It sometimes starts with a playful ruckus. The dreaming that is.
A ruckus of jumping and squealing from upstairs. The Mama pulling out our snorkeling gear for the curious Bea and Bryce, both happily strapping the molded plastic to their faces and feet.
That's when their pretend underwater adventure began...
Based on childhood research I read this morning, being called the noun and not the verb -- for example, a helper instead of "can you help" -- makes kids feel like they're embodying a virtue (said a psychologist at the University of California, San Diego and one of the researchers behind the study).
Even today, the modern (and still third) world can be an unforgiving place, and there's enough toxic hate and horrid acts in real life, in person and online, the latter a place our girls will most likely spend a lot of time personally and professionally as the ever-connected world becomes the status quo of life.
And it's not enough just to disagree with a point of view, especially a positive, hopeful one -- now some folks have to bully it by pinning it to plywood with a staple gun and poke it with a cattle prod, cynicism dripping from their lips like alien acidic goo.
Unfortunately debate these days is based on personal attack and much less about strong counterpoints; it's no longer the fringe, but the mainstream reaction. Critical thinking development desperately needs to be a renewed priority at an early age. And it doesn't mean we avoid experiencing and talking about failure either. That's an important part of the critical thinking dreamer conversation.
So to our girls we say, "Don't just dream, always B a dreamer." Embody that virtuous ruckus.
A little joy can trump a lot of sorrow and hate. But hey, I'm always open for honest debate.