Children are invariably more thoughtful, kind and reflective than I give them credit for

16 February 2017 | by Lauren Nicholson-Ward


The teenager presented by mainstream media is a mythical creature. Happy only when in front of a screen, the sounds of their environment cancelled out by blaring headphones, eyes shielded from reality; comfortable only when texting or typing; shunning pens in favour of keyboards; despising paper and using the diary feature on their smart-phones. I have yet to encounter such a person.

The vast majority of children at my school love putting pen to paper. They collect and admire writing-related ephemera to the point where there is relatively little desk space available once their stationery collections have been arranged. The act of changing an ink cartridge and running the nib along the paper or sharpening a pencil to a needle point is a task that many seem to relish.

They appear to get the same sense of satisfaction that many people find in smoothing out a chocolate wrapper or lining up a collection of objects with perfect symmetry. They enjoy flipping the pages of their exercise books and noting the changes in their chosen style.

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