The Rocket Fuel of Capable Young Minds
Presented by Adam J. Cox, Ph.D.
Although there is shared consensus about the importance of childhood, one of the key developmental dimensions of youth – the discovery of purpose – gets little attention. This presentation explores how children explore and are strengthened by a sense of purpose in their daily lives. It highlights what parents and schools can do to emphasize opportunity. A critical premise of this approach is to take the interests and instincts of children seriously, providing opportunity for engagement wherever possible. Dr. Cox has been engaged in international research investigating sources of significance and purpose in young people’s lives and will address key results of his research. In addition, Cox will connect the capacity for purpose to a strong executive thinking system. The heart of this connection is positive self-control, learned discipline, and the capacity to focus on what is most important.
For most children there is a gap between who they imagine themselves to be, and what their lives actually consist of. We should inquire: what is the mission of childhood, and how does that relate to their daily life? How will the next generation be different in terms of motivation and priorities? What is it that children most want from their parents and need from their teachers? Why are schools more important than previously imagined to the resilience of societies? The next generation is conveying its demand to be taken seriously through bold action, lifestyle choices and a new relationship with community life. Please do not miss this important opportunity to think about how these issues affect the important children in your life.
About the speaker: A licensed and board certified clinical psychologist, Dr. Cox has been consulting and writing about the emotional and cognitive development of school-age children for over a decade and is the author of Cracking the Boy Code: How to Understand and Talk with Boys, On Purpose Before Twenty: Selected Essays, and No Mind Left Behind: Understanding and Fostering Executive Control –The Eight Essential Brain Skills Every Child Needs to Thrive.