My calendar shows this holiday and I wasn’t aware it existed, so I had to do some research.
Universal Children’s Day is celebrated annually on November 20th. The goal of Universal Children’s Day is to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children. Universal Children’s Day was first established in 1954 and is promoted by UNICEF.
I remember having a Children’s Day in the church where I grew up, although I believe it was celebrated in June. What I remember most is that each Sunday School class had to get up in front of the church and perform in some way. As a kid, that was pretty cool. As an adult, I look back and wonder why, then, the moms didn’t have to perform on Mother’s Day and the dads didn’t have to perform on Father’s Day. I mean, is that fair?
I wouldn’t want to be a child in today’s world. When I think of childhood, I think of exuberant energy and true naïve innocence. That’s what a childhood should be. But with school shootings and political dissonance, we are forcing the children of today to grow up much too quickly. That’s bad enough, but on top of that, so many parents treat their children like little adults, giving in to their every whim to become their ‘best friend’.
As I think about it, I realize that I now (if not orally, at least inwardly) compliment the parents/caregivers of a respectful child. I’m now asking myself, “When did that become so rare that it stands out?” In my generation, respect of adults and others was the norm – we were all taught that at home and the authorities were quick to call us out if our behavior wasn’t respectful.
I get it. Times change. The ways that parents raise their children changes. We’re no longer fans or believers of physical discipline and as someone who earned her share of spankings with a wooden paddle, I’m glad of that. Physical violence to a child doesn’t change behavior, it simply creates fear in the child. CONSEQUENCES encourage change. We need to go back to that, when children are held accountable for their actions.
Anyhow, how I feel about parenting and punishment might be fodder for a different post, so sorry I got off on that tangent…
Back to Universal Children’s Day – the idea to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children is an excellent one and I wish this annual holiday got more attention. The children of our world today are the future leaders of tomorrow. We need to focus on instilling the values and morals that will make them successful leaders for the future.
So, if you’ve got a child/children or a grandchild/grandchildren in your life, share with them what this holiday is and make sure they grasp and understand its purpose. Kids know what to except on Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc. Maybe it’s time to know what we expect from them this one day of the year.