My daughter started 7th grade last week. There is such a great change in who she is now compared to last year. She and her peers are so much more aware of the world around them. They are beginning to question everything, and want to know why. They are paying attention to politics, and creating sustainable ideas to change the environment. I just love hearing about their ideas. I think that they are so much more conscious than we ever were. They are simply amazing. However, this does leave adults around them in a quandary. Change can be difficult. It is really easy to give a child a rule and tell them follow it, or insist that they do what we say, but not what we do. Guess what? How is that really working for us? It isn’t. These children are brighter and quicker. It is my belief that children are born to teach us who we are. They are here to challenge our ideas and belief systems so that we can grow, change and heal. My daughter’s classmates did just that.
The school put out a student handbook that had to be signed by students and parents. The students did not agree with the rules and regulations so they put together a petition against it. To my dismay, instead of the school using it as a teaching opportunity their solution was to remove the student signature page. I am so disappointed. This was such a great opportunity to teach. I had a vision of a student teacher debate, of teachers sitting down and picking apart the rules with the students, and discussing how to make them better and clearer. I saw a real democracy and progressive visionary thinking. I was so wrong. We are loosing our children in education, and in community. We need to realize that children are not dropping out because they lack the ability to learn. We cannot blame it all on parents or even on schools. We do not listen. We do not allow them to be heard. We are not interested in progression, and change. Rules are not meant to stand the test of time, but they are meant to be tested. If they did not our society would not be where it is. These children are being born to assist us in change. They are going to continue to make us pay attention, step up, and look in the mirror. I am what many may call a rebel parent. I teach my daughter to not take things at face value. Question the rules, not just follow them. I want her to make her own choices, and feel empowered to do so. I teach her to follow her own heart not what someone tells her. I also teach her how to practice discernment. Teaching our children is not just, about what we find in books. I always consider what kind of adult I am creating for the future. I call to parents and educators to step up, listen, and share. It is from your stories the children will learn. It is from listening to shall you. Have courage for change and growth. It can be miraculous.