‘Kids these days’ is a phrase that gives me mixed feelings. Working in a school means that I hear this phrase on most days, as teachers and parents alike ponder over the state of the next generation in disappointment. However, the fact is that no matter what ‘kids these days’ are like, they are the next generation. Sure, they may be a little different to the generations before them, but is that not simply a result of the culture? They will be the ones leading society in the not-so-distant future. They are here for us to pass the baton to. Let me tell you what I notice about kids these days.
- They are curious
Children have a beautiful curiosity that leads them to ask questions and be bold in their explorations of the world. The things that fascinate them are so often the things that we take for granted. I appreciate when children stop and ask us questions about the world that make us pause and notice things that we would otherwise have passed by. This sense of curiosity is what leads them in their discoveries and learning.
- They are creative problem-solvers
Children see solutions to problems with a different perspective to what adults see. Sometimes we are so used to responding to situations in a certain way, that it takes someone with a fresh outlook to show us another option. Why not give the children in our lives an opportunity to teach us? In allowing them to problem-solve alongside us, we both get practise at coming up with creative solutions.
- They are innocent
Children often see the good in things and are more in touch with wonder and awe at the world around them than we usually are. Sometimes the fact that they know a little less about the world means that they can enjoy it more deeply. Things appear less complex to them, and that can be an advantage.
- They are joyful
Children often smile and laugh as they play and explore new things. The sound of the chatter and giggles of a school playground at lunchtime is testament to this. They are able to have fun and enjoy being in each other’s company. They get excited over the little things and love to eagerly share their stories with you.
- They are brave
Children are constantly facing new challenges in their learning, social interactions and circumstances both inside and outside the classroom. Yet each day they are brave enough to keep turning up and trying new things. We should remember that many of the things children experience as they grow and learn are new to them, and it takes courage to keep trying new things.
- They are loving
Children love and look up to the adults in their life. They also have such capacity to love their friends, younger children, pets, toys – you name it. The love and respect they show should not be overlooked, and when that is directed towards us we should value it.
- They are insightful
Children bring a unique insight to situations. They are also a lot more in-tune with the what is going on around them than we often give them credit for. When you stop and listen to their perspective or ask for their opinion, you might just be surprised at their perception of things.
- They are precious
Children are a precious and beautiful part of society. They are loved by their families and friends, and bring so much joy. I’m sure that anyone with children in their lives will agree that they are to be treasured.
- They are purposely created
Children have a unique and valuable purpose in this world. Each child has been wonderfully created and has skills, interests, passions and talents to share with the rest of us.
- They are still learning
Children are still young. They haven’t yet figured out how to navigate the world. They will make mistakes. They are still learning, just like the rest of us. So let’s show them some grace in the process, and how blessed we are to be a part of this process in the first place.
Kids these days, you’re doing alright. I’ll be cheering you on.