Many adults don’t give kids enough credit. Kids are overall underestimated. Kids grow up being called “cute” for anything intelligent they do or an “adult-like” action, such as thanking a person for holding the door for them. Adults giggle to themselves and coo, then turn to their spouse and gawk, “What a nice young man.” It’s the little people of the world, saying and doing adult things sporadically that makes us believe in the generation of tomorrow. Kids do naturally encouraging things, and much of it is seen as immaturely cute.
I think kids are stronger than anyone can know. I think many kids don’t know how strong they truly are. I consider kids heroes in their own nature because which one of us, adults, would go back to relive all the trials and tribulations of growing up through the childhood we had or the years and years of school? Maybe we’d pinpoint a certain holiday we’d like to relive or a certain grade with our favorite, influential teacher, but for the majority, I bet we’d agree that we are glad it’s behind us.
Kids have a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Different pressure than I think I had in school. I remember stupid boys pulling pants down in the hallway as a joke, me blushing, and finally just learning to ignore their immaturity — even when they were supposed to be immature kids in their own right. This was the type of bullying I endured, which, let’s be honest, isn’t really bullying to today’s standards. It’s not just the bullying, it’s the depression and stresses they take on from their adult parents and family. In the downturn of the economy, how many teenagers had to step up and get a job instead of study? How many little kids had to quit t-ball because the money just wasn’t there for “fun stuff”?
Kids have to deal with terrorists not only in our country on 9/11, but in their own schools. Whether it’s high school, middle school, or elementary schools, it’s still school. School used to be a synonym for safety, a different kind of home for the students who don’t have one, and a place for learning stocked with financial support. Now it seems school equals scared, underfunded, struggles, distracted, unpredictable, and trying to stay focused through the realities that lay outside of the double doors.
The weight the world places on kids is heavy. Yet each one of them shines with a spirit only adults wish they possessed. The innocence of kids lives in each of the souls in each classroom, in each yellow school bus, and in each diverse neighborhood. Many adults don’t see it, instead they are stuck in their own world, doing day-to-day activities, running their corporate careers to the top, and focusing on their divorce — another thing in which many kids get stressed. Kids deserve so much more than what we, adults, can guarantee them.
Kids deserve a secure and fully-funded school where students can aspire for their bright futures. We can all help by recognizing that kids are kids, yes, but being a kid doesn’t mean they don’t understand the world the way we do. It may be in a closer knit region, depending on where each lives, but each kid has a brain that interprets their surroundings and reactions from the people they encounter. They look at our adult faces to see how they should feel, react, and respond.
What adults need to do is be real. Always be real and guide the kids with confidence in the right direction. Kids will jump over the moon for us. Their goal is to make us happy even if some days it seems like the opposite. So answer their questions honestly and with love, instead of hiding what the world throws at us. Hug them often and reinforce your support. Make your personal space a safe zone because some day they could come running because it has become the only safe zone left in their world.
Kids are so much more than what they seem.