What Adults Can Learn From Kids

What Adults Can Learn From Kids

Editor’s Notes, July 2018

There is something mysterious, maddening and magical about middle school. A mysterious force transforms your child into a pseudo-adult, her judgment becomes maddening, and yet magical moments of clarity and wisdom (for her and for you) occur often enough to keep the whole family moving forward. In this way, middle school as a magical, mysterious and maddening time and place never fully ends. As adults, we fumble, then we choose well. We triumph, then we fail miserably. After all, as Adora Svitak pointed out in her 2010 TED talk (given when she was just 12 years old) adults are responsible for the world’s worst foibles and evils, not children. “The traits the word ‘childish’ addresses are seen so often in adults that we should abolish this age discriminatory word when it comes to criticizing behavior associated with irresponsibility and irrational thinking,” she said. “I think adults should start learning from kids . . . Learning between kids and adults should be reciprocal.”

Wise is the parent who gives his child a consistent, worthy role model to learn from, while also gleaning wisdom from the unique perspectives of his own children. This give and take strengthens the whole family, as we navigate the messiness of life with grace, patience, and resilience.

Click here to learn more about Adora and what she has been doing since giving this TED Talk in 2010.


Nikki Klock became co-owner and editor of Vancouver Family Magazine in September 2006. She grew up mainly in the Northwest and graduated from Utah Valley University. She is an avid reader and insists that a book is (almost) always better than a movie. She has lived in Vancouver with her husband, JR, and two daughters since 2003. Check out Nikki's Editor’s Picks here.

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