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Monday, November 19, 2007

Strong words for someone who would prefer to remain childless

Despite the apparent “youth outreach program” (haha) that I seem to currently be running, I’m not a big fan of the youngins and do not usually consider myself a champion of their causes – even though I, too, was once a wee Raven. But I got over it.

Yesterday afternoon I had a very interesting conversation with Schmidt about child rearing.

It was really a discussion that would be of interest to no one other than…well…no one. But we had it anyway. Schmidt wondered if it would be better to present information to children, the same way that it is presented to adults. I countered that children are probably not capable of processing information the same way as adults are. He posed the question of whether adults underestimate children’s capabilities.

Much pondering ensued.

Although I’ve been around and taken care of a bunch of other people’s children throughout the years, I felt like I could really only base my stance on the topic on how I remember myself as a child. Granted, by the time I entered kindergarten I could have picked up a newspaper and read it my damn self if I wanted to know what was going on in the world. Would I have really understood what was going on without the context? More importantly, would I have cared? Because as proud as I was of myself for being able to read… I was still having an incredibly difficult time tackling the mystery of how to tie my shoes.

A part of me feels like the whole “let’s tell kids everything” idea is like giving someone with no idea about baking all the ingredients for a cake and saying “Here’s everything you need to bake a cake” and then walking away. Sure, the potential to make a cake is there, but it might not turn out well. What’s so wrong with starting a little more simply? Like, “Here’s a cake mix” – the same thing, but easier to understand if you don’t have the experience and more room for maneuvering if you fuck up.

I’ll admit, I’ve done my fair share of lying to kids. For the most part, it was purely for my own personal entertainment – which I suppose sounds kinda cruel, when stated like that. Funny as hell though, cause kids will believe just about anything. My parents did the same thing to my siblings and me and probably got just as big of a kick out of it. However, I think for the important stuff they were pretty honest with us – in their own way. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when my mom gave me my first “how babies are made” talk. Pretty young, I think. I mostly remember her warning me about boys who want to slow dance and “den dey try to feel all up on ya butt…” It was fairly graphic and about as honest as it gets.

Anyway, when I saw this article about how the Sesame Street: Old School DVD is for adults only… well… it only made me think about our conversation again.

Despite all the shit that comes along with adulthood… it’s just one more thing that makes me happy that I’m not a kid these days. What a fucking lame generation...

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