The Youth Independence Crisis: Let Kids PLAY

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I read an article about the more recognized youth mental health crisis, which is accompanied by a trauma crisis and all fall under a bigger umbrella of a epidemic decline of independence. The title alone was so blind it suggests the author didn’t even try to Google on the topic, stating “nobody knows why”. At the end, the article blames social media and smartphones primarily despite the evidence blatantly pointing towards one overarching cause: suppression of childhood autonomy, which is expressed as free play.

“One thing we know for sure about anxiety and depression is that they correlate strongly with people’s sense of control or lack of control over their own lives. Those who believe they are in charge of their own fate are much less likely to become anxious or depressed than are those who believe their are victims of circumstances beyond their control…the data indicate that young people’s sense of control over their own destinies has declined continuously.” – p. 16

“Twenge and her colleagues analyzed the results of many studies that had assessed locus of control with groups of college students and children age 9-14 from 1960 to 2002. They found for both age groups that over this period, average scores shifted dramatically, away from the internal toward the external end of the scale, so much so, in fact, that the average young person in 2002 was more external (more prone to lack of personal control) than were 80 percent of young people in the 1960s.” – p. 16-17

“Free play is nature’s means of teaching children they are not helpless. In play, away from adults, children really do have control and can practice asserting it. In free play, children learn to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, create and abide by rules, and get along with others as equals rather than as obedient or rebellious subordinates…In school, by contrast, children cannot make their own decisions; their job is to do as they are told…children who felt most pressured by their parents to achieve in school and were most frequently shuttled from one extracurricular activity to another were the most likely to feel anxious or depressed.” – p. 18

“research psychologists… conducted a study of happiness and unhappiness in public school students grades 6th through 12th…participants filled out a questionnaire indicating where they were, what they were doing, and how happy or unhappy they were at the moment. The lowest levels of happiness by far occurred when children were at school, and the highest levels occurred when they were out of school and conversing or playing with friends.” – p. 18-19

Free to Learn by Dr. Peter Gray, published 2013

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Intrinsic Abundance and Economic Empowerment of Youth

I just got accepted to the Northstar Youth Worker Fellowship 2019-20! This is one of the most profound breakthroughs in my life, and absolutely in the last 3 years. It’s equally a miracle that I have this in the aftermath of one of the most insane destructive houses I’ve lived in, on top of my 2 new jobs in the field. The following article is relaying half of my replies to the application questions (the relevant ones). I just reread everything and put it all together in the bigger picture, realizing that the research topic I’ve chosen overall is based on the practical study and application of my universal philosophy, Intrinsic Abundance. It should become apparent as the story unfolds that this isn’t just a profound opportunity for me, but for so many more people.

It is the potential for astounding transformation and opening gateways to self-determination that even I can’t imagine.

I’m not letting anything get in the way of my unrelenting dedication to exploring this philosophy. 

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because your presence alone is a miracle.

I know the feeling of showing up and feeling stagnant, feeling lopsided, uncomfortable, pain, being overwhelmed. I know the tension of showing up vulnerably in person after being scarred. I know that after self-isolation for not long at all, even a day or two, it can feel like absolute shit to go out in the world and be with people. To show up in the midst of the storm, off-center, confused, distracted, deprived, can feel dumb, meaningless, as if it’s just not worth it.

But I’m here to say that’s an illusion. When you show up and feel these emotions and physical disruption, it’s shaking up what’s been stagnated and becoming aware of what’s already there. In fact, self-isolating, numbing out, escaping in the same pattern, over-indulging, hedonism, that’s what actually creates this junk residue within you. Getting out in the world awakens feeling, and you actually begin the hangover- the detox.
Continue reading “because your presence alone is a miracle.”

Self-Determination: the Primary Colors of Needs

The three needs of Self-Determination aren’t just important alone, or even in a group together. It’s when the three are combined, that they make something entirely new.

Primary Needs:
RED 1. Autonomy
BLUE 2. Competence
YELLOW 3. Interconnection

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Mapping Allison’s Wonderland

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a picture drawn by Allison

Allison Bailey was one of my best friends. She died very suddenly on December 29, 2018 only 6 months ago. Recently I realized just how important our shared idea was, that she called Resource Community. Today I’m bringing the pieces together, in the name of her legacy and creating something that would have met a profound need for both of us.
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Resource Network Map [Protoype]

Here is the original design of the interactive community map tool that would later evolve into Resource Community, a collaborative map website co-founded by myself and my close friend Allison Bailey. Find the full Color & Icon Key below.

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Parental “Discipline” Damages Kids’ Development of Self-Control

Authentic REAL discipline is a very personal and internal process, arguably in tune with the path of dissolution, culminating in enlightenment. The development of self-control in human beings happens in childhood through the kid’s independent interaction with the world around them. When people talk about “disciplining” kids it’s as an outsider coming in and hurting another person to punish them into doing something. This is so profoundly damaging, and most of all it is damaging to the kid’s inner sense of self-control and discipline.
Continue reading “Parental “Discipline” Damages Kids’ Development of Self-Control”