It’s almost the New Year and time to think about 2013. It is always the time that I look at all our children and hope and wish for a better world for them. And now that I am a grandma I find my dreams for all our children accentuated. I cannot look at these wondrous children and not want the very best for them.
Without lofty goals, we go nowhere. I believe we need to think big. If we do not dream of a better world for our children it simply will not happen. So I have wishes and dreams for our children in 2013.
• That all our children be free from sexual, emotional and physical abuse. And that we understand that physical punishment of children is antediluvian and unnecessary. That our children need to be protected, nurtured, raised and cared for by responsible and loving adults who would never dream of hurting them. 2013 needs to be the year that Canada takes a stand against physical punishment of children. Why is it so difficult for us to determine that it’s never necessary or appropriate to hit a child? Why can’t we figure out that causing children physical pain has nothing to do with discipline but everything to do with power over our kids? Children learn about the world through their experiences. What are they learning when the very people they count on and love the most hit them when they misbehave?
• That all our children be free from hunger. That something as simple as a school lunch program be a priority for all parent committees in all schools, particularly the affluent ones. Should we not feed all the children before we fundraise for computers or soccer sweaters? My dream is not only that in this land of abundance that our children have enough to eat but that food banks be a need of the past.
• That children become a priority for all of society. That parents understand that they need to meet the needs of their children first, not last or even second. That communities understand that the children of community need their neighbours to care and watch out for them. That governments at all levels consider the needs of children when legislating.
• That teens be recognized as young people with different needs from their younger counterparts. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need parenting. They need limits, rules and parental expectations. They need to be welcomed in our communities, not shunned. A group of teens is simply a group of people and we need to look on them and smile, just as we would if they were preschoolers or older folk.
• That the streets and parks become safe places for children to run and play. Children need play areas and we need to work to change our attitudes toward each other rather than foster a siege mentality that denies our children their freedom.
• That parents in the workplace are honoured for the work they are doing raising the next generation of adults. That they are supported and recognized for both their paid employment and the parenting work they do.
• That parents take the time to enjoy their children. Our children are fun, interesting and stimulating, let’s enjoy them.
What are your wishes for the children in your family, community, country and the world?
Happy New Year!