On a recent trip I took to Europe, a few rainy days meant that I spent
more time than I usually do in hotel rooms watching television. I enjoyed the
informative programming of BBC World and was quite taken by a promotional ad
about their news coverage. Quotations below are from BBC World. Following each
quotation are comments that can focus discussion between parents and children.
all trend-setters are fashionable.”
Whom are you copying? Do you do things that other people are doing
because you want to be just like them? Consider doing what is comfortable and
right for you, rather than mindlessly following the trends set by others.
all boundaries are drawn on maps.”
We tell ourselves and each other what we can, can’t, will, and won’t
do. Our natural abilities, however, are greater than we give ourselves credit
for. Let’s not impose limitations on our children, for they internalize them
and then put the same limitations onto themselves.
all world leaders are elected.”
The American presidential election of 2000 took many weeks to sort out.
There is talk of reforming this system. At the same time, though, there are
billions of people in the world who are living under leadership for whom they
not only never voted, but could be punished for criticizing.
all explorers leave home.”
There is more than one way to explore the world. You can do what Vasco da
Gama and Amelia Earhart did by leaving home. But parents can also help their
children understand that exploring is an attitude. It’s a curiosity about
learning from other people, from the world around us, and trying to find ways to
understand how we can contribute to humanity.
everyone’s world is getting smaller.”
The surge in popularity of electronics, gadgets, and media make it
possible to send and receive messages from around the world in short order. If
you don’t have Internet access in your own home, you can go to the public
library to get connected. In reality, though, there are more people in the world
who have never made or received a telephone call than who have.
Jay Davidson lives in Palo Alto and has been teaching in San Francisco
for 31 years; he teaches first grade. He is the author of Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacher’s Advice for Parents, which is available for
$12.95 from Amazon.com. You may contact him through his website,