Since the earliest days of my career, issues of early childhood and youth development have been a passion of mine, so it is truly an honor to share a few of my thoughts with you. It is my sincere hope that the ideas that emerge here will yield positive results for children, youth, and families across the nation.
Too often when we see stories about children and youth in the media, or when I hear public discussion about kids, they're portrayed in a negative light. Consider this assessment by an educator of international renown, who said, “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
Now, Socrates is widely regarded as a wise man … but, in this case, he seems to be voicing a popular perspective that has continued to the present day. As 20th-century critic and essayist Logan Pearsall Smith put it, “The denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people, and greatly assists in the circulation of the blood.”
I have long been concerned about this consistent focus on what is wrong with America's kids and the seeming lack of public awareness and interest in the problems that many children and families are facing.