Childhood is a time of tremendous growth and change in so many areas – physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and sexual.
How many of you have been told by the experts what’s “normal” and what’s “appropriate” and what’s not?
“What changes could be created on the planet, to have generations of kids who are not judged for being who they are?”
Many so-called experts, whether they are academic, scientific, friends, family members, teachers or complete strangers, tend to have the point of view that because kids are young, they don’t know much. Many of them have the belief that children need to be taught and told who, what, where, when, why and how to be and do. These experts tend to have fixed points of view about what’s normal development and what’s not, and they tend to place significance on their definition of normal. “THIS means THIS,” is how they view the world.
“How many of you have been told by the experts about what’s “normal” and what’s “appropriate” and what’s not?”
The difficulty with defining “normal” is that whatever that definition is becomes a conclusion, a set of standards. There are many problems with standards. They don’t make room for differences. They predetermine whether certain behaviors and ways of being are acceptable or problematic. And, children who are labeled tend to be stigmatized by their labels. Oftentimes, medications are prescribed in an attempt to change behaviors to fit a prescribed norm. “Five year olds need to have 10 hours of sleep/night.” What if yours doesn’t? “He needs to learn how to focus and concentrate.” “She couldn’t show her work, so she must have cheated.” “What he wrote is too perfect, so he must have plagiarized.” What if none of that were true?
“What if kids, including babies, are incredibly aware, and… know… much more than they are given credit.”
What if there’s another way of looking at all of this? What if kids, including babies, are incredibly aware, and even though developmentally in specific areas, they may not be as skilled as adults, what if they know so much more than they are given credit. Could we view child development as a series of changes that children experience, without attaching significance and meaning to those? Rather than coming up with answers and plans, what if we could create a culture of question and invite kids to tap into what they know about themselves and what’s going to work for them and for their lives?
“What if we could create a culture of question and invite kids to tap into what they know… and what’s going to work for them and for their lives?”
Whether the topic is homework or how to make friends or getting out of bed in the morning or what they will and won’t eat, what if they could be encouraged to make choices for themselves? What if you’re not responsible for their choices?
Are you curious about your child? What changes could be created on the planet, to have generations of kids who are not judged for being who they are? What if the upcoming generations of kids are raised to be who they are, to trust themselves, to know what they know and to create beyond their wildest imaginations?
What an adventure!
Anne Maxwell, LCSW, RPT-S
If you are interested in more tools you can use with the children in your life you can visit these Access related sites:
Access Possibilities School- Access Consciousness is beginning an online school using the tools of Access in an online learning environment with the target of empowering kids so kids can learn how to learn for the fun of learning.
Conscious Parents Conscious Kids- Resources and classes on parenting that acknowledge that the only expert on you is you. The only expert on you parenting your kids is you. And even as the expert in your own life, sometimes it’s great to have a few more tools to make parenting easier.
Other blog posts on parenting: