#ChildrensLivesMatter

Blink:

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” – FDR

#ChildrensLivesMatter

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Interesting Zoom meeting last week. Reconnected with a group of guys I grew up with over 50 years ago in the Bronx. Outside of two individuals, I lost contact with all of them when I moved out of NYC in 1985. Diverse journeys: one became an Executive Producer on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” two dabbled in the film industry, several are self-employed, one went on to become a professional gambler. To my knowledge most are or were married with kids. I have no clue whether any have grandchildren.

Fun Zoom call! Guy talk out of the gate – the good old days, sports, etc. Then we discussed the COVID-19 pandemic. Most indicated they were optimistic about economic recovery in the U.S.; silent when I mentioned the dire straits of the global economy. A lot of Trump bashing. Minimal concern they might experience a banana republic election and the potential of history repeating itself (Bush vs. Gore). All of them too dependent on improved coronavirus testing and a vaccine so they can get on with the New Normal – travel, eating in restaurants, attending sporting events, etc. New Normal? I suggested we have entered a new era and it will take at least a decade to sort things out. More silence.

One thing that struck me about the virtual reunion, nobody talked about their children or grandchildren’s future. I never married, no children, yet extremely concerned about the future for children. My thoughts:

  • What impact will all the trauma associated with the pandemic have on little people? Living with stressed out parents. Surrounded by media overkill, death, “social distancing,” disrupted schooling. We could use the resurrection of Mr. Rogers right now.
  • What impact will remote learning have on the educational development for all age groups? More and more articles are surfacing addressing the pluses and minuses of the different telecommunication tools. Personally, I believe it will take several years of online teaching, before educators figure out the best way for a generation to develop.
  • I remember all the things I experienced which contributed to my overall social development. Will children now experience a different form of social connectivity due to “social distancing” as we enter an era with the potential for more coronavirus pandemics? Will there be sleepovers, playdates, celebrations (e.g., birthdays, graduation parties, etc.), organized sports, after school activities, school trips, summer camp? What impact will virtual substitutions for these activities have on children?

In closing, I will continue to be a pragmatic optimist who is uncertain about the future. I have posted my views about community being one silver lining resulting from the pandemic crisis. There will be others. However, while we are busy innovating transformation, we need to take time out to focus on preparing our children for the future.

#ChildrensLivesMatter

2 thoughts on “#ChildrensLivesMatter

  1. Thank you for raising the issue.
    This is just one sample. Most whom I speak with are gravely concerned, both current challenges of navigating chaotic school openings , and the balance of safety vs social isolation of children’s development. Many remained highly alarmed re income and food insecurity even if themselves financially stable. Others are attuned to the horrors of war on children.

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  2. As you’ve identified this is a big one on so many levels… education, isolation, social development, physical development, seeing/experiencing stress at younger and younger ages. I was on a Zoom call myself over the weekend for one of my cousin’s birthdays. One of his daughters and her family still live on their family farm in rural Wisconsin. She was late to the call trying to straighten out connectivity issues for virtual learning. Their house sits low on their land and their internet access is spotty at best. It’s much better up at the milking barn which sits on a higher parcel of land, but that’s not exactly a conducive environment for three children to attend virtual classes. Proactively, she’s taken on home schooling them so they don’t get left behind, but that too, requires good consistent internet access to communicate with teachers and lesson planners. At least they’re spared violence in their streets, like so many young urban kids are experiencing along with everything else. Your observation about Mr. Rogers is spot on.

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