About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The A to Z List of Kids

A Accessible.  Children are friendly; they want to talk (especially about themselves and their interests).  Young children,particularly, are open to new experiences; they are sponges, soaking everything up.  As such, they are the fastest and most natural learners.

B Boisterous.  This is one of those great words that can be a positive or a negative.  Children are lively, animated, and spirited - all synonyms for boisterous.  They can also be unruly, wild, and loud - more synonyms for boisterous.

C Curious.  Little ones will bombard adults with questions of “Why?” and “How?”  They want to know, to understand, to figure out.  And at a young age, children still believe that the adults in their lives know what they’re talking about.

D Determined.  Young children don’t give up very easily.  They are determined - “me do” is a popular refrain.  A child wants to be independent, wants to tie his own shoelaces, open her own box of raisins, get dressed “all by myself.”

E Effervescent.  The synonyms for “effervescent” perfectly describe children - bubbly, vivacious, happy, energetic.

F Fearless, to a certain extent.  Children have fears, sometimes irrational fears of imaginary monsters lurking under beds or in closets.  Those aside, children are, for the most part, fearless.  They will try the newest, fastest roller coaster.  Hop on a skateboard or scooter.  (Much to parents’ consternation, this fearlessness does not automatically extend to trying new foods).

G Gregarious.  For the most part, children are social creatures.  Their friends are vitally important to them, especially as they get older.  

H Honest.  Children will tell you when the meal you’re prepared for them is “yucky” or when my earrings don’t match my necklace.  They’re not trying to be mean; they’re being honest.

I Imaginative.  Children invent whole worlds, whole conversations.  Boxes become rockets and a laundry basket becomes a time machine.

J Jovial.  The younger they are, the more jovial children tend to be.  They are happy, and a young child (especially) is easily entertained, readily displaying a smiling countenance.

K Kinesthetic.  Children need to move their bodies.  They learn by doing.  They express themselves through movement, use their senses to take in their surroundings, and internalize this information through their bodies.

L Learners.  Kids are inherently curious and they want to learn how to do things.  They may not want to learn what the state of California dictates I teach them, but they want to learn how to do things, why things work the way they do.  And if a child learns about something he/she is excited about, that child remembers.

M Miraculous.  I think it’s the perfect word to describe a child.  Biology can explain cells reproducing; I think only a miracle accurately describes the birth of a child.

N Natural.  Kids are who they are.  They don’t worry if their outfits match, they never stop to consider if they have food stuck between their two-front-teeth.  Children are naturally self-confident, assured of their attractiveness, their competence, their talents.  They don’t stop being themselves until someone (usually an adult) tells them there is something wrong with them.  

O Observant.  children see and hear all.  Even when the adults around them attempt to whisper, attempt to hide a conversation, a present, or a package of cookies, a child knows.  Nothing seems to escape the eyes and ears of a child.

P Pure.  Children aren’t born knowing color-differences.  Children aren’t born knowing any prejudice or hatred.  It’s the adults in their lives that corrupt them and taint them and rob them of their purity.

Q Quotable.  It has been said countless times that children say the “darndest things.”  It’s true.  You can’t make up the things a child will say; adults aren’t that creative.  For my son, it’s phrases like “hunkback whale” and “eight, nime, ten” that bring a smile to my face. 

R Resourceful.  When a child wants something, he/she doesn’t give up easily.  When something doesn’t work as originally planned, a child will find an alternative method.  Children do what they need to do to get the job done - or most likely to play the game they want or eat the snack they’re craving.  

S Spontaneous.  Children don’t always think before they act (which is not always a bad thing).  They respond.  They react.  They feel, and act accordingly.

T Tireless.  I’ve been interacting with children for most of my life.  I have served as a babysitter, tutor, teacher’s assistant, teacher, and now mother.  And no matter how old I am, or in what capacity I’m serving, a child’s energy always surpasses mine.  I wish someone could devise a way of bottling it and selling it.

U Unpredictable.  You don’t always know how a child will act.  You can’t always predict what will set a child off.  Children’s moods change, rapidly.  What works on one day may not work another day.  What soothed a child yesterday, may startle that same child today.  

V Vivacious.  Children are inherently animated and lively.  Little ones, especially, can take the most mundane task and turn it into a celebratory event.

W Willful.  Stubborn.  Obstinate.  Pick your synonym, but most children can be described this way.  A child wants something and they want it now.  They want it their way.   

X Extraordinary.  Children are growing up with pressures and dangers and situations that were unheard of when we were children.  And still, they smile and laugh.  I give my students credit for getting out of bed each day and coming to school; the challenges in their personal lives are that difficult.  

Y Youthful.  Children aren’t afraid to be silly, they aren’t afraid to laugh when they’re happy, cry when they’re sad.  They are full of life.  They know how to play and how to enjoy the moment.  (Things adults seem to lose as we get older).

Z Zesty.  Children are spirited.  They are enthusiastic and energetic.  They are passionate.  They like and dislike with equal intensity.  They represent the beauty and hope and best that the human species is capable of.


  1. Honey,
    Your A to Z collection is spectacular!
    I am very proud of your dedication to writing and posting on your blog.
    I Love You!

  2. Your writing is amazing.All your words so describe a child perfectly.I see Ryan in all that you wrote,and I must add that Ryan is truly an EXCEPTIONAL child.You are doing a wonderful job in raising him.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  3. You are right, adults don't know everything, although, some would make you feel that they do. I am such an adult. I don't know everything. I do know that you are an exceptional person and have done an exceptional job with Ryan. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad