Dr. Wendy Mogel, famous for her books about the "Blessing of a Skinned Knee," the "Blessing of a B-Minus," and more recently, "Voice Lessons," brought more of her lessons to hundreds of parents and educators who visited Providence Day for Wednesday evening's Joined in Education keynote speech.
Mogel spoke about every stage of child development, from a preschooler with a biting issue - "What's he supposed to do, meditate? They express themselves with their teeth a little bit sometimes" - to "emerging adulthood," that period of up to 10 years after college when young people sometimes remain dependent on their parents while figuring out their life plans.
Head of School Dr. Glyn Cowlishaw thanked Dr. Mogel for her visit, saying the Joined in Education speakers hosted by PD in recent years have been valuable: "This series inspires our faculty with new ideas and practices, and models the growth mindset we ask of ourselves and our students."
Mogel then took the stage for an often spontaneous and humor-filled talk. Among her observations and advice:
--Watch out for excessive use of screens - primarily phones - by parents. "Kids feel their greatest sibling rivalry is with their parents' screens, greater than any sibling."
--When kids come home from school, try not to treat them to a cross between a celebrity interview and a police interrogation. "You are not an FBI agent. Stop searching for clues."
--"Children are supposed to drive you crazy....they're also morons because they haven't lived very much. They're very passionate, and they have very big feelings."
--"We speak more nicely to our dogs than to our children."
--"What goes on in (popular computer game) Fortnite is what kids are longing to do - have adventures. Build things. They need to be away from the screens, and out in the sunshine, having adventures."
--Talk TO children, not AT them. "Please listen instead of thinking of the next thing you are going to say."
--"Teens: They're fantastic, and it's perfectly normal to hate them because they betrayed you. Adolescence is the period of the greatest anguish and the greatest ecstasy in all of life."
--Be enchanted with your children's enchantment, whether it's a study of Revolutionary War weapons or the latest computer game. "It's all a phase. That's how they grow. Let children be children."
--Tell them "I thought about you today when..."
--Send them to sleepaway camp. "Give them the opportunity to be around other inspirational youths and adults."
Mogel's visit marked the fifth time that Providence Day has hosted the keynote address of the annual Joined In Education event. Click here to learn more.