“Childhood is the fiery furnace in which we are melted down to essentials and that essential shaped for good.”
~ Katherine Anne Porter
As a speaker and writer, and I hope, a thought-leader on childhood issues, I spend a lot of time speaking to parents, educators and other grown-ups. People who work with kids, have kids, care about kids.
But today I want to speak to the kids. Because they deserve to be part of this conversation too. As we advocate for a healthy, happy childhood let’s keep those we are advocating for in the loop. Hopefully, some of their grown-ups listen in.
10 Things I Wish for Today’s Kids:
1. That the media stops scaring the crap out of your parents 24-7, so that they think the only place you are safe is tucked away in the house.
2. That the decision-makers get down to business with true education reform so that you have the opportunity to learn to LOVE to learn, and not just learn (um, maybe) what will be on a test.
3. That we “grown-ups” stop being so lawsuit happy, so that liability is not the first thing on the minds of educators, parks and recreation professionals, community associations, and other parents. I hope with all my might that you are actually allowed to play, take risks and have fun in this life.
4. That you realize that you have choices, and the right to make mistakes — and the world will not stop spinning when you do. I promise, even when it feels that way.
5. That your parents set a limit on screen time. I know, you don’t want to hear this, but trust me on this one – it’s a must. The view on life when you lift your eyes from the screen is amazing.
6. That you learn to LOVE to read. Even if they do make a movie about it, you can bet the book is better. Learn to get lost in a story and try your hand at writing your own.
7. That you spend every moment you can outside. Check out the woods, the beach, the mountains, and everything else in between. Let nature awe you.
8. That you learn to be fearless, bold, and let your freak flag wave. I don’t mean live dangerously — but I do mean have the guts and gumption to really live and don’t be afraid to be yourself.
9. That you don’t get everything you want, that things don’t always come easily to you, that sometimes you fall flat on your face, and that you figure out (um, eventually) that these are all good things. (And that your parents LET you fail sometimes.)
10. That you get the freedom to breathe and the space to explore the world and figure out who you are in it.
So, that’s it. I have a lot of hopes and wishes for you guys, but what I want most of all is for you to grow up knowing how to appreciate life as the rich and fascinating ride that it is, and to know how to dust yourselves off and pick yourselves up when things get tough, because they will.
Oh that, and to really know how to laugh – deep, from the belly, bone-stirring laughter. It’s one of the greatest skills you can ever learn.
Enjoy the ride and great good luck, kiddos. I will be rooting for you.