Over the past two years, I have taken numerous psychology classes to meet PhD requirements for a degree in Educational Psychology. Within every class, I have geared my discussion essays and responses to The Arts, and combed the databases for articles to support what I write. As a result, I have uncovered a plethora of studies that support the need for Arts in our lives and evidence of their untapped potential to help our world solve its problems.
This past quarter, I took a class called "Topics in Adolescence and Childhood". Each week, we were required to write essays that address problems in adolescence and childhood through Bronfenbrenner's theories and examine the policies and laws that impact our nation's children. Through this query, two things have become obvious to me: (1) the government -- this entity as it is at this moment -- is unable to meet our nation's needs, and (2) we are the government.
In 1961, when John F. Kennedy spoke at his inaugural address, he challenged this country to find solutions for the nation's problems when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country" (Historic Documents, 2012). He was right. We must work to be part of a solution instead of perpetuating or complaining about the problems. Also ... If we are the government, then we have the responsibility to make our nation a better place, and what better way than in the work of the artist.
When I think of creative solutions to some of the biggest problems in our country, and look to myself for answers to the question: What can "I" do? I come up with many ideas. However, two ideas that I am especially are research-based programs that are designed to address numerous issues related to children and adolescents.
The first is a lullaby program for mothers and their babies that will address attachment, postpartum depression, mother well-being, parental confidence and lay the foundation for language acquisition. If you click on Learning to Lullaby, you will be able to read about a program I have been developing that could help so many young mothers. It just needs to be implemented. Who will work with me?
The other is a program to nurture tween girls, a population who are being rushed into maturity without ever really knowing who they are or who they want to be. It's my most recent idea and I call the program "YOGA-GIRL: Playshops for the emerging tween goddess". I envision it as a series of playful arts-based/yoga workshops that are research-based and designed to help young girls 'unplug', dream and explore who they are, and who they want to be. I am launching this one over the summer.
In the process of bringing these programs to light and life, I will be a part of the government and I will be answering Kennedy's challenge ... but instead of asking my country "what" I can do, I'll be able to shout: Hey!! Here's what I am doing to help ... Check it out!
Historic Documents. (2012). Ask not what your country can do for you. Retrieved from http://www.ushistory.org/documents/ask-not.htm