Parenting.com spoke to a group of kids about the current election. The responses are adorable! I'm voting for Wonder Woman!
MINDSET OF THE CLASS OF 2016
For this generation of entering college students, born in 1994, Kurt Cobain, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon and John Wayne Gacy have always been dead.
1. They should keep their eyes open for Justin Bieber or Dakota Fanning at freshman orientation.
2. They have always lived in cyberspace, addicted to a new generation of “electronic narcotics.”
3. The Biblical sources of terms such as “Forbidden Fruit,” “The writing on the wall,” “Good Samaritan,” and “The Promised Land” are unknown to most of them.
4. Michael Jackson’s family, not the Kennedys, constitutes “American Royalty.”
5. If they miss The Daily Show, they can always get their news on YouTube.
6. Their lives have been measured in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds.
7. Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker's long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.
8. Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.
9. They have never seen an airplane “ticket.”
10. On TV and in films, the ditzy dumb blonde female generally has been replaced by a couple of Dumb and Dumber males.
11. The paradox "too big to fail" has been, for their generation, what "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" was for their grandparents'.
12. For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department.
13. They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.
14. There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.
15. Having grown up with MP3s and iPods, they never listen to music on the car radio and really have no use for radio at all.
16. Since they've been born, the United States has measured progress by a 2 percent jump in unemployment and a 16 cent rise in the price of a first class postage stamp.
17. Benjamin Braddock, having given up both a career in plastics and a relationship with Mrs. Robinson, could be their grandfather.
18. Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.
19. The Green Bay Packers have always celebrated with the Lambeau Leap.
20. Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected quietly by well-meaning friends.
21. A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.
22. The Real World has always stopped being polite and started getting real on MTV.
23. Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.
24. White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves when gay groups have visited.
25. They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous.
26. Having made the acquaintance of Furby at an early age, they have expected their toy friends to do ever more unpredictable things.
27. Outdated icons with images of floppy discs for “save,” a telephone for “phone,” and a snail mail envelope for “mail” have oddly decorated their tablets and smart phone screens.
28. Star Wars has always been just a film, not a defense strategy.
29. They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes.”
30. There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones.’
31. Along with online viewbooks, parents have always been able to check the crime stats for the colleges their kids have selected.
32. Newt Gingrich has always been a key figure in politics, trying to change the way America thinks about everything.
33. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future.
34. Billy Graham is as familiar to them as Otto Graham was to their parents.
35. Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.
36. Stephen Breyer has always been an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
37. Martin Lawrence has always been banned from hosting Saturday Night Live.
38. Slavery has always been unconstitutional in Mississippi, and Southern Baptists have always been apologizing for supporting it in the first place.
39. The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has always translated operas on seatback screens.
40. A bit of the late Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, has always existed in space.
41. Good music programmers are rock stars to the women of this generation, just as guitar players were for their mothers.
42. Gene therapy has always been an available treatment.
43. They were too young to enjoy the 1994 World Series, but then no one else got to enjoy it either.
44. The folks have always been able to grab an Aleve when the kids started giving them a migraine.
45. While the iconic TV series for their older siblings was the sci-fi show Lost, for them it’s Breaking Bad, a gritty crime story motivated by desperate economic circumstances.
46. Simba has always had trouble waiting to be King.
47. Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book.
48. They grew up, somehow, without the benefits of Romper Room.
49. There has always been a World Trade Organization.
50. L.L. Bean hunting shoes have always been known as just plain Bean Boots.
51. They have always been able to see Starz on Direct TV.
52. Ice skating competitions have always been jumping matches.
53. There has always been a Santa Clause.
54. NBC has never shown A Wonderful Life more than twice during the holidays.
55. Mr. Burns has replaced J.R.Ewing as the most shot-at man on American television.
56. They have always enjoyed school and summer camp memories with a digital yearbook.
57. Herr Schindler has always had a List; Mr. Spielberg has always had an Oscar.
58. Selena's fans have always been in mourning.
59. They know many established film stars by their voices on computer-animated blockbusters.
60. History has always had its own channel.
61. Thousands have always been gathering for “million-man” demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
62. Television and film dramas have always risked being pulled because the story line was too close to the headlines from which they were ”ripped.”
63. TheTwilight Zone involves vampires, not Rod Serling.
64. Robert Osborne has always been introducing Hollywood history on TCM.
65. Little Caesar has always been proclaiming “Pizza Pizza.”
66. They have no recollection of when Arianna Huffington was a conservative.
67. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has always been officially recognized with clinical guidelines.
68. They watch television everywhere but on a television.
69. Pulp Fiction’s meal of a "Royale with Cheese" and an “Amos and Andy milkshake” has little or no resonance with them.
70. Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium.
71. Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes.
72. Astronauts have always spent well over a year in a single space flight.
73. Lou Gehrig's record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.
74. Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.
75. The Sistine Chapel ceiling has always been brighter and cleaner
There's a good chance that your child is, right now, making his own Harry Potter broomstick out of a stick he found in the backyard...and he might prefer
it to the pricey vibrating plastic version you were thinking of buying him. Childhood experts and those who have studied the stressed-out are weighing
in on the ways we can help our children reclaim simpler pleasures. Here are a few of their suggestions for slowing down and getting a little balance back
into kids' lives:
1. Embrace the joy of goofing around. If you live in an area where you can let your child run amok with his friends outdoors, let him; if you don't, remember
that just hanging with friends and neighbors indoors can be great too. I've recently adopted an open-door policy with the parents and kids in my building:
The result sometimes necessitates that I wear earplugs and swill wine on a Saturday afternoon when the hordes descend, but the chaos and occasional showdowns
("You cheated!" "Did not!"—ah, the dulcet tones of 6-year-old boys) are far preferable to the eerie silence that descends when little kids are locked for
hours in the world of Noggin or Club Penguin.
2. Limit kids to one or two activities per season. For her book
which chronicled the lives of hyper-competitive teens destined for prestigious colleges, Alexandra Robbins interviewed kids of all ages; she found some
as young as 6 who complained of stress, and 8-year-olds who were carrying day planners. "Kids may have lots of energy, but they get as tense as adults
would when they're overscheduled," Robbins says.
Some parents I know are taking the less-is-more idea a step further, at least temporarily. "One semester we took the girls out of everything," says Soledad
O'Brien, an anchor and special correspondent for CNN and mother of four children under 8. With all the various activities of the older girls, "it was getting
insane...and it was hurricane season for me, so I was traveling more than usual. I said, 'Screw it,' and took 'em out of all extracurriculars." O'Brien
then substituted dates with her daughters: Once a week Mom picked up one girl, who got to do whatever she wanted—museum, bookstore, carriage ride in Central
Park, lunch in the CNN cafeteria (a favorite). "One-on-one time is great, especially with four kids," says O'Brien. "And a child walking down the street
telling complete strangers, 'I'm on a date with my mom!' is really sweet."
3. Encourage more human time, less screen and toy time. Our children are spending larger and larger chunks of time with stuff and less time with people.
"Think about it," says Elkind. "Even with something as simple as a car ride...parents used to use car time to talk to their kids, and now the kids are
watching DVDs in the backseat." Elkind also notes that the reason classic toys like Etch A Sketch, Mr. Potato Head, and Play-Doh are still popular is that
they don't direct a child's play; they don't say, "Here's the story. Play with me like this." Instead, these simpler toys allow for more wide-ranging,
creative experience. "A good toy is 90 percent child and only 10 percent toy," notes Linn.
4. Introduce computers with caution. Many childhood experts agree that the interactive quality of computers can be powerfully motivating for kids who are
learning to read and write—and games can be just plain pleasurable, too. But, notes Elkind, computers are finding their ways into tinier and tinier hands.
"There are these little computers and computer games for 6-month-olds now," he says. "Parents who say, 'Well, computers are part of our world' are right.
But to them I say: 'Microwaves are part of our world too, and you wouldn't stick one in the crib of a 6-month-old.'"
5. Reclaim summer. The first week of summer, I took my son Henry up to a lake outside the city and assumed he'd do exactly what I'd done at his age: hunt
around for frogs, stare at the dragonflies. Instead, I got "Boorring"; he couldn't wait to get back home to open his lemonade stand and make some bucks.
Now, this kid has been Alex P. Keaton since the moment he heard the words Commerce Bank; still, I was appalled that he had so little concept of the pleasures
of a lazy summer day. Maybe taking him on a tour of the New York Stock Exchange a few days earlier instead of going to a friend's swimming pool hadn't
been such a hot idea.
And maybe it's time for all of us to stop thinking of summer vacation as an opportunity to burnish a résumé. Children and parents need that hiatus to recharge.
As a bonus, if you relax over the summer, you're going to be rejuvenated in time for back-to-school. Says Julie Bell-Voorhees, "When else are your kids
going to catch lightning bugs and learn to play games like Jailbreak with the neighborhood kids?"
6. Learn to trust your child. This may be the most important parenting rule of all, says Elkind. "Children are self-directed learners—they are naturally
curious—and how they learn is through play." When Henry finally stopped hyperventilating about getting back to the city for his lemonade stand, he teamed
up with another kid at the lake who taught him how to skip rocks. This being Henry, the rock skipping ended in some massive contest over who could find
the flattest rock and skip it the most times...and at some point, betting was involved. But in this simple, time-honored pursuit, they were learning something
about the natural world, something about the physics of water and stone, and something about companionship and cooperation. At least I think they were.
And heck, even if they weren't, I didn't have to listen to my 6-year-old discuss gross versus net for an hour. Now that's a blessing of play.
As for me, well, this much I know: After a year of enrolling my sons in after-school programs to keep them busy, busy, busy, I'll be doing things differently
in the fall. Sure, on a couple of days they will be out and about. And I admit it's sometimes tempting to schedule them away every day: Ah, the peace in
my house until they show up at 6:30!
But recently I talked about a new after-school program with Henry, and he was quiet for a moment. First he asked if I would be playing with him. "No,"
I explained, "you'll be playing with other kids." Then he wanted to know if the program could be done at our house. "No," I said, "it's near school."
"Mama," he said to me finally, "that day is too long. And I am too short."
How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day?
Unless you’re the Terminator, you’re probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of your success is how quickly you can refocus on what’s important
in your life. Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. And I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here’s what happened.
I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking
space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed, and at the very last moment our car stopped just
one inch from the other car’s back-end.
I couldn’t believe it. But then I couldn’t believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped
his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face. And for
emphasis, he threw in a one finger salute, as if his words were not enough.
But then here’s what really blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just
do that!? This guy could have killed us!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck™.” He said:
Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage
piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you.
So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier.
So I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people at work,
at home, or on the street? It was then that I said, “I don’t want their garbage and I’m not going to spread it anymore.”
I began to see Garbage Trucks. Like in the movie “The Sixth Sense,” the little boy said, “I see Dead People.” Well now “I see Garbage Trucks.” I see
the load they’re carrying. I see them coming to dump it. And like my taxi driver, I don’t take it personally; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and
I move on.
One of my favorite football players of all time is Walter Payton. Every day on the football field, after being tackled, he would jump up as quickly as
he hit the ground. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best. Over the years the best players from around the world
in every sport have played this way: Tiger Woods, Nadia Comaneci, Muhammad Ali, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Michael Jordan, and Pele are just some of those
players. And the most inspiring leaders have lived this way: Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.
See, Roy Baumeister, a psychology researcher from Florida State University, found in his extensive research that you remember bad things more often than
good things in your life. You store the bad memories more easily, and you recall them more frequently.
So the odds are against you when a Garbage Truck comes your way. But when you follow The Law of the Garbage Truck™, you take back control of your life.
You make room for the good by letting go of the bad.
The best leaders know that they have to be ready for their next meeting. The best sales people know that they have to be ready for their next client.
And the best parents know that they have to be ready to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses, no matter how many garbage trucks
they might have faced that day. All of us know that we have to be fully present, and at our best for the people we care about.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their lives.
What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?
Here’s my bet: You’ll be happier.
You have a choice. Make it today.
Have a Garbage Free Day!™