Every morning when I drive my 10 year old son to school we ask each other silly, hypothetical questions during the drive. Sometimes it’s a “Would You Rather?” question – like would you rather be invisible or have the ability to fly? Today it was a “What’s Your Favorite?” question and the topic at hand was animals. We both decided dogs are by far the coolest animal (who doesn’t love this loyal, fun, energetic bundle of joy aka man’s best friend?). Then we challenged ourselves to make a second choice that wasn’t a domesticated animal.
Growing up, my parents say I was a well-behaved, sweet kid who pretty much did whatever I was told. I never rebelled in any crazy way; I was polite and respectful and eventually became a sane, normal member of society. If I had to describe myself in just three words I would say I am positive, motivated, and open-minded.
Back in 2007 Jay Asher released a young adult novel called Thirteen Reasons Why which eventually hit the number one spot on the New York Times best-seller list in July 2011. The concept of the book was amazingly simple – Hannah Baker leaves behind 13 audio tapes before committing suicide. Following her death, a classmate named Clay finds a mysterious box on his porch containing these recordings, which explain the thirteen reasons why Hannah killed herself. That same year Universal Pictures purchased the film rights to the novel and in late 2015 it was announced that Netflix and Paramount Television would be turning the book into a miniseries with Selena Gomez as the executive producer.
A wise person once said “The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” Because that’s the goal of parenting, right? We all want to raise compassionate, independent young adults, who have the courage, confidence and desire to reach their potential. But how do we raise children to be this way: resilient and confident?
The following is an excerpt from my book “HAPPY THOUGHTS – 200 Inspiring Quotes Explained For Kids and Teens.” I believe this information is valuable enough to share with parents everywhere.
I have always had an issue with the phrase “you have to be cruel to be kind.” Cruel…really? Just think about the definition of the word: to wilfully cause pain or suffering to others, without feeling any concern about it.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how children and teens nowadays are in such a rush to grow up. On the flip side of this coin is another truth: Children don’t stay young forever.
As parents we are always encouraging our kids to step outside their comfort zones. It starts right from when they are young. We embolden them to say goodbye to their pacifiers. We promise them it will be okay if they go to sleep with their nightlight switched off. We prod and push them step by step, until something that once was scary becomes non-threatening, until they slowly, ever so slowly, start to spread their wings.
Parents have a tendency to think that the light shines out of their children’s bottom. Some think their kid’s drawings rival the work of Picasso, that every song they sing could land them a recording contract and that their beauty is impressive enough to score a modelling contract.
I have to admit – I have a soft spot for children’s books. I love the way they play with our emotions and invite us to reconnect with our childhood innocence, no matter what our age. I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of books over the course of my life yet these are my Top 10 Best Kids books, including series, described in exactly 10 words. They still stand out for me, no matter how much time passes.