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Kids turn into adults.

Well, as my mom would have put it: no shit, Sherlock. Kids turn into adults. Duh!

But these 8 years of public education have made me so much more aware of this seemingly obvious point. Gifted children turn in to gifted adults. Children with trauma turn into adults with trauma. Obvious, but disconcerting.

For two reasons, really:

(1) We are infinitely more compassionate toward children who are still learning to navigate the world given whatever conditions are present in their lives.

(2) Unfortunately, that compassion fades as said child reaches adulthood.

The second point is a no-brainer. But the problem is that many children don’t actually learn to navigate the world in their conditions.

I was a gifted kid that turned into a gifted adult. And what had been an advantage in my childhood has become a liability in my career. I see things others don’t. I say things others can’t wrap their minds around or don’t want to hear. People interpret my words with malicious intent if I point out a problem or suggest a solution because it threatens a balance of power. Self awareness. Self awareness. Self awareness. What was praised in my student-hood is undervalued in my work setting.

I didn’t really even know how to deal with myself until I began attending mandatory trainings for educators of gifted students. Because no one taught me about myself. Everyone else was taking notes on how to approach a child, and I was realizing that they knew more about me than I had ever been taught about myself. What an eerie feeling that was. But the self-awareness changed my life. I can mitigate what I know about.

The same was true when I learned about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE scores). I was learning about how trauma influences the behavior and health of a child and the resulting adult, and I was also learning about me.

Why do we keep the knowledge of self-awareness and understanding from children? I’m not advocating that every kid needs to know every thing, but I do think there is value in helping children understand who they are.

Because kids turn into adults.

Just a thought. -CL