New Year’s Resolutions and the Interested Child Mindset

It’s the time of year when earnest folk around the world solemnly resolve to do something special in the new year: read more books, lose more weight, spend more time with friends and family. Bonne année

We are all in favor of earnest resolutions to accomplish particular goals, but we keep reading articles about why it is so hard for people to keep New Year’s resolutions beyond a few days or weeks. Life, as they say, tends to intervene. The poet laureate of New Year’s Eve, Robert Burns (who wrote “Auld Lang Syne”) put it best in his otherwise pretty much forgotten poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”:

“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!”

While we might be pleased if the Interested Child wanted to spend some time with Burns’s 18th-century Scots dialect, we’d rather take a moment to reflect on resolutions, Big Plans, and themes related to the intent behind this blog.

We set out on the adventure that is The Interested Child based on our passionate belief that exposing kids to new ideas and experiences is by definition a good thing. We also believe firmly that nurturing any sparks of interest shown by young people–in just about anything that isn’t downright criminal or antisocial–is a way to coax such sparks into flame. We don’t, however, believe that there is any single magic formula for sparking interest or that an interest that burns bright in the moment flame need be or can be fanned into lifelong passion. We further don’t believe that the reason to help kids find their interests is first and foremost about building a portfolio or résumé for purposes of personal advancement; there is a relationship here, to be sure, (as a long-time college counselor I’m well aware of this) but sincere interest must be its own reward.

Thus, rather than “Try ten new Interested Child ideas” or “Read twenty more works of ‘classic’ literature,” we hope that parents, guardians, and friends will spare children (and themselves) prescriptive “resolutions” and focus instead on creating lives marked by open-mindedness, curiosity, and above all a willingness to try new experiences and ponder life’s questions from multiple points of view.

We number the “Ideas” put forth on The Interested Child largely for our own account-keeping and as points of reference; we don’t mean them to be seen as items on a checklist, any more than we keep lists of “New Year’s Resolutions.” We like to think of the ethos behind this blog as a set of broad principles and mindsets, to be drawn on as Interested Children and those around them take life and its challenges and opportunities as they come, with open minds and open hearts.

And in the meantime, we wish everyone a joyous and exciting (in good ways!) 2015!

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: