I did the Duke of Edinburgh award which is all about championing young people.
“How can we do more to help our young people develop after all they have lost in his terrible pandemic?” says Chris from Newcastle.
What Prince Philip did when he set up Duke of Edinburgh was forward thinking, and the fact that it has not only lasted for my whole life time is a great legacy of Prince Philip imagination and the thinking that created something that could contribute in a really positive way to British society.
To me and the facts support it every child is born a genius and as the saying goes our children are not things to be moulded, but are people to be unfolded.
As a father of four and a grandfather of three, I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
For me the best way to make children good is to make them happy. The best way to help our children learn is to make them happy.
Now, I am opinionated and I am sure that is not a surprise. I am very opinionated about schooling and how we teach our kids because to me knowledge, when acquired under compulsion, has no real hold or lasting impact on the mind. I don’t think we teach our kids very well and now that they have missed so much schooling Chris’ question is very valid.
The five losses they have suffered – loss of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom – can trigger mixed emotions in any child. The overall impact cannot be underestimated. It will impact the mental health state in our children.
I see so many focusing on the recovery of lost knowledge, but this does not recognise the scale of impact.
Many children have returned to school disengaged. So we must plan for experiences that provide the space for recovery.
Our quest, and our mission as educators, should be a recovery curriculum to reignite the flame of learning in each child. Yet our education system expects all children the same age to learn from the same materials which is like expecting all children the same age to wear the same size clothing.
If we really want our kids to flourish we must revolutionise the way they learn, they must be taught not what to think. Where are the thinking classes, the creativity classes, the “be a misfit” classes?
What children learn with fun will never be forgotten. So let them play in puddles, jump on dirt, make a daisy chain and be messy as not all classrooms have walls and to me creativity and fun is as important as literacy.
I get asked a lot about the impact of computers in this recovery as the screen time usage has increased.
The internet has revolutionised the ways in which we communicate and learn. When used correctly and safely, the Internet can provide all sorts of new options for social interaction. Of course we need to address the lack of physical activity and the obesity challenges. And no matter how many social networks are developed, the online world will never allow your child to develop socially to the same extent that playing with their peers will. All of this has to be managed and there is no simple answer.
So let’s start with a Curriculum of Recovery, one that addresses the damage the loss and trauma, so that this pandemic does not rob our children of their lifelong opportunities.
We must not see our children as a distraction from more important work, they are the most important work.
Kids have never learnt to walk by following rules. They learn by doing, and by falling over and the right education is the kindling of a flame.
Albert Einstein once said:
It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.
So let’s not just teach our children to read, let’s teach them to question what they read, teach them to question everything.
And as Buddha said:
What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.
Now is the time to ensure that we restore mental wealth in our children, and the Duke of Edinburgh award is part of that. We must restore mental wealth in our children so that their aspirations for the future can be a vision that one day becomes a reality.
I can take you to success. I coach ordinary people every day to do extra-ordinary things. I coach extra-ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. The difference is those who have a dream, and are prepared to follow said dream, are extraordinary, and just need a structure and support system to kick off that journey, which will finish with them sliding in fast sideways to the grave, totally worn out from the relentless living of their dreams, screaming out loudly “Wow holy sh*t, what a ride!”
If that is you – start today! If you are looking for coaching on change for yourself or your organisation, or would like more information on the work we do on Personal, Professional, or Organisational Change, please contact us on email@example.com
About Dr Maurice Duffy
Irish. Author, Professor, Coach and Business strategist. The person Australian Captain Steve Smith credited with helping him back from his cricket ban. Coach to two Ashes wins. Coach to CEOs, Politicians and some of the best know international sports starts including Olympians. BBC ‘Thought for the Week’. Coached business leaders and organizations in 80 countries. Works with charities to do with Mental Health. Lives in North East England with his wife and 11-year-old son.