Kids (all of them, including, tweens and teens) are distinct individuals with independent thoughts, ideologies, interests, and aspirations completely separate from their parents, teachers, or other significant adults in their lives. They are biologically designed to explore and discover what excites them, what makes them happy, and what satisfies their deepest needs.
We often forget all of that because of those prevailing cultural habits and false beliefs that say, in producing children, we, have created mini-mes or empty shells who are simply waiting for adults to fill them up with information or to shape their ultimate destiny.
Our kids are under an enormous amount of pressure to live up to ridiculously unrealistic expectations --- which all boils down to what we view as well-rounded and successful. We (They) have been brainwashed into believing that all children need to be occupied all the time with all the extracurricular activities that exist. They need to get into a good school (preschool, elementary, high school, college), read at a young age, get good grades, be sociable (have a lot of friends), play sports, excel at everything they try, have grit and determination, be self-motivated, be beautiful (skinny, good hair, good skin, etc.), fit in and follow the crowd, but also be the leader, wear the right clothes, have all the right accessories (phones, electronic gadgets, etc.), never give up, and never, ever, ever, ever make mistakes.
In this crazy, fabricated world of competition and social ills, is it any wonder we have anxious, depressed, and unhappy young people who are afraid of failure and stress about disappointing everyone around them on top of worrying about being safe? They often self-diagnose in an effort to excuse their “imperfections” and in the process, learn to blame and make judgements, along with other detrimental coping skills.
If you are like me, you take a look at all those pressures our children are under and realize it is totally and absolutely absurd to believe that any child is going to thrive under those circumstances. Where is the time for play, joy, delight, and imagination - those uninterrupted strings of moments where growth and real learning occur?
It bears repeating, children are distinct individuals with independent thoughts, ideologies, interests, and aspirations, who are naturally designed to explore and discover who they really are. They are all imperfect, innovative, creative, brilliant, growing human beings who absolutely deserve non-coercive, safe environments where they are supported to be themselves, and to investigate and be curious, which includes the freedom to adapt their personal labels – their interests, their beliefs, their styles, and, yes, even their gender or sexual identities based on what they understand in that moment. They are worthy of our trust, pride, and our love for their openness and honesty and for being true to their ever-evolving, beautiful uniqueness. DRC News Deep Root Center has concluded another academic year and we are already busy seeking out resources and facilitators for all of the classes and hands-on projects our students have requested in the coming year. We are also working on raising a down payment for a house. DRC has outgrown our current space - to provide all of the resources our kids need to follow their individual aspirations, we need to purchase a permanent facility with plenty of room for their music, maker space, classrooms, a yard, and abundant storage for all their materials and equipment. We need your help to make this dream a reality. Donations of any size will be gratefully accepted. You can send a check to Deep Root Center, 7 Main Street, 2nd floor, Canton, NY – or click the donate button on our website and contribute through PayPal. I am also available to schedule a timeto discuss this project with anyone who is interested. Thank you!