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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: It's kind of a "homemade" chicken soup :)
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      Jul 22 2013: Stephanie, do not reply to this comment from your email.

      Come back and hit the "red reply" button next to my name, and that way, you will be answering me directly.
      Otherwise, your comments appear to be directed at noone in particular......I know, it sounds crazy.....but it's the truth.

      I actually think you or Tify should start a new conversation about 'drive' or 'goals', in the debate section.
      What do you say...?
      • Jul 22 2013: I came to the site to reply to Tify, but did not see the "reply" box.. I am new here, so thanks for info. If Tify would like a discussion of goals and drive, it could prove informative.
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          Jul 22 2013: I really do think so Stephanie.

          You can start the conversation as well....and I know alot of people would enjoy contributing their two cents to it.

          Do you know how to go about starting a conversation?

          Oh, and sometimes, when you have chatted back and forth for a while....then the reply button disappears from the last entry, but all you have to do is go to the last reply button by the person's name, and hit it to reply. Hope I've helped.
      • Jul 22 2013: Ah; so this is replying to your second message, even though I clicked on the reply next to the first one? No, I have not started a conversation here. To tell you the truth, I do not know how others define "drive" and "goal" besides the obvious, so I would not know how to frame the conversation.
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          Jul 22 2013: Well, you can format the conversation with a question:

          "How do you define the words "drive" and "goal"?
          Are they the same to you?
          Or should we see these two words as different?"

          It is that easy!!!

          If you click the "Question" icon on top of this page, automatically it will invite you on the upper right to "Start your own conversation".

          You click there, and then fill in the blank questionnaire.

          The TED team will review your question, and then post it within the day.

          You can post a question for a day, a week, or a month.

          Give it a go Stephanie!!!
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          Jul 22 2013: If you want to see how I have formatted my conversations, you can go over there to the left, and search for conversation topics "conversations by".

          You can type Mary M. in the search box, and all the conversations I have ever hosted will pop up. This might help you.

          You can search any TED members conversations by just typing their member name.

          Hope all this information helps you.

          Mary. :)
      • Jul 22 2013: Thanks. You have been very helpful and welcoming. So far, my experience here is much more informative and useful than most other sites.
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          Jul 22 2013: You're welcome.....and stick around and join the conversations, or just read.
          It's a great site for learning a lot of things, and meeting your fellow humans from all over the world. :D

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