Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts

March 1, 2020

Toys Non-Digital

Interesting set off toys found in a silver pan tray. 

A couple of dogs, some Play-Doh, a crayon, and a fighter plane. 

Off to the side (not pictured) are the Legos. 

Interesting with what competes with video games and phone apps these days. 

(Note: 85% of the world's toys are now made in China!)

Frankly, there is still a lot to be said for the creative play of yesteryear. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 6, 2017

Learning To Save For A Rainy Day

This was so funny coming across this big bright red piggy bank in a thrift store. 

What a blast from the past!

I remember having one of these as a child. 

My parents taught me to put my allowance in to save for the future. 

When it accumulated $10, the metal door on the bottom would open and we could put the money in the bank.

It was like a game to try to get to the magic amount and get the register to pop open.

In those days, the bank had little books for your checking and savings accounts, and when you deposited the money, you'd get a line printed with the deposit and new balance printed in the dot matrix print of yesteryear. 

Again, these were all good lessons about savings and seeing the benefits in the toy register or in your bank book.

Maybe these were things that initially inspired me to get my bachelors degree in accounting.  

The discipline of numbers was great, but it was never as exciting as the promise and hope of ever new technology, but that's what added up at the time to me. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 5, 2013

Loneliness Is A Scream

One of the scariest things for many people is not being with other people. 

I don't mean intentionally not being with others--taking time away from the hustle and bustle for yourself--but rather being left alone. 

Think of the horrors of POWs kept in isolation, prisoners put in solitary, or just everyday kids icing out other children in school, adults marginalizing colleagues at work, and family members abandoning spouses and children at home. 


Elizabeth Bernstein makes the distinction between being alone (a potential voluntary state) and loneliness (when you feel that you are forced into an isolated state) in the Wall Street Journal today. 

It's an awesome article that explains so much about loneliness:

- We all experience loneliness from "homesickness, bullying, empty-nesting, bereavement, and unrequited love."

- Loneliness can occur when you are without anybody ("isolation") or with the wrong somebody ("dissatisfaction").

- It's a survivalist function and evolutionary to feel scared when your alone, because when you are "too close to the perimeter of the group, [then you become] at risk of becoming prey."

- Loneliness is also associated with memories or fears from childhood--when we were young and vulnerable--that someone wasn't there or going to be there to take care of us. 

- Too much loneliness is a "strong predictor of early death"--greater than alcoholism, 15 cigarettes a day, or obesity.

- Loneliness is on the rise, with "some 40% of Americans report being lonely, up from 20% in the 1980's" and this is correlated with more people living alone, now 27% in 2012 versus 17% in 1970.

- Loneliness can be placated by "reminding yourself you're not a [helpless] child anymore," building emotional health and personal self-sufficiency, doing things you enjoy when alone, and reaching out to connect with others. 

She jokes at the end of her article that when we aren't feeling lonely, we are annoyed that people just don't leave us alone.

This is a very real concern as well, especially with a multitude of family needs (significant others, young children, elderly parents), 24x7 work environments, and the reality of pervasive online communications and even invasive social media. 

Not exclusive to introverts, too much people can make us feel put upon, crowded, and even worn out--and hence many people may even run from excessive social activity and crowds.

Yet without a healthy dose of others, people can literally go crazy from the quiet, void, boredom, as well as from the real or perceived feelings that they are in some way unworthy of love or affiliation. 

So even though some people can be annoying, users, or try to take advantage of us, no man is an island, and growth, learning and personal serenity is through degrees of love and connection, for each according to their needs. ;-)

(Source Photo: here)
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July 29, 2012

G-d Doesn't Have a Blackberry

I saw this lovely and clever poem on Facebook posted by Yona Lunger, I assume a relative of the 11 year old girl who wrote this.

"Hashem" is the Jewish name for G-d. 

And he is truly the center of our real and virtual worlds.

None of it would exist without him.

G-d keeps us all moving forward technologically.

He is the greatest innovator of them all. 

Thank you G-d!

(Source Poem--Chana Pessy Lunger)

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May 14, 2008

A Natural Education and Enterprise Architecture

Anyone who has seen the amount of homework and stress our children are under these days would have to admit that our children are losing their childhood earlier and earlier.

The pressure is on for children to get the best early education so they can get the best SAT grades so they can get into the best colleges and universities so they can get the best and highest paying job so they can live a wonderful carefree life. WHAT THE HECK!

Someone please architect a better way to educate our children so that they flourish educationally, but still enjoy those treasured years.

The Wall Street Journal, 14 April 2008, reports that “While schools and parents push young children to read, write, and surf the internet earlier in order to prepare for an increasingly cutthroat global economy, some little Germans are taking a less traveled path—deep into the woods.”

Germany has about 700 Waldkindergarten or “forest kindergartens,” in which children spend their days outdoor year-round. Blackboards surrender to the Black Forest.” The children, ages 3 to 6, spend the day in the forest singing songs, playing in the mud, climbing trees, examining worms, lizards and frogs, and building campfires. This is a natural way for children to spend their time and it aligns well with “environmentally-conscious and consumption-wary” attitudes.

Similar programs have opened in Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, and in the U.S. (in Portland, Oregon last fall).

A mixed bag of results:

“Waldkindergarten kids exercise their imaginations more than their brick-and-mortar peers do and are better at concentrating and communication…the children appear to get sick less often in these fresh-air settings. Studies also suggest their writing skills are less developed, though, and that they are less adept than other children at distinguishing colors, forms, and sizes.”

Is the tradeoff worth it?

In the U.S., the notion is generally, we have “to push academics earlier and earlier.” However, the back-to-basics approach of Waldkindergarten is challenging this thinking. One teacher summarized the benefits by simply stating, “It’s peaceful here, not like inside a room.” Another said that this natural education is a way to combat “early academic fatigue syndrome…we have 5 year-olds that are tired of going to school.”

I believe that if we teach children a love of learning and life, then they will thrive more than force-feeding them reading, writing, and arithmetic at age 3, 4, or 5.

We can architect a better education for our children. It starts with letting them be children.

From an EA perspective, we need to acknowledge that there is a baseline, target and transition plan for our children's education, and we do NOT need to get to the target state of advanced learning by putting undue pressure on children so early in their lives. In fact, if we understand that transition plans are just that—a transition from one state to another, in a phased approach of evolution—then we can indeed let children explore the world more freely and creatively at a young age, and evolve that incrementally with the skills they need as time goes on.


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