This is to certify that ‘NAME’ has now officially reached the age of twenty-one. They have earned the right to vote, have sex, raise children, buy a pint and go clubbing. It is unlikely that they will have any desire to do many of these things now that it is legal as it was much more fun when it wasn’t. This certificate entitles the bearer to call themselves a bona fide adult. They now have the answer to all of life’s problems and therefore if they make any mistakes, they should not be forgiven.
Signed: __________________________________ Date: ____________________
We all know what a nonsense this is but it occurred to me the other day that perhaps this is how we treat each other as adults. As a mum of four wonderful children and working in a small community school, I am privileged to be around children on a daily basis. When life becomes filled with a mountain of adult problems, the children in my life help to ground me and keep me in touch with what’s really important. Kids from as little as two and as grown up as nineteen pass through our doors year on year and it is wonderful to follow their lives and watch them grow into amazing adults.
But when do we really come of age? The truth is that adults are just big children. We spend our whole loves learning and growing. It never ends. When children do something wrong, we help them to correct their behaviour. We see the perfection in their imperfections and love them just as they are but as adults we are expected to know better. But why is this? If we are all learning, isn’t it just possible that we haven’t yet come across this particular challenge in our life yet? Or maybe our past experience has simply taught us to handle things in a different way. Who is to say one way is right and another wrong?
This is the important lesson I have learned this week. We are all just children who are sometimes a little bit lost. We need support and not criticism. We need to feel valued even as we make mistakes. Whilst I cannot, and do not wish to, change anybody else’s behavior, I am going to try my hardest to be as forgiving and non-judgemental of adults as I am with the children in my life.