I’m going to put myself out on a limb here and announce that one way to solve many of the problems in the world would be for circles of adults to provide on-going emotional and practical support for children. This continuing support for children would turn into a circle of support for teenagers – in the vein of Dorian’s description of appropriate adolescent support in her comment from yesterday’s post: by listening and helping them process their lives, but mostly by listening. This could eventually lead into a group of older adults mentoring younger adults on a whole host of issues, including their work environment and parenting skills. And then…I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about this…the young adults who were mentored by this fantastic group of older adults could turn around and provide similar support each other’s children.
I wonder if I could patent this idea? Claim it as mine, charge a fee for anyone who wants to use it.
No, wait, I forgot, people have been using this model for centuries. It’s called creating a community. And somehow we’ve broken the generational link – partly because we all move so much, partly because we’re freaked out by teenagers, and partly because we’re so focused inwardly that we don’t pay attention to other people’s families any more. But the desire for community is still so strong. I hear laments from adults almost every day about how they wish things were different, about how they wish for an intergenerational community.
Here’s the deal, folks: go out and make it happen! Start meaningful conversations with just one kid or teenager that don’t have anything to do with school. Then keep it up. Indefinitely. It will revolutionize your life. Not to mention the life of the kid.