On my walk along the canal yesterday morning, pushing my great-granddaughter in her stroller, a man with his little dog called out to me: “Good morning, Grandma. Never give up!” I replied, “I won’t. I’ll keep going as long as I can.” As I kept walking, his words lingered in my mind. He pretty well summed up my life. Keep going, never give up. Good words to hear, considering what’s been on my mind lately.
I don’t remember a time in the Seed history when we’ve had so many children apparently under stress. We are seeing an intensity of behaviors, and more children expressing them, like we’ve never witnessed before. I thought that, for whatever reason, it was a challenge only we were facing. Then on Wednesday, we had two visiting professionals from a local public school district. They were at the Seed to observe our community because they’re in the process of establishing a Seed-like public school in their district. As we stood in the hallway talking, one of them asked, “Have you noticed an increase in the number of children expressing intense emotions?” Just then a distraught child came out of a classroom with her teacher. The professional and I looked at each other with deep understanding.
Later that day our Smart Support health consultant through Quality First revealed that she’s seeing this trend in all of her schools. She, too, said she’s never seen anything like this. Additionally, we heard through a parent seeking help for his child that the waiting list to get into children’s therapists extends well into the spring. This news has raised many questions, especially what is causing this trend.
Certainly screen time, both child’s and parent’s, could be a factor. The distraction of electronic devices, pervasive in our lives, constantly draws us away from being present to our children, grandchildren, and ourselves. This creates a disconnect that shows up in all kinds of ways. As a planet, we are all under immense stress right now. Climate change is a looming topic that we are all feeling, even though it’s a conversation few of us want to have. I believe this, and other uncertainties, is trickling down to our children.
I don’t have answers to these problems; however, I do have a commitment to starting and keeping the conversation going about all of it. As I sat at the table with a handful of our Seed grandparents today, we talked whole heartedly about our grandchildren and their future. I stated that having a great-granddaughter now has increased my sense of urgency for ensuring our current and future generations have a healthy, stable planet on which to live. As I sat among the group of Seed elders gathered today, I realized I wasn’t alone in my commitment to keep going and never giving up. It’s the least we can do for these precious children who are delegated to our care.