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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 22 2013: Thanks for your comments. My idea of working through PP was not a political statement, as Tify seemed to think. My point was not the organization, but the idea of providing good instruction for people who have little time and less money -- through the school system would be an alternate. I, too, was confused about "drive" -- the son plays and loves the piano so well that he got his mom interested in it again; the girl got excellent grades, was captain of her team for two years running and received several nice awards.. They were not the goal of her endeavors, however. If the goal had been to "win" awards, then I would have said she was driven.
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      Jul 22 2013: I personally hate the word 'drive'.....to me it has a negative connotation.....win at all cost.

      I prefer the use of the expression "goal oriented"..........short term and long term.

      And the life experience itself is very valuable.

      Why must one have "drive"?

      We all have different personalities, and we just don't know what is inside a person's heart, or how they plan on achieving their goals.

      Best not to judge......that is mho.
      • Jul 22 2013: Why do you have the word drive Mary? Well you get in the car and do it every day, drive, from point A to point B. Or maybe when you get in the car you're goal orientated to get from Point A to Point B. The comment seems much ado about nothing.

        Where as the problem is Mary, honestly, every one does judge, just as the section of the paragraph, "providing good instruction for people who have little time and less money", what does that say?

        I'll tell you what it does say and implies, it sends Mellisa Gates off to Africa with condoms in hand, telling all the poor black people, what they need to do, because she's wealthy so implicitly she must be right. Because they, the poor they are implicitly ignorant black people, just can't manage to organize their lives, nor families, without this white woman showing them the way, and then we should all applaud that white colonialism isn't dead.

        Maybe you know, maybe you don't - poverty does not equate to stupidity.

        Excuse me if that comes over as harsh, it clearly time the truth of that poverty lie was eradicated. Because I bet you a dollar to ten, you'd never say that a poor kid was somehow less able, less intelligent, just because of lack of money. Least I hope not.
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          Jul 22 2013: Hey, what do you mean "and then like Mary they jump all over you???"
          I take umbrage with that.....kinda sorta.

          I like to take umbrage btw.......it's a great pastime with me......

          I see where you are getting at with the expression of little time and less money........

          I know absolutely nothing about the Planned Parenthood organization.

          I honestly have never looked to an organization to help me with life decisions.

          I go out and read when I need to know....but do not look at organizations that deal with special services.

          I have no opinion one way or the other.

          As to Missy Gates, well, I can see where you are upset at what her actions are insinuating.
          It's very very sad how Americans go to "help" others around the world......it's kind of a slap in the face. But maybe some people who are helped do not see it that way.

          Like always, your comments are charged with emotions, and with alot of truth.

          And no Tiffy, poverty does not equal lack of intelligence....not in my book.
        • Jul 23 2013: I know I've shared this before, but this young man made such an impression on me, and the matter of poverty and intelligence immediately reminded me of him:


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