"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. And, unlike many well-known adages that were later proven wrong ("money can't buy happiness"; "don't compare yourself to others"; "don't praise your daughter's looks"), Emerson was exactly right.
Playfulness is a skill -- not a trait. Yet, because of changes in parenting styles and culture, many children no longer learn how to play.
In fact, thanks to helicopter parenting, children are no longer learning a lot of things.
I was recently asked what I, as a feminist, thought of the web comic, "You should've asked." My answer is that there was a lot I liked, and a little I didn't. My favorite takeaway is that men aren't perfect and have a lot to learn -- but neither are women, and so do they!
In other words, people are flawed. We can all do better.
Kids these days -- amirite?
No, but actually. For real. Kids these days are more sensitive and fragile than kids of the past. Even according to the president of an elite university that I spoke with recently, “Today’s college students are not like you.”
1 Reason Why the Graphic Rape Scene in 13 Reasons Why Was Important, And Teen and Preteen Girls Should See It.
I had no interest in watching a show about teen suicide. But after seeing so many articles praising the Netflix original, 13 Reasons Why, I decided to check it out. I mean, supposedly it was one of the best teen dramas of all time.
The show was kind of boring and not that good. But it had its moments, and I was able to find some value in it. Including the controversial rape scene, which critics say was too graphic and emotional and explicit.
I had the opposite reaction. This was exactly the rape scene that teen and preteen girls need to see.
Two years ago, "Fit Mom" made a lot of people mad by posting this post-baby photo, featuring toned abs, three young sons, and the caption, "What's your excuse?"
Out came the online bullies! Not only were they mad that she has an "unattainable" body... but they also decided, based on a single photo, that she is a "bad mom."
Recently, someone asked my thoughts on the whole ordeal. Here's my professional opinion.
5 CRUCIAL Lessons Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Video Games (That Helicopter Parents Will HATE)
Video games are addictive -- literally. Kids have died, gotten obese, or contracted scurvy from this addiction. Others spend enough time at their console before the start of high school... that they basically could have completed several college degrees, had they spent that time reading, learning and discussing.
So why don't they?
Because, although many teachers are great educators... they just don't understand motivation the way video game companies do.
Fun fact: the other day, some crazy lady on the internet went haywire (or should I say... sleigh-wire?) at me because of a Facebook comment... about Santa. It wasn't the kind of "holiday cheer" I normally feel this time of year... but it did make me chuckle.
It also made me think -- should parents tell their kids about Santa? And as a psychologist, I'm pretty sure the answer is yes. Here's why:
Novels are great! They stir the soul. They share emotional journeys we can all relate to. It's great to read novels – which is probably why Stanford provides a list of three books -- usually novels -- for its incoming freshmen to read each summer.
My freshman year, the Three Books were M Butterfly, Annie John, and Old School, which was actually pretty spectacular -- especially since I'd just graduated from a New England boarding school.
But let's be honest. Did any of these books change my life? Prepare me for college? Change the way I think? Improve my cognitive skills?
No. But this one will:
A venture capitalist I respect... err, respect enough... recently said that he very pointedly never compliments his daughter on her looks. Because sexism, feminism, bla bla bla.
He invests wisely, so I guess I should care what he has to say. But honestly, I think he's wrong on this. Sadly, other "experts" (which, all too often, means "people on the internet with an opinion") have echoed the sentiment -- and it's time to set the record straight.
In the age of technology, cheating in academia has become rampant. It's never been easier to plagiarize assignments or get outside help on an exam.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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