Wednesday, January 26, 2022

What Educated People Do

Listening to students' thoughts is a good way to teach. And that very process of teaching is a research process as well. ~Eleanor Duckworth

The reason that I've never considered giving up "circle time" in preschool is that I approach a preschool classroom as a living, breathing self-governing society and, for me, it is essential that we take time, every day to talk together, and listen together, about the things that are important to us as a community.

One day, Amanda told the assembled "us" that she was afraid of the handful of boys who played superheroes on the playground. The boys, and especially one avid superhero named Orlando, argued that they were not bad guys; they were good guys and good guys protect people. Other children joined Amanda, expressing why they did not, despite their declared good intentions, feel safe around the boys. Others sided with Orlando. Most, however, seemed to be trying to find some sort of middle ground. It was a long, often emotional community discussion, one that did not end in any sort of immediate resolution.

There was a time when I would have tried to steer the conversation toward an "answer" of some sort, a compromise that we could formulate into a rule or agreement about how we would treat one another. Instead, I role modeled listening. The way I did that was to actually listen.

There were solutions proposed and discussed by the kids. We talked about possible rules. But since I view my my role as staying neutral with regard to the substance of their possible answers, I was free to simply listen, to understand, and to rejoice in the thinking, the talking, and the listening. 

Most of what passes for formal education comes down to children being expected to answer the questions the adults are asking. This means that most of a teacher's effort involves, in one way or another, signaling to the child what they want the child to say. Most often, this takes the form of a kind of lecture in which the person with all the answers that matter in the context of school simply tells the kids the answers, expecting that they will remember them the next time they are questioned. 

More progressive educators, or those who are not in a hurry to get through their curriculum's schedule, might take the time to guide children toward the correct answer by offering exercises of some sort that are carefully designed to allow children to discover the answer "on their own." This process may involve some superficial back-and-forth between the adult and the child, but in the end, the adult brings the child to the expected answer.

There was no immediate answer to this circle time discussion. We talked and listened and thought together for nearly an hour until we had exhausted the topic before going back to our play.

That evening as I reflected on our community conversation about superheroes, I knew that at least some of the children, and Amanda and Orlando in particular, were doing the same thing. You see, this was an important question, one that had arisen from the children themselves, a meaningful question that demanded an answer. These are the questions that we stew upon as we lie in bed after the light is out. This is the kind of question that requires understanding, unlike the random questions with pre-determined answers that adults tend to pose to children in the name of education. We don't need to think about those questions because we know that the answer already exists, and if we can't remember it, the adult will eventually tell us. But this question about superheroes, this real life question, was one that needed an answer that only the children themselves could provide, and that requires thinking.

The following day, Orlando arrived to tell me, "I'm not going to play superheroes today." When I asked why, he answered, "Because it scares Amanda."

Later, Amanda strode in wearing a homemade cape. "Today," she announced, "I'm a superhero and I'm going to protect everyone!"

Listening and talking and thinking, that is what educated people do.


If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"I Don't Want My Coat! I'm Not Even Cold Ever!"

It was cold out, but Maya didn't want to put on her coat. An adult tried to compel her, bringing her the puffy pink parka she had worn to school that morning, holding it out to her coaxingly, urging her, "You'll be too cold outside."

Our policy was that the kids got to make their own decisions about wearing their coats, the theory being that it wouldn't be the end of the world if they discovered, on their own, the natural consequence of being underdressed. When it was particularly cold, I might say something like, "It's cold out there. I'm wearing my warm coat," but otherwise the decision was theirs to make.

It was early in the school year and this parent-teacher either hadn't got the message or was heeding a care-taker's urge that was more persistent than our policy. "Just put it on, please. If you get too hot you can take it off."

Maya responded by running out the door onto the playground, unburdened by her coat. As the adult followed her, still carrying the parka, I said, "Why don't you leave the coat on a hook? Then if she gets cold she'll know where it is."

"But she will get cold."

"I know."

Reluctantly, she returned the coat to its hook and we went outside together. Moments later another parent-teacher raced past us, headed back inside. As she passed us she said, "I'm just getting Maya's coat."

I asked, "Did she ask for it?"

"No, but it's so cold," and before I could say anything else she dashed away, returning moments later with the pink parka. I watched her chase down Maya who didn't seem to be feeling any negative effects from the weather. From a distance, I watched the attempt to persuade, the refusal, and then after a few rounds of it, Maya ran off to join her friends, leaving the adult standing there, coat in hand.

Moments later another adult approached Maya. "Oh, you forgot your coat. Do you want me to get it for you?" Having been witness to the first two attempts, I didn't feel that it was an overreaction when Maya stamped her foot and shouted, "No! I don't want my coat! I'm not even cold ever!"

I felt sorry for her, but also proud. It was hard for me to imagine that she wasn't feeling the cold, but I admired how she stood up for herself, not letting the adults wear her down. That's when I saw the adult who was still holding the pink parka, her attention drawn by the shouting, headed Maya's way. I intercepted her, saying, "I'll talk to her," taking the coat.

I went to Maya who was still engaged in her battle of wills. I held her coat up and called to her, "I'm going to put your coat inside. If you want it, it will be on a hook."

Maya shouted, "I don't want it!" then ran off again to join her friends.

By now, it was clear to me that the mistake in all this was mine. I'd obviously not made myself clear to the adult community about our school's coat policy. Some time later, Maya rushed up to me with exciting news of some kind and I noticed she was now wearing her parka. Worried that yet another adult had badgered her into it, I said, "You're wearing your coat."

She replied fiercely, "Yes. I changed my own mind," then went back to her play. And indeed, that's the only way any mind has ever been changed.


If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Monday, January 24, 2022

Your Wish is My Command

"Your wish is my command."

It's a phrase that originates in the Arabic folk tale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. It's what the genii said to the boy who conjured him. It is meant as a declaration of gratitude for having been released from the prison of the lamp, one that the genii makes in earnest. He will, up to the limit of three wishes, obey the boy. 

Today, more often than not, when we use the phrase we mean it sarcastically, as a way of indicating that someone has us over a barrel. As autonomous modern humans, most of us have learned to be uncomfortable with ceding our behavior to the whims of others and to feel resentful when circumstances conspire to place us in the control of others. And even when we say or hear "Your wish is my command" spoken with the earnestness of the genii, we know that there are limits to any obedience, even if a great debt is owed.

I've written often here about the widely-accepted cultural notion that children should, at least when it comes to "important" things, obey the adults in their life. In my view, this is a dangerous thing to teach children because we know that the lessons learned in our youth have a way of carrying forward into adulthood and adults who have learned obedience are not adults who are well-equipped to make their own decisions. They tend to be people who look to others to do their thinking for them because, at the end of the day, that is what obedience is all about: it is about making another person's wish into our own command. Obedient people can be more easily made to do things against their own judgment or best interests, which makes them dangerous to themselves and others, and easy targets for bad actors.

I was surprised, therefore, to recently learn that linguists believe that the words "hear" and "obey" most likely originated as the same word. In Latin, the word obedire translates as "obey," which is the composite of ob + audire, which means to hear while facing someone. This is true for Greek, Hebrew, French, German, and Russian, as well as English.

Of course, meanings change over time and through usage, but I recognize that in my own life, hearing, and especially listening, is a kind of obedience.

As Julian Jaynes puts it: "Consider what it is to listen and understand someone speaking to us. In a certain sense we have to become the other person; or rather, we let him become part of us for a brief second. We suspend our own identities, after which we come back to ourselves and accept or reject what he has said. But that brief second of dawdling identity is the nature of understanding language; and if that language is a command, the identification of understanding becomes the obedience."

Jaynes is writing about understanding language specifically, but I think this goes for the entirety of interpersonal communication, which includes both verbal and non-verbal listening.

Not all of what we call "listening" falls into this category. Many of us, especially when we are in positions of power, as when we are adults with young children, merely perform a show of listening while we construct our response, or, as is too often the case when a child tells us a long-winded story, simply as a polite cover for the fact that we are merely waiting for them to come to an end, and lacking that, a space in which we can interrupt. But when we honestly listen, when we, as Eleanor Duckworth says, "listen with our entire self" it is an act of putting ourselves completely at the service of others.

The act of understanding another person is, however briefly, a necessary and voluntary act of obedience because (Duckworth again) ". . . we cannot assume that an experience whose meaning seems clear to us will have the same meaning for someone else."

Our profession as early childhood educators is too often wrapped up in the language and practice of adults controlling, dictating, telling, and "teaching," but the true art, the true practice of an educator is listening, to hear their wishes and make understanding them our command. 

As Mister Rogers writes, "I think the most important part about communication is the listening we do beforehand."


If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Friday, January 21, 2022

The Hallmark Of A Truly Educated Person

History is sprinkled here and there with the idea compulsory schooling going back at least to Ancient Greece, but it was never implemented in any meaningful way until the early 1500's when the Aztec Triple Alliance instituted mandatory universal schooling. By the middle part of that century, compulsory educational systems, usually attached to the church, for boys only, were set up in Europe and it's from these seeds that our modern idea of schooling has grown.

The idea of mandatory schooling in Western thought, at least, can actually be found some 900 years earlier with Plato's original idea of compulsory schooling. As a student of Socrates, his idea of universal education (excluding slaves and "barbarians," of course) was based on his idea that an "ideal" society would emerge if the entire population were trained as philosophers, seekers after wisdom and truth. The goal was to enable everyone with the intellectual tools they would need to pursue their self-determined goals. There was no notion in this vision of learning vocational skills or to engage in religious indoctrination. That was to be left to life itself. And there was, in this vision, no pre-determined curriculum, but rather the one that emerges from the learners themselves.

In other words, Plato was concerned with self-directed learning supported by teachers who, like Socrates, were there to listen and to occasionally ask questions when the learner was stuck. This is what play-based education is all about. It is what self-directed learning is all about. It is what unschooling is all about. 

The compulsory schools that actually emerged, however, have always cynically payed homage to Plato's ideas, while doing the opposite. 

Today, school as it is conceived is a kind of day prison in which children are shepherded through 12 years of disconnected information that committees of bureaucrats have determined will comprise the curriculum. We still give lip-service to the idea that we are preparing children to achieve their own goals. We tell them they can be anything they want to be, while actively preventing them from pursuing their own happiness. The central principle of compulsory schooling is control, not thinking.

Indeed, most schools are not for children at all. As philosopher Ivan Illich wrote, "School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is." And heaven help any child who rebels against this.

Parents are recruited into this effort by such things as grades, these measures that compare one child to the next. High marks, they are told, is a sign of a successful child. No one asks the child if they feel successful. No one asks the child what they think about anything because school is a kind of competitive battlefield that rewards those to conform best to the norms of society as it is. In fact, when a child happens to express a thought or idea that does not match what already exists, they are often reprimanded, even punished. Or perhaps worse, psychologized. Parents are required to care, and care deeply, about their child's academic progress. Their own pride is satisfied when their child wins and they are shamed when their child fails. 

Periodically, there is a call for a "return to basics" in education that tends to coincide with societal upheaval, something we are experiencing right now. "Society as it is," for instance, wants to strip our schools of anything that challenges the status quo, such as alternative interpretations of history or sexuality or race. This urge is usually accompanied by calls for harsher discipline, straighter lines, more rigorous testing. There is a dismissal of anything that smacks of "otherness." 

Mandatory schools have never been for children. Children do not need schools as evidenced by the 99.99 percent of human existence that did not involve schools. Society as it is needs schools and children trained as philosophers, people who seek after truth, wisdom, and beauty, are a grave danger.

There are those of us, however, who are following in the tradition of Plato. We are the ones playing with children. It can be discouraging to know that most children will leave my care to enter into our system of compulsory schooling, yet I also know that I've done everything I can to prepare them for the battle ahead. They will suffer from injustice there, they will be misunderstood, and society as it is will seek to crush the things that makes them special. I can only hope that the time they have spent with me will gird them for this. I can only hope that the light of self-direction stays with them, and that despite being victims of injustice and misunderstanding, they will know that the only thing that really matters is that they continue to seek to understand, in the spirit of philosophy, and that they do not commit injustices themselves.

That, for me, is the hallmark of a truly educated person.


If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Thursday, January 20, 2022

We Just Don't Yet Know

Richard Becker

The children we are teaching in our preschools today do not remember a time when there wasn't a pandemic. Wearing a mask to go out in public is similar to having to wear pants, an annoying, but apparently necessary convention. Keeping one's distance is as natural (or unnatural depending on the child) as not hitting or not snatching things from the hands of others. Washing hands was already something they did more frequently than most adults. And the open-closed-open-closed pattern of school is new for us adults, but that's just the way school has "always" been for these youngest citizens.

Many of us are concerned about the children's mental health through all of this, and rightly so. This generation is having a different school experience than past generations, so it stands to reason that there will likely be different outcomes, perhaps horrible ones. Indeed, these kids are having a different life experience. We all are. And it's still all too new to have the data we need to tell whether or not our worst mental health fears (or hopes) have been realized.

Experts are penning articles warning us about the mental health harm, but if you read them, you find they are mostly based on anecdotes and fear, both valid bits of data that might point us in the right direction, but hardly conclusive evidence. That said, there is little doubt that some children have been harmed. Many have lost parents, for instance. At the same time there is also little doubt that others are thriving in the current state of things. I expect that families who have managed to simply opt out by homeschooling or unschooling over the past couple years tend to have children who are weathering this, on average, better than others, but that's just a prejudice I have, a theory that may or may not wind up being supported by data. 

I also know that many adults are suffering from increased rates of anxiety and depression right now, probably at rates that exceed those of children, but again, it's just a theory.

I mean, after all, it's not as if the "before times" weren't incredibly stressful for a lot of us. We were already experiencing historic levels of mental illness in young children. So it's completely possible that not being in school is actually improving their overall mental health. I'm not saying this is true. I'm also not denying that the pandemic experience has been a tragedy for many. What I am saying is that all we can see are the tips of a few of the waves that may or may not indicate what we think they indicate.

For instance, the Journal of the American Medical Association recently published an article that found that  teen emergency room presentations for self-harm, overdose, and hospital admissions from both have decreased by nearly 20 percent during the pandemic. That doesn't prove anything, but it is clear that something has changed, in this narrow case, for the better.

And this isn't the only data to suggest that the pandemic has actually been a good thing for older children inclined toward self-harm and suicide. This study found that acute mental health ER admissions did not increase during the first 12 months of the pandemic. This one finds that the frequency with which youth were prescribed psychiatric medications has fallen since the beginning of the pandemic. The CDC reports that for the first time in history, kids died of suicide during school months at the same rate as summer months, in other words, dramatically fewer.

This, of course, doesn't tell the whole story, although suicide and self-harm rates have long been considered pretty reliable leading indicators of increased stress and declining mental health. It's possible that there are other factors at work here, but my point is that we simply cannot make a blanket statement that the pandemic and the resulting chaos in our schools is harming our children's mental health.

There is no doubt that the pandemic and our response to it has caused a great deal of pain for a lot of people, including children. Some of that was unavoidable, like with other natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, although we could have planned better. And I'm certain that we, as a society, are suffering from some self-inflicted wounds, but it is not at all certain that it has damaged an entire generation.

Indeed, a lower teen suicide rate could be telling us something, particularly about the institution of schooling. If it spikes when we return to "normal," will the same experts who are bemoaning school disruptions take note?

As an educator, I'm interested in lessons learned. The pandemic presents us with an opportunity to take a long hard look at what school really does to children, both good and bad. It makes me a little sick to think that today's children are accidental guinea pigs in this accidental experiment, but then again, that's always the plight of all of us, no matter when we were born. We are all always guinea pigs in this experiment of life. We fret and worry and hope, but we never really know the impact of anything until it's behind us. That's the nature of data: it is always a sign from the past that may or may not signal the future.

One thing I do know, however, is that this generation will be different. Every generation is. We just don't yet know what that difference is.


If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

"Gamification" Steals Play Away From The Experts

The internet is cluttered with articles and discussion threads about the latest and greatest ways to motivate students. This is not something play-based educators need to think about, of course, because the children we teach are, always, self-motivated.

Perhaps the trendiest of "motivators" is what folks are calling "gamification," which is essentially the idea that teachers who have boring things they must teach, which is to say, things most children have no interest in learning, are to figure out a way to make a game of it and, Ta-da! the children are tricked into learning it. What an alien concept for those of us who spend our days watching the children themselves create their own games, infusing them with the ideas and concepts they themselves want to explore.

Indeed, children have been gamifiying their learning for as long as there have been children. The hubristic notion that adults can devise better "educational" games that children is absurd, even if they are "video games." This is exactly what I'm writing about when I warn of those who try to disguise their distrust of children with phrases like "play with a purpose," attempting to steal play away from the experts, children, in order to exert their power over what, when, and how these young humans learn.

Gamification is just the latest, sweetest carrot in the control-freak game of carrot and stick. Carrots and sticks are for motivating stubborn mules to pull heavy loads. The fact that we've managed to turn learning, something that we do joyfully from the moment we are born, into a heavy load should tell us all we need to know.

Children are born to eager learn and they do that naturally, instinctively through their play. If you find you must "motivate" children to learn then you are simply doing it the hard way, the wrong way, the way that will ultimately burn them out and leave many, if not most, completely de-motivated by the time they hit middle school. "Eduction" that is not about freeing children to follow their curiosity, their interests, to ask and answer their own questions, isn't education at all, but rather (as I wrote about here) an exercise in institutional power, one designed not to educate children, but simply to make them "normal," a misguided, even cruel, attempt to fill all of their heads with the same pre-approved "knowledge."

I have been teaching young children for a long time, no two alike, each of them uniquely curious about their world, each of them motivated to satisfy that curiosity, and each of them fully capable of discovering their own truth without being tricked by a carrot or beaten by a stick.


If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Only Way To Learn To Make Decisions Is Practice

My dog was the first to spy the two rabbits. They were grazing on something tasty in my neighbor's lawn. They seemed at peace until we got close, then suddenly dashed into the shrubbery. The dog wanted to go after them, but I held the leash tightly and we walked on by. When I looked back over my shoulder, the rabbits were back out there on the lawn, munching away.

Most animals experience what we call fear. It's the basic instinctual emotion that tells them to either run, hide, or be prepared to fight. When the cause for fear is removed, say the predator has prowled off after less well-hidden prey, the fear goes away as well. At least that's what animal behaviorists tell us.

There is an assumption in scientific circles that when early Homo sapiens appeared some 300,000 years ago, we shared this instinctive fear response with other species, responding in more or less the same way as other animals to objects of fear. Being afraid was essential to our survival, and that ancient feeling of fear is still with us, even if we don't always respond by dashing into shrubbery, although we might feel like it.

Humans experience fear as other animals do, but over the course of our continued evolution as a species, our brains have evolved the capacity to use our conscious judgement to override the fight-or-flight instinct, replacing it with reasoning (which is not the same as saying "logic"). Some of us, for instance, have a deathly fear of dogs just as those rabbits do. When we spy them, our hearts beat harder, we might break into a sweat, our muscles tense up, but our reasoning tells us that the dog is on a leash, it isn't behaving aggressively, and so we override our urge to run away in the face of this feeling of fear.

Here's the thing: With those rabbits, the feeling of fear disappeared once the cause of their fear (my dog) was removed -- they were back on that lawn the moment the coast was clear. But for humans, the feeling of fear remains in our uniquely conscious minds long after the danger has passed. We retain a memory, not necessarily of the danger, but of the fear. It stays with us as anxiety. We stew on it. We begin to worry that there will be a dog around the next corner and the next. Our minds race through all the possible dangers: the next dog will slip its collar and it will "get" me; there will be a rabid stray around the corner; a malicious owner will actively sic their trained throat-dog on us. Our reasoning might tell us that none of these things are likely to happen, but for many of us, that does nothing to quell the unresolvable feeling of fear. 

Fear is not the only animal instinct that our conscious minds struggle with. The feeling of sadness we feel over some sort of loss is turned into depression. Feelings about mistakes are turned into guilt. Our ability to recognize patterns and predict results turns to worry. Indeed, many of the ailments and tribulations of modern life can be blamed on the fact that we've evolved conscious minds. Instead of simply responding to the dictates of our instincts in order to survive and procreate, we now must learn to use reasoning to make decisions about everything. And decision-making is stressful.

Making our own decisions is perhaps the single most important thing we must learn, because we can no longer count on our instincts. And the only way to learn this is through practice. The more experience we have with decision-making, the better we get at it. This is why we say that making mistakes, the result of poorly reasoned decisions, is so important, especially for young children. We must learn to apply past experiences to new ones by tapping into our memories. We must learn to apply our ability to anticipate the future based on our experiences. And, hardest of all for many of us, we must learn to live with our emotions on our shoulder because they alone are no longer the best guide to behavior.

There are those who say that is this, the evolution of the conscious mind, is the fall from grace found in so many creation myths.

Unfortunately, school for most children is about adults making all their decisions for them. They don't have to decide such basic things as where they will go, when they are to eat or defecate, what they are to know, and how they are to come to know it. They are taught, both explicitly and implicitly, that important decisions, those that cause the most stress, are best left up to the grown-ups. And then, after decades of having learned to depend on others for the stressful project of decision-making, we expect these children to suddenly start making their own decisions about nothing less than "the rest of their lives." 

We take consciousness so much for granted that we often don't recognize that it is the first tool that we must learn to use. A childhood full of self-directed play is how humans are meant to learn to use the magnificent blessing, and horrible curse, of consciousness. When we play in a safe enough environment, we practice applying what we already know about the world to reason and make decisions. The inevitable mistakes are how we hone this tool. Asking and answering our own questions, trail-and-error science, applying memories, and learning to recognize patterns all emerge from our play, and are essential because the more conscious we become, the less reasonable it becomes to dash into shrubbery at every fright.

Children with playful childhoods tend to grow into adults who know themselves, who are self-motivated, and who are better able to handle their inevitable bouts with anxiety, depression, and the other illnesses of a conscious mind. 

What we tend to forget is that the human mind continues to evolve. Consciousness itself is evolving, just as it has evolved over the past 300,000 years. We might dream of a return to the garden, that place where we dashed into the shrubbery when something frightened us, then returned calmly to the lawn when that frightful thing moved on. But we are now forever outcasts from the Eden of instinct, stuck instead with the stress of making our own decisions about every damned thing. 

The only way to learn to live with the irrepressible stress of decision-making is practice. 

And the best practice is play.


If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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