This is me aged about 3 years old with my beautiful Mama. I had no idea what wonderful and terrible things would come in my life. Nobody does. At 52, my life is rich, and, if I stop to remember, there are just so many experiences and people and adventures. There’s also the quietness and my connection with nature. It definitely feels like a life well lived. Do you feel that? It doesn’t mean all light and joy. Far from it – darkness is part of life. Getting through that and learning from every experience, is what a life is about.
Our children are so vulnerable, not just in the usual ways you would think, but in much darker and more intense ways than ever before. They face life growing up constantly connected to the world, hearing and seeing terrible things, all around them, exposed to bullies with no refuge, exposed to the ‘Influencer’ lifestyle and warped ideas about what is beautiful. There is just so much for them to navigate.
They face a very different world to the one we inherited from our parents. Life is busy and interaction with the real world can be hurried and fragmented. There are many fears. But they are also brave and informed and clever. They care about our planet earth. They engage in the world.
Our children need our time. They need us to step up and do something about their future. They need our love and our optimism about their lives. They need to know the world isn’t here just for them, but that they are part of it.
Mental health is critical and we can support that. Keep them off devices while you eat together. No screens in their bedrooms. Spend time in nature with them. Give them a love of books. Love them with all of your heart. Listen to them with all of your attention. Walk beside them and hold their hand. Let them go, filled with self-love and self-esteem. Be their champions by preserving Mother Earth because it’s #ourkidsplanet
And without hope, there is nothing.
Dr Helen Edwards, PhD