From Gifted Kids & Party Politics to Latch Key Kids, how prepared will our children be for the future?
Crowd-Funding PartiesGreat idea for the parents—if they can get away with it; I personally wouldn’t fund someone’s birthday party unless it was extremely special circumstances. I think this idea points out the much bigger and more troubling issue that many of us have lost our way when it comes to doing what is best for our children’s LONG-TERM development versus keeping up with the Jones. The bottom line is that if you can’t afford a lavish party (like the celebrities on Pinterest and Instagram, says Wendy Mueller), then don’t have one. Your kids get to learn to live within their means and situation and be thankful for what they have. “Happiness is an inside-job,” says Dr. Peter Nieman. Kids need love, attention, validation, but also limits, discipline, direction, and an introduction into how the real world works. You can’t release children into the world thinking that “crowd-funding” their vacation or the new car they want is a responsible way to live.
Kid’s Party PoliticsAgain, I think we all need to grow up as parents. If you plan a party and your guests don’t have the manners to say they can’t/won’t attend, then don’t invite them next time. If they had something come up (which legitimately happens to people), be gracious and forgiving. We all just need to talk to each other and treat each other with the respect that we would like for ourselves. Don’t send them a bill—this is not an effective way to solve a problem. Also, like Mueller says, we should all have our children’s best interests at heart and think about what effects this behaviour may have on their futures—this can and will follow them on social media. Your invitation was not a contract for services; it was a thoughtful gesture (or at least, should have been).
Gifted KidsI loved this article. Gifted people are not well understood. The truth is that if you are outside the norm (on either side), life is much more complicated. We are social animals and need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. When you are exceptional, it’s not all upside and advantage. Having a place where these kids feel safe and accepted for who they are (including their special ways of interacting with life and others) helps them to feel calm and therefore be much more successful in their own lives and make a bigger contribution to society as a whole. On the other side, when kids are not identified and given the support they need, they can be very disruptive and tend to struggle and suffer themselves. We (parents and educators) definitely need to be more aware of the potential of these kids and find ways to identify and support them early.
The right environment and set of peers can lead to a lot of great potential for kids, says Dr. Nieman. But we need to enable these kids with a way to express themselves and surround them with people who are like them. The truth is that the standard educational systems have traditionally only been really good at teaching to the people who fall in the average (or thick part) of the bell curve and struggle with kids who have different ways of learning/processing information or need more enrichment. Not only that, but Mueller says that these kids need to be supported in the ways that they see the world differently and handle emotional issues differently than others their ages. The good news is that it’s getting better. I just wonder how much of the behaviour issues a school faces are due to not really being able to identify exceptional students.
Latch-Key KidsTo me, this highlights the issue of affordable and universally accessible childcare. I do think that parents need a bit of leeway in determining how mature and ready their children are to be by themselves for some period of time, but I do find that in many cases it’s because of necessity as opposed to readiness of the child. Children do need appropriate supervision (I wouldn’t leave a 6-year-old alone, for example) so they can know/feel a sense of safety and value, also so they don’t have to grow up too fast—you can’t force maturity any more that you can force a flower to grow. Development takes the time it takes. Our job as parents is to protect our kids as much as we can and let the box get bigger as they mature, get older, and are able to make their own decisions. It is also to take into consideration that there are also more things out there in today’s society than what we may have been exposed to when we were younger. One way of aiding this situation would be more adequate, available, affordable childcare as it is in everyone’s best interest. We have healthier kids, families, and more people contributing to the economy.
Heath, Love, Happiness, Success
Dr. Ganz Ferrance
It used to be that we sought having Efficient Workplaces through systems and organization of workload. That’s not so true anymore. We’ve come to recognize that what we do outside of the workplace and the environment of our workspace can also have a considerable impact on our efficiency at work. Here’s what the Alberta Primetime Lifestyle Panel had to say about a few related topics.
Unfortunately, people are more easily swayed by personal accounts and stories than they are by evidence and research. They hear “facts” from people they know, or think they know, like celebrities. It’s also hard to change the public opinion once an idea has been established. But I love what Dr. Peter Nieman said about the virulence of measles in particular and how easy it is to control and wipe out in a population with vaccines.