I think when we’re talking about today’s children we need to rein in the adjectives.
Their achievements are lovely to witness, but are they really ‘awesome’ ?
Finishing one’s fruit is admirable, but it hardly inspires awe. ‘Well done,’ should suffice, surely.
Similarly, I think our ‘hearts break’ too often for children who live pretty bloody well. It makes kids think they’ve got something to worry about. And in the majority of cases they don’t.
You hear it all the time, ‘I felt so sorry for my Laura last week,’ said one mum, ‘She was put in a gym class with not one other child she knows, and when I called to ask if they could put her in another class, they said no way! Now Laura doesn’t want to do gym at all, poor love.’
Or this, ‘My heart breaks for that little Josh in 3B. Such a talented runner, but his parents won’t let him train for regionals because they work until 6 and can’t get him to the after-school meets. Such a shame.’
Chances are Laura and Josh will be fine. It all depends on how the adults around them carry on. Or don’t.
Of course, there are kids who have a miserable existence, even in Australia, and I my heart breaks for them. Kids who are abused, neglected, sick, injured, bullied, hurt or grieving. I’m sad for kids who don’t have enough to eat or a safe place to sleep. They deserve our compassion, attention and money. More of it than they’re getting now. I feel sorry for them.