Kids need adults to act like grown ups.
Grown ups who understand it is our job to protect, teach, and correct children–through adolescence–-until they are grown up.
Grown ups who don’t just preach compassion, empathy and respect, but set an example of it in all our affairs, including the media we produce, consume and share: the snark we tweet, the tabloid magazines we buy, the “guilty pleasure” reality shows on our dvrs. All of it.
Grown ups who have dealt with our own wounds from childhood and adolescence, and can confront those issues with our kids from a place that is responsive, not reactive.
Grown ups who can keep those same issues out of their grown up relationships. If you often invoke “junior high” and “high school” metaphors to describe your social experiences as an adult, it is you who are stuck there. Do the work. Graduate.
Grown ups who regard children as vulnerable, developing beings at the center of society, not aliens on the fringes of it. Their societal issues are our societal issues, magnified. What you see in them is who we are.
Adults demand to know who’s in charge.
Grown ups step up, and say, “We are.”