@ 09:27 am (GMT)
Nathan FosterSome nice compassionate words in this thread.
I could go on about how we should behave. Instead I will relay how I speak to my daughter on a daily basis. This is not easy for me as I am sharing our private life but here goes:
I love you.
You are so smart, so beautiful, so kind, you are amazing.
(On schooling) - Yes, unfortunately we are surrounded by messages of fear and guilt about the planet. You don't have to take this on, its OK that it makes you angry, just let it out, you have nothing to be guilty for.
(On feeling rebellious at school) - This is normal, you are a teenager now. If you do not rebel, then we cannot grow and expand as a species. Your experiences are yours, they will never be mine. But what I would suggest, is that if you are feeling rebellious, that you channel this in positive ways. If you choose an inflammatory subject for your school speech (e.g. - why eating meat is good), remember that your true intentions are noble (her speech started with "Do you want to live without guilt"). Remember these intentions, you do not need to prove another modality as being bad. Remember what drives you. When researching, try to do your very best to obtain facts and always try to look deeper than the page one search (rankings) on google.
(on work) - I don't care whether you work at the diner for the next 30 years or get that PHD in physics. All I want for you, is to love yourself, be kind to yourself and engage in this world. If you choose to work at the diner, don't complain about having a bum job - embrace it, allow yourself to fully appreciate the experience. This will allow you to truly connect with others.
(On the subject of her interest in scientific discovery) - Not everyone will like what you discover. Those who break ground in science do not always achieve instant fame. In fact some poor souls will be rejected and ridiculed for their discoveries for years after their passing. It can take generations before a fact is accepted as a reality, regardless of the evidence. This is why it is so important that you are kind to yourself, that you can back yourself when the chips are down.
(Of her general interests in her future). This world is an incredible place. We think in linear terms but as we stand here now, we are creating both our past and our future. One moment, we think we have a great understanding of the past and that there is nothing new to learn. In the next moment, some intrepid soul discovers an artifact that forces us to edit our history. Our future is unfolding in the same manner. All of this is open to you, for you to discover. Google does not have all the answers. Use your computer as a tool only, to inspire you to act.
I love you, good night, use that wonderful imagination of yours to to create sweet dreams.
Anyway guys, thats a slice of how we talk at home. For myself, I guess I am an inbetweener. I try to practice what I preach but old generational habits die hard (work till you drop / worry too much about customers etc). So for myself, I try to see this as a caretaker situation in which Riley is unique and has come to me but is not of me, doing my best to not pass on my own bullshit to her. But of course speech must be aligned with action. To this end, I think our kids can bring out the very best in us, helping us to slowly find our way back to ourselves- provided we are actually present to take part in this. Some days I get it right, other days not so well. I try.