We are deeply honored that the National Association for the Education of Young Children is bringing “Families Today” to its website. This column formerly syndicated by the New York Times has long been a widely read forum for the everyday as well as unusual questions and concerns about children’s behavior, development, learning, and health posed by parents, grandparents, teachers, pediatricians, and other adults everywhere who care for and about children. Over the years, the column has also addressed the broad range of events—the Columbine killings, 9/11, Katrina, and others—that have changed our world and challenge us to find new ways of protecting our children, of helping them to understand, to cope, and to prepare for the future that—for better and for worse—we will leave them.
We have always sought not simply to dispense tips and advice, as if raising and educating children were as simple as 10 easy steps, and as if parents and teachers didn’t already know better than anyone about the children in their care. Instead, we have tried to help make children’s behavior meaningful, and to help adults see the world through their eyes, while honoring the understanding that adult caregivers already have of the children they know best. Raising and educating children isn’t always simple or easy, and we are often humbled by the challenges that families and schools face. We don’t always have the answers, and more than once have been wrong. But we’ve come to count on our readers to help us out when we’re at a loss, and whenever they know better.
It is with intense interest and great enthusiasm that we await your questions, opinions, ideas, wisdom, and the richness of your diverse experience. Every now and then, someone writes in just to tell us about one simple, magical moment with a child. We welcome those from you as well!
T. Berry Brazelton