Saturday, October 08, 2005

They were never children

"People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children."
- Bill Watterson, from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes

Childhood isn't easy for anyone. The point Watterson makes is that the best part of childhood is the memories of the best things that happened to us as children.

Selective memory is the term used to describe the filtering system our brain uses to block out the bad elements of our memories while making the good elements vivid and clear. We use selective memory to block out unhappy events of our childhood (much of the time) while enhancing the good times.

One of the worst things about childhood is that a child never knows what may happen next. Their future could change at any time. That may partly explain why many adults want conditions to remain the same in their lives for long periods of time, as that would give them the stability they so desperately lacked as children.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help parents and teachers explain to children what is ahead for them so the future is not so frightening.
Learn more at

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