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Singer Songwriter & Vocal Coach, Lizanne Hennessey - Voice Coach


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How can we talk to kids?

How many of us have (albeit inadvertently) asked a child, "What are you going to be when you grow up"? Admittedly, I have caught myself doing this.

It's a bizarre way of making small-talk with a child, isn't it?
"Having fun in the sandbox? That's a cool sandcastle... so tell me, kid, what is your ultimate goal in life?" This isn't an easy question for anyone to answer, let alone a 5-year-old.

To me, this question reinforces the way our system is put together - which is designed to mold children into consumers, so they will be instrumental in our economic growth. At the same time, it is a question that can help us understand what drives our kids, what they are passionate about, what their dreams are...

In this article, Jennifer Fulwiler proposes that we should altogether stop asking kids this question, as it "reinforces the idea that the way to find identity and value is through career" and "undermines the concept of vocation":

How can we talk with kids, encourage them to explore who they are, and get them excited about who they will become, without asking such a weighty question? How can we allow them to expand their imaginations, and let them know they are taken seriously at the same time? How can we differentiate things like a purpose in life, as opposed to a career, in a way that children can focus on and hopefully achieve their passions?


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    Jul 4 2013: To be able to talk to children we first need to become like a child. Or childlike.
    And that means relinquishing power and control over them.
    Not teaching them but learning together. Discovering.
    And for that to happen, we need to let go of the illusion that "we know" anything.
    The fact is that we do not know anything, we merely speculate.
    And speculation is elevated to the Rank of Belief.
    Beliefs over time becomes Truth.
    Letting go of these assumptions is the first step.
    And when we do that, we come upon innocence.
    Innocere means harmless. No division between the observer and observed. One experience. Timeless.
    The observer merges in the experience.
    Then and only then we can talk to children.

    All Experience is Impression
    an Image as Assumption,
    of scientific guessing
    and measuring
    and evaluating
    and grasping
    of more or less
    or totally different
    affirming, negating
    THAT which alone IS
    - three times denied
    three times disowned -;
    empty bubbles of soap
    of the Assuming Mind
    seeking to find
    from among its' kind
    something to whom to bind
    unable to unwind;
    the Spider threading the Webb
    of Conceptual Living
    Born of the World
    living in the World
    its' only Domain.

    Son of Conceptual Knowledge
    And all other conceptual garbage,
    as what the mind demands
    the body cares little for;
    and yet it is enslaved
    and its' duration halved;
    Narcissist by birth,
    psychopath in deed
    destined to destroy,
    disturb and annoy
    continuously deceiving
    every moment - thieving -
    thus self-conscious living;
    a tool installing itself
    as the only Master
    of the World-Mind
    fashioning dreams
    the trap of its' own making.

    with its' only aim
    - to seize and stake claim -
    and so climb to fame
    its' only intention
    the centre of attention
    trying - not succeeding
    to taste of the Living
    - and will not admit
    for it faces defeat -
    the shame of losing his seat;
    when winning is a must
    it says “In God we Trust”
    and sees within its’ death
    that “In God we have Faith”
    no explanation owing
    the wisdom of not-knowing;
    • Jul 6 2013: I so agree, Johnny.
      Helping a child develop means, to me, joining them on their journey, holding their hand if they need it, or letting it go.
      We are on vacation in Ireland, visiting family right now. My daughter climbed a cliff on her own. I applauded her from below. The next day, she stepped on a wasp and needed me. I held her, let her cry it out, understood her when she said she regretted that she didn't listen to me when I told het to put shoes on when she went outside...
      Feeling connected unconditionally with my children is, to me, an honor. Finding the balance between guiding them intimately, and allowing them to discover for themselves from a distance, is tricky (but I think I can only get better at it... )
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        Jul 6 2013: There is so much wisdom in your words, Lizanne....so much wisdom..

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