Rewriting the Definition
We love the library. The kids and I try to make a weekly trip at least once if not twice a week but not just to check out books. We go to experience it. Over the years I have come to learn that a library tells a lot about us, our lives, our community. It tells us where we are and what we have accomplished as a human race.
At this particular visit, while I was browsing the shelves past Pinkalicious, around the corner from SkippyJon Jones, I ran into the Parenting section. Also known as the "I Don't Know Why I Did This To Myself" and "What to Expect When You've Lost All Hope" section.
There I saw a multitude of books about children from disciplining to training to raising the perfect little human beings that will say yes to your every command. How on earth would a parent know which one is the "right" book?
And then I knew. I knew the secret that no one wants to come to terms with.
There is NO expert on children. There is no one person that has figured out how to raise the best children. There is no one person that has a surefire way of depleting the existence of meltdowns or terrible twos from human nature.
Isn't it ironic, it has been over 6,000 years since the creation of man, yielding generations after generations of children but not one scientist, psychologist, or doctor has cracked the code of raising children? Rather, year after year our libraries and bookstores showcase a new how-to book, a new manual with up and coming research that promises to be the one that will change the face of parenting forever.
By no means is this to discredit the wonderful research that is being done to help equip parents to better raise their children but it just goes to show that how we raise our children is always evolving (like literally by the minute) and depends highly on the personalities of our children and our personal values and perspective towards them.
Similar to our libraries, our dictionaries also shed light on our current nature within the underlying connotation of our definitions. Among the six definitions, one of the definitions the Oxford Dictionary offers for the word "child" is "an immature and irresponsible person."
Clearly, I have already established that I am no expert on parenting, but maybe, just maybe, our issue lies within the definition. Maybe the issue is that we have coined "child" as a derogatory term to describe the coworker that slacks off, the friend that overreacts, or the student that doesn't have life figured out yet. We have degraded our child's existence and set them up for failure before they even set foot in this world.
It is time for us to rewrite the definition of a child. A child is not synonymous with irresponsible.
A child is the beginning of human life, clean, novel, innocent.
A child is a being that learns by exploring, experimenting, experiencing, and imagining.
A child is a creation of God, always evolving and growing with the ability and potential to do whatever they perceive.
Now if this is what a child is, I don't ever want to grow up.