Parents' inability to let go of children is a huge problem in our society. We parents take far more responsibility for our children's growth and decision-making than we should, particularly when our children fall off track.
For too long, the world has turned a blind eye to the very real financial needs of young people, including the need to be able to save money in a secure yet accessible way.
The sad truth is you can work full time in America and not be able to meet your family's basic needs. A parent working full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour earns $15,080 a year before taxes. That's $4,700 below the poverty level for a parent with two children.
My money says our children are going to view environmental destruction as our generation's defining failure. If that prediction bears out, she's going to want an accounting of what went wrong. Truth is, I bear some responsibility.
Did I over-love? Did I want their road to be so smooth, so flat and effortless that I ran ahead filling in the pot holes before they hit them? Am I in fact, Golden Retriever Mom? I want to run and play and lick you when you cry and growl at anyone who dares to cross you, whether you get an A+ or a C-, or worse.
Through my varied history of working with children and youth in different organizations, I have realized that you can either respond to a situation reflexively or reflectively.
Last week, I stepped into a parked, red Sienna mini-van with my friend Karen, to see if we were breaking up. Karen and I had been close friends for years, made all the cozier by the fact that our same aged-boys were also friends. That is, until a few months ago when, powered by their moody adolescence, the boys started fighting.
I should have been happy, sweetly satisfied that day, at that moment. It should have felt like a celebration -- something to look forward to. If only I could stop myself from looking back, from feeling those feelings from that exact day four years earlier washing over me at random intervals.
This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shadra Strickland, celebrated children's book illustrator, for our Zoobean Experts on Air series. Ms. Strickland recently released Please, Louise in collaboration with Toni and Slade Morrison.
Kids aren't smart. They're dumb. And that's okay. Kids are supposed to be dumb. That's part of the joy of childhood.
During those years, they watched as peer after peer dropped out through round after round of selection. What inspires someone to dedicate so much to preparing for something that only a few will achieve? The answer, of course, is self-confidence.
First and foremost, why jump straight to banning? Handheld devices are the "Swiss Army Knife" of modern life: a safety device to keep in contact with family and friends, a camera for documenting the world, a window to connect with grandparents across miles.
I remember hand-dying a lace thrift store dress to just the right shade for my can can dancer costume. And, though I was only a fifth-grader, I wrote our whole skit in rhyme, incorporating and interpreting the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
With school ramp up here, parents need to step up with strategies for maintaining their sanity. If you're like me and struggled with school the first time around, it gets worse when you have to guide your children through it.
While we do this deep dive and soul search, we also hold onto the love and support we receive, the wonderful and healing love and support of family, friends and community and, ultimately, the sweet love of our child. We learn that as we keep our hearts open, our hearts receive all of this love.
We need to evoke mindfulness in what we think, see and do; or else pass the craziness of our current world onto our children.