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    Excerpt from Charles Sykes

    Childhood Doesn't Wait - Kathie Davis

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Charles Sykes - 

In his book, Dumbing Down Our Kids, Charles Sykes volunteers a list of lessons that high school and college graduates do not learn while they are in school. Consequently, he believes that we have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and this sets them up for failure in the real world. Here is his list of what students haven't learned but need to know:

Rule #1

Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule #2

The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule #3

You will not earn $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule #4

If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. A boss doesn't get tenure.

Rule #5

Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for flipping burgers; they called it "opportunity."

Rule #6

If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

Rule #7

Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way by paying your bills, cleaning your room, and listening to your idealism. So, before you save the rain forests from the blood-sucking parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule #8

Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades, they will give you as many times as you need to get the answer right. This bears no resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule #9

Life is not divided into semesters and you don't get summers off. Furthermore, very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule #10

Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to work. 

Rule #11

Be nice to nerds. Chances are you will end up working for one.



- by Kathie Davis


I was sitting on a bench while in a nearby mall, 

When I noticed a young mother with two children who were very small.

The youngest one was whining, "Pick me up," I heard him beg, 

But the mother's face grew angry as the child clung to her leg.

"Don't hang onto me," she shouted as she pushed his hand away.

I wish I'd had the courage to go up to her and say...

"The time will come too quickly when those little arms that


Won't ask for you to hold them or won't freely give a hug.

The day will sneak up subtly, just as it did with me,

When you can't recall the last time that your child sat on your knee.

Like those sacred, pre-dawn feedings when we cherished time alone,

Our babies grow and leave behind those special times we've known.

So when your child comes to you with a book that you can share,

Or asks that you would tuck him in and help him say his prayers...

When he comes to sit and chat or would like to take a walk,

Before you answer that you can't 'cause there's no time to talk,

Remember what all parents learn so many times too late,

That the years go by too quickly and that childhood doesn't wait.

Take every opportunity, if one should slip away,

Reach hard to get it back again, don't wait another day."

I watched that mother walk away, her children followed near,

I hope she'll pick them up before her chances disappear.


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