we need to LIVE the message that there is hope in their futures.
That they can find a way to do whatever they want to.
Life won’t be a ‘chore’.
That 65% of the jobs they might do in the future haven’t yet been invented.
Yes, they COULD do what they love to do, and earn money.
That, yes, they COULD be a youtuber.
Yes, they COULD be famous.
Someone did it, so of course it’s possible.
“The increased psychopathology seems to have nothing to do with realistic dangers and uncertainties in the larger world. The changes do not correlate with economic cycles, wars, or any of the other kinds of world events that people often talk about as affecting children’s mental states. Rates of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents were far lower during the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the turbulent 1960s and early ‘70s than they are today. The changes seem to have much more to do with the way young people view the world than with the way the world actually is.”
Decline in Young People’s Sense of Personal Control Over Their Fate
In his article Peter Gray relates that there has been a marked shift from intrinsic goals to extrinsic goals. Intrinsic goals are more under our control. Extrinsic goals are more under someone else’s control (an examiner, a sports scout, an employer, etc).
Traditional schooling is strewn with extrinsic rewards, necessary to get children to engage with tasks that are not immediately meaningful and important to them.
We start very early, with stickers, sweets, happy/sad side boards … to tell children that we are in control of their fates and what their fates should be,
We inculcate them into a belief system that they cannot learn without our expertise, that their judgment is childish and inferior to adult judgment.
We extend, further and further, the bounds of ‘childhood’.
Meanwhile, we restrict, more and more, their freedom to range and take risks.
Instead, we could empower children.
We could facilitate exploration of their interests.
Value play for its importance in learning.