It’s An Inside Job

I’m off to spend the week on a vacation in upper Michigan with my children and grandchildren. It will be a good time to step back and simply enjoy being together as a family.

There was an editorial by Madeline Levine, a couple of weeks ago in the New York Times explaining how misguided most parents are trying to create successful children. We need to be clearer about parenting choices that go beyond performance and stem from core values that lead to authentic success.

Hyper-focus on grades, individual achievement and rote answers get in the way of healthy emotional development and a real love of learning. Many parents excessively push their children without regard to creativity, adaptability, critical thinking, and the ability to communicate.

Research shows that playful learning leads to better academic success than does a skills-and-drills approach. Our children need skills that will allow them to thrive in these dynamic global times. In these times of uncertainty, kids need to be resilient, resourceful and comfortable in their own skins.

Levine advocates the virtues of teaching empathy; encouraging the development of an authentic self; and making time for dreaming, creating and unstructured outdoor play.

Vacations are a good time to practice. I’ll be back to the blog a week from Monday.

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