The Ultimate Goal of Childhood: Finding their Voice

I believe we all just want to be seen – heard. In a world full of business, achievement, confusion, social media, disconnect, technology and fear we can feel so insignificant and maybe frustrated that our true selves are not being heard…

Our voices – heard.  Our hearts – seen.

As many of you know I embrace what has been coined “the Bravewriter Lifestyle.”  This lifestyle has been created and described by Julie Bogart.  Bravewriter is an online writing and language arts program for families.  Her philosophy on teaching children (and adults) to write is simple and SO completely backwards from anything I ever learned about writing.  The goal of teaching writing to our children should be to help them find their voice…their unique, beautiful voice.

Writing, nor life,  is sentence diagraming, editing, revision, spelling, grammar rules, blah blah blah…those are tools or mechanics, not writing or living.  For rich writing and living one needs to focus on the inside life of the child and partnering them to write or express themselves.  Not to focus on paragraph structure and the stuff that bored us to death in school!  The ‘mechanics’ will come later. They can even be hired out or autocorrected on computers!

How beautiful is that?  Helping your toddler, school-aged, middle and highschooler find their voice without fear of ‘mechanics’…they will come…they will…

Writing,  like childhood, should be about helping us find our voice.  Discovering what excites us, inspires us, hurts us, scares us.  Using our rich life experiences and perspectives to offer to the world something never heard or seen before.

Can you imagine if we as a community began encouraging our children to cultivate and exercise finding their voices from young ages? Not just in writing, but in their life.   To end conformity, judgement and standardized education to embrace the unique gift each child was put on the planet to offer.

What struck me this morning was how this is the metaphor for what I want my girl’s childhood.  I do not want to focus or devote too much of our precious time together on ‘mechanics’ – I trust they will come.

My hope is to nourish their bodies, love their hearts and explore their minds to give them freedom to play to start the exciting process of discovering their voice.  Each of our girls has such a unique set of qualities that challenge and delight me and I want to honor that girl.  Her voice.

Part of their growth is witnessing mine – I feel so unprepared for the task of parenting at times and I hope by me owning this truth with my daughters it will allow them the safe space to be themselves, even when it is not “pretty.”  My definition of unconditional love…seeing all the parts of a person and loving them fiercely.

Your childhood set the stage for your journey as an adult. No matter what it looked like it shaped the way you learned to use (or not use) your voice.  I am in love with the idea of transforming child and young adulthood into a time of finding your voice…making mistakes, discovering passions and learning how to communicate.

Even if you are not a ‘parent’ you participate in either the expression or silence of our children. Let them know you see them.  You hear them.  Don’t worry about their ‘mechanics’…what are they saying??  Who are they wanting to be?  Mechanics, will come…

I trust we all desire connection and authentic relationships – to accomplish this we must know our own inner landscape and complexity – this requires a safe space or home for the expression to begin.

I want to see you.  I want to hear you.





My inbox was full.

It is 2am and I am wide awake…been there?  This happens to me a handful of times a year.  Usually, I fall asleep very easily, stay asleep and need an alarm to arise early.  I am not sure what exactly happens, but last night I think it was a combination of being hot (our AC broke during the hottest weather in North Carolina this week) and my head full of ‘tasks’ that I hope to complete before leaving for our family road trip out West in a few weeks.  The major task is prepping our 4th year of homeschooling!  I have had piles of books, workbooks, manipulatives & school supplies in my bedroom for weeks!  I made a promise to myself to put relationships 1st in my home and ‘tasks’ 2nd (cleaning, organizing…) and it is such an exercise in reframing.

But, what happened to me last night at about 4am was like the electronic gods & goddesses delivered to me a gift.  In the past, I think I would have totally freaked out, but instead, this morning, I feel free.  My inbox had over 5000 emails – I have a habit of regularly checking emails and responding, but not deleting…just in case…so after a couple of hours of handling emails that required my follow-up for July, I started deleting…line by line…hundreds and hundreds of emails and then all of a sudden, like an electronic house fire, they all disappeared – vanished…every single one. I couldn’t believe my eyes!  In the past, I would have had a moment of panic, but you know what?  IT FELT AWESOME…

I turned off my computer.  Closed my eyes & went to sleep.

This morning when I woke up my inbox said “5 emails”.   FIVE.  I read, deleted and now – my inbox is EMPTY.  I feel light.  I am sure there will be something or someone I hear from because I forgot about something I deleted, but really…thousands of inbox clutter is gone and I feel so good about it. I feel I subconsciously have been holding electronic clutter, or weight in my brain and didn’t even know it.

This experience was a gift because I feel it was exactly what I needed to inspire & motivate me to tackle the piles for our school year and remind me to delete what’s not working in my inbox!

Yesterday I heard a quote that resonated “If you don’t have time, you cannot offer kindness.”  These piles of undone or unfinished work is life draining and a thief of time…today, it will be handled.   Below are the pictures of my ‘school room’ — tons of ideas, lessons and experiences just waiting to be either deleted or prepared.  So excited to get started and organize an awesome school year!  Ready everyone?  Here we go!!!