Life Phases

Posted on January 17, 2009 by


It’s always bothered me that adults sign their kids up for dance classes, but rarely take dance classes themselves. It seemed like the message was, “Having fun is important when you’re a kid, but not when you’re a grown-up”, which I disagree with. However, I can see now how perhaps the way of things works and we still all have fun.

Watching my children learn, like, and laugh, I think that childhood from ages 0 to 8 is about introduction and enjoyment. It’s about being presented with sensory experiences and activities, and learning at a basic level what you like and what you don’t like.

Thinking back to my youth, I would say that ages 9 to 16 is a new phase, one that’s about learning friendship, responsibility, and devotion. We have friends in our early childhood, but it’s at this time that we really start to see other people and forge deep ties to them. It’s a difficult time, because it’s about learning to integrate with other people, and learning to belong.

The other phases, I’m still working out. I think there’s a phase of discovery, a phase of love, a phase of rituality, and a phase of achievement. I imagine they overlap a lot.

So it’s important that we introduce our kids to dance, music, arts, and sports, so that they can learn what they enjoy. As adults, our identity and joy builds on those introductory experiences. If we miss them in childhood, then I hope we can discover them later, so that life is more than duty.

Posted in: Family