Category Archives: Solutions

Doing is the Path to Both Inner Fulfillment and Worldly Success

Doing has always been an important way to reach inner fulfillment. Now, it’s also the most important path to worldly success. It’s good for the inside and for the outside. It’s a win-win. I’m talking about taking action, but I’m not talking about doing as you’re told. I’m talking about looking inside yourself and doing things that you think will make the world a better place. And repeat. Over and over.

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Fitting Organized Sports Into Our Family Life

Organized sports can be great for kids’ bodies and character. Unfortunately, they also have a big downside: they pull kids away from their families and neighborhoods, now much more than ever. Partially due to organized sports, kids aren’t playing sports in their neighborhoods nearly as much as they used to. Almost entirely due to organized sports, they aren’t eating dinners at home with their families very much, either. Furthermore, parents and siblings spend tens of minutes, sometimes hours, each time … Continue reading

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From Playful Childhoods to Productive, Happy Adulthoods: Connecting the Dots

I want my children to have playful childhoods. When they grow up, I want them to be “doers” and have happy, productive adulthoods. One might argue that my wishes are contradictory, that “playing” and “doing” are opposites. After all, play is free and spontaneous. It’s whimsical and carefree. Doing, on the other hand, sounds like Type-A, goal-directed stuff. Work. Stress. Drudgery. Ugh… Well, I disagree with this point of view. I strongly believe that childhood play can form the foundation … Continue reading

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Doing is a State of Mind

We all see things that bother us many times a day, every day. The interesting question is, what do we do about it? First, I’ll tell you what I used to do. Like most people, I often ignored the problem. When I decided to “do” something to solve the problem, I actually didn’t “do,” most of the time. Instead, I delegated it to someone else. By “delegate,” I mean that I either bought the solution (e.g. buy Halloween costumes for … Continue reading

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Want Your Kids to Be Doers? That’s Your Job, Not Your School’s

Kids’ lives are increasingly structured to discourage independent problem solving of real world problems – i.e. “doing.” The two biggest trends in children’s use of their are the alarming increase in screen time, and the increase in time they spend on adult-administered activities – school, homework, and afterschool activities. So, how do we combat this trend? I’m amazed to find that many people think schools are the answer. For instance, this recent article highlights schools’ efforts to make kids into … Continue reading

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The Doer Manifesto: A Resolution for 2013 and Beyond

I want to make my kids into doers. I will help them connect their passion for play with a passion for making the world a better place. I will show them how to devote every day of their lives to solving problems, rather than leaning back in front of the TV. I will show them that they can change anything that bothers them, for the better. I will inspire them to pursue their own interests, rather than wait for a … Continue reading

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Television as a Learning Tool

These days, it’s difficult to find an expert who thinks television is good for children. And yet, it’s pretty obvious, even to the biggest TV critics among us, that television can provide information in a far more memorable way than any other medium. The problem of television for children does not lie in the technology itself. Instead, it lies in both how television is used by children, as well as the specific TV content that they view. I’ve found a … Continue reading

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Learning at Home With Deep Dives

Two years ago, Marco’s (8) passion was geodes – hollow rocks with crystals inside. Sometimes, it still is, but last year, he also got into the solar system and gardening. These days, Nico (5) has joined in our deep dives, and it’s World War II, with a little tangent on prison escapes (POW camps and Alcatraz). It looks they’re getting pretty deep into woodworking in the near future, too. If you just scan these topics – geodes, the solar system, … Continue reading

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How a Kid Masters His Neighborhood

Today, my son Marco (8) took Wayne, a school friend, to the house of Jacob, another school friend. Then, the three of them made their way to our house. They made this entire journey, 1-1/2 miles, without any adults involved, either in transporting or in planning, and Marco was the leader. And, they did it in the rain, with no raincoats. Marco can do all this on his own, too. In fact, he usually rides his bike home alone. This … Continue reading

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Doers Don’t Get Their Inspiration at School

“I’ve never let school interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain These doer kids who I’m studying (see my first article on them, Doers Don’t Watch TV) are incredibly action-oriented. They’re articulate. They ooze potential, yet they seem very self-assured and happy. In short, I can’t imagine a group of older kids that I’d rather my young kids emulate. They’re some the world’s best makers, software hackers, entrepreneurs, and social innovators. I’ve been interviewing parents of doer kids from two … Continue reading

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