This morning I read a Newsweek article about the declining creativity in America's youth. In summary, the article describes the decline of creativity, as measured by an assessment tool developed in 1958, is declining in children of today. The article then blames the usual suspects: TV, video games, internet, and...you guessed it: schools.
I've got a significantly different take on "kids these days," and I sometimes feel like I'm in the significant minority. First, let me tell you why I'm so optimistic about our youth.
I am a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Reston, VA, which is a suburb of Washington, DC. I specialize in working with children and teens dealing with difficulties in their lives: school issues, under-achievement, behavior problems, depression, etc. I work with the kids and their parents to help create a better outcome.
I have the privilege of being able to sit and talk with kids about their lives, feelings, ideas, and dreams for about 5 hours of my day. It's an amazing job, and I'm amazed at how few people get to spend so much time just talking with kids. The kids I work with tell me pretty regularly that they have never had someone sit and talk with them for an hour and just be interested in their lives, their feelings, and their ideas.
Because of this privilege I have been given, I think I have a good idea of what's happening with kids these days. At least the kids in my little section of the world.
My kids watched TV as soon as they could sit up and they're still sweet, sane, emotionally well-adjusted little human beings in spite of it. So, I would totally let a new baby watch TV, too. But this time around, I’d be on the floor, eating banana chips and watching the Wiggles with them (or whatever the cool babies are into these days) because kiddie TV, when someone is interacting with you while watching it, can be really fun. I’d also play hide and seek (and not just so I can sneak away to the bathroom to read 50 Shades of Grey while my kids think I'm looking for them). I’d do puzzles, and color, and hold tea parties with actual liquid in the pot. On rainy days, we’d play board games because, hey, I’m over 40 and my brain needs the memory boost, too. As for sunny days, let's just say my baby and I would make it our mission to make playing outside sexy again! The point here is: childhood is fun and I want in on that action! Photo: weheartit.com
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