“I would make summer longer, the full 3 months!”
“I would make sure that each person felt valued and that every person’s opinion was considered.”
Most of these responses are rooted in what we call social regulation, which relies on being able to modify and control one’s emotions and behaviors to achieve goals. When we are thinking about others and sharing space with others, that involves social goals. Running a country means always thinking about others and making decisions that will help others and provide a better place for us all to co-exist in peace and comfort.
These kids sure do know what to focus on! If everyone focused on social regulation for themselves and others, the world would be a much better place. Maybe the government should take note, make a children’s advisory board and take more advice from the littles in the world.
For those who want to practice more perspective taking (e.g., teaching the concept “it takes a village” and people need to work together to keep our country running) and talk about related hidden rules (e.g., it’s offensive to tell someone that they are wrong in their political beliefs), see page 42 on Government and National Holidays in my book Make Social Learning Stick. For now, my son and I are going outside to take advantage of the open house across the street and sell some lemonade-true capitalism in the works. And, of course we plan to donate some of the earnings to a charity that does cancer research (my son is the future president who wants to rid the world of cigarettes). Happy Presidents Day!