Parents and teacher, this is a different type of vlog for me, but I hope you find it helpful to you and yours. Here I look at 2020 and how it impacted out kids:
- What I see as major impacts and what’s different about 2020
- What can we do to really help our kids?
- What I want and hope for you and your children
- Final wish and wisdom
🎦 YouTube: Visit my official YouTube channel here. Subscribe, like & comment to support my work.
👉 Share: To support me, please *CLICK* at the bottom to share on FB or Pinterest.
✏️ EF101: Here’s my jumpstart course for parents and teachers.
💚 Give: Love my work and want to donate?
🙏 Thanks! — Seth
Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
Well parents and teachers, today is going to be a pretty different vlog for me than what I usually do. My name is Seth Perler, I’m an executive function coach based in Maui and I help struggling students navigate this thing called education so that they can have a great life now and a great future. So the whole point of what I do is we want our kids to have a good education, have a good childhood, and have a good future. So in this video I’m going to talk about the impact of 2020. I’m not doing like a year review or something like that, what I’m trying to do every week, if you’ve been following me for any amount of time, every single week, what I try to do is be of service, I try to give something that serves you, I want you to walk away from this video saying “Wow, okay, that was that was actually helpful and actually have a good way of thinking about these things.”
So I have been in the education world for, I don’t know, 23 years or so, and I’m somebody who really thinks about how these things impact the bottom line, and the bottom line for me is quality of life. Again, quality of life now for our kids and quality of life in their future. So that’s what education is about to me, it’s about quality of life. And executive function for kids who have executive function struggles, executive function is a quality of life issue. Meaning if our kids don’t figure out how to have a good enough executive function to navigate this world, then it’s going to impact their quality of life. I’ve seen it a million times, I went through it myself. The struggle is real, this is not a joke, this is not a game. These executive function struggles really impact our quality of life and we have to learn how to work with this stuff. So anyhow, this is a different type of vlog. I’m going to talk about three things, I’m going to talk about 1.) what I see as the impacts of 2020, what’s different than before? 2.) What can we do about it? Which means what I want for you and your kids and what I hope for you and your children. 3.) A final wish and hope to wrap it up and hopefully impart some wisdom, if I have any wisdom to impart. Who am I to even make this vlog? I don’t know anything, I just try to do my best to be a service. And I saturate myself in this world of education and trying to be helpful. And for what it’s worth, for those of you that follow me, I hope you find this helpful.
So let’s talk about the impacts of 2020. Number one, what I see the impacts of 2020, the good and the bad. So I want to point out some of the things because I see a lot of families, a lot of kids, a lot of schools, I see schools in different countries because I have clients in different countries and readers, and I get email from all over the place. So I have a very wide view of all of these things. First of all, I want to say that there have been positive things that have happened. And what I mean by that is that something about the pandemic, and things slowing down, and things changing, and people being stuck in homes together for long periods of time, it brings everything to the surface, all the problems are brought to the surface. And there are a lot of people who have taken this as an opportunity or who’s found opportunities in these situations. They’ve really tried to look at it positively and see how can we use this to our benefit. So I’ve heard a lot of families saying things like, “How can I complain? I get to spend more time with my family.” And then I’ve heard the opposite, you know, “I have to spend time with my family.” So a lot of it is a frame. A lot of people who have found the positive, the silver linings, are saying “I get spend time with my family, we get to work through problems, we get to build more intimacy, we get to deal with traumas, we get to learn to love each other more compassionately, we get to learn how to appreciate quality time with each other better, we get to really focused on those things. You know, a lot of people have gone out and done things. A lot of people during COVID, for example, have exercised less, a lot of people have done the opposite and exercised more. So, there have been a lot. I’ve also heard from a lot of my families of kids who struggle with executive function, that the change in school has made it easier for them to succeed. So believe it or not, and this is not the majority, but there are plenty. There are plenty of families and kids who have said that this is actually easier for them, they can be more successful, they can navigate this better for various reasons, which I don’t have time to go into now. But in essence, it’s been easier for them. So there’s been positive that has come out of this. Relationships have developed, people have found creative ways to connect, people have built on their hobbies, kids have built on their hobbies or their talents or their skills. People have worked on their health, they’ve worked on their goals, they’ve worked on all kinds of things. So there have been positives.
Now unfortunately, my list of negatives, and I really tried to be positive, but this year has sucked for a lot of people in a lot of ways. And my list of negatives is pretty big. I think, probably, the biggest negative that I see that is the most corrosive and harmful to everybody is probably the disconnection that people have. The kids feeling disconnection from their teachers, from their schools, from their friends, from themselves, even from their families. Being with their families all the time can create more disconnection, families feeling disconnected from each other, I feel disconnected from my family who doesn’t live anywhere near me. I haven’t seen them since February, there was a wedding. And I usually see my family about four times a year. So the sense of disconnection, I think, and there’s a great book called ‘Lost Connections,’ check it out, I highly recommend that one. It’s fantastic. I won’t go into what that is, but the loss of connection and the dissense of disconnection, I think, is one of the worst things.
Number two is trauma, there have been a lot of traumas. This whole situation has created a lot of traumas. And I don’t necessarily mean event traumas, like if you have a traumatic event, but I mean sustained traumas that are just sort of ongoing traumatic senses of lack of well being, or fear, or disconnection, or whatever is causing that. And I think that with the trauma, of course, there have been event traumas, a lot of event traumas that people have experienced this year for all sorts of reasons. Death in the family, people who have gotten sick, people who are still sick, people who have ongoing sickness, domestic violence, there’s been all sorts of, you know, more event-based traumas. And I don’t think we’re going to even understand the impacts of this, I think the lasting impacts of trauma can last years. So unfortunately, and I want to be very honest with you, but a lot of our kids are going to when they’re in their 20s, or 30s, or 40s, or 50s, they’re going to then understand how some of the things that happened this year have impacted them. And hopefully we can be giving our kids tools for working with us right now.
The next one is mental health suffering. I think that I pretty much covered that in the trauma one but anxiety, depression, bipolar, any sorts of mental health issues, the traumas, cutting, drugs, addiction, alcohol, alcoholism, gaming addictions, process addictions, any things like that.
So the next one is the loss of learning. Has there been a loss of learning? Absolutely, positively, 100%, absolutely. This is not working for a lot of kids. The education is not able to do a good job right now, and it already had a lot of dysfunction in it. So definitely there’s been a loss of learning. Our kids are, you could say, behind. I don’t like to frame it that way because I think there are opportunities in this which I’ll discuss shortly. Another impact of this is teachers quitting, teachers leaving the profession saying “This isn’t what I signed up for. I’m not being supported how I need to.” It’s not appealing the amount of pay that teachers get first, the expectations anyhow before this all happened was deplorable and disgusting. In the United States of America, how can we so undervalue the people who impact our kids the most? It makes no sense. It’s absurd. It’s ridiculous. It’s stupid. It’s insane. But right now, it’s even worse. It’s not appealing for people to say, “Oh, I want to be a teacher.” So we have teacher shortages everywhere that are just even worse. Now I’m hearing teachers who were really stressed out. So also, the impacts of this is that people in the medical professions are burnt out and not valued and mistrusted, and just crazy things happening with them. And even though that’s not necessarily education, I think it impacts our kids, our kids who want to get into the medical fields, we need them. We need people, great people in the medical fields. And so you know, this, this is really going to have a lot of long lasting effects. Saying, “Look how people treat nurses and medical professionals. Do I want to do that?” So I think that’s a big one. The next one is that teaching is different. And I have a fear that since teaching has changed, and teachers have really tried to figure out how do we adapt to the same situation, that the people who benefit and profit from these things, so standardized testing companies, textbook manufacturers, curriculum manufacturers, these people are out there to profit and benefit and make no mistake, they are going to see, “Wow, we can sell our story and continue to sell our products. We can digitalize it this way.” They’ve been learning a lot for how to maximize profit. And the problem with that there, I’m sure there are lots of great people that work for these companies. But make no mistake, this is big business. These are big industries, they are there to profit. And they’re there to make as much money with as little effort as possible, which means that more of our kids who struggle with executive function are going to fall through the cracks and look like they’re to blame. Because we still have this ridiculous story about using letter grades, which I think are immoral and outdated and archaic. All sorts of things about the education system that could be improved upon, they’re really not looking at as how can we benefit humanity the most, but how can we benefit the bottom line the most. So I have a fear that these people who are going to capitalize on this are going to dilute the actual value of education of kids being able to have a good life. So I’m worried about that.
Next I noticed the distractions of tech for kids. I mean, we’ve been noticing this forever, but it’s so apparent now how distracted they are. How they’re expected to be on a device that has lots more interesting things and they’re supposed to focus on the teacher in the class when there’s lots more interesting things. So the engagement online is just not there. Kids with strong executive function can engage well enough. But the distractions of tech I noticed in 2020 are just through the roof. I fear that it’s just causing these process addictions, where kids are not bored, they’re not slowing down, they don’t have time to be bored, and to play, and to imagine, and to do things where they have to be bored and try things because they can be distracted in a second all day long. And not learn how to connect with human beings, how to create their own things, how to play. So that’s a problem that I see more of in 2020.
This is a positive, I should have said it earlier. But the effort of teachers and parents has been tremendous. Teachers have bent over backwards to navigate this. Nurses, medical professionals, parents, have been trying so hard to learn how. So there’s definitely a lot of positives in that.
Next one is with 2020 is the failure of schools. So the problems that we already have with schools with lack of engagement, it’s exacerbated now by what’s going on. Schools are failing, even though teachers are trying so hard and parents are trying so hard, schools are failing to educate kids in the way that they need to be educated. It’s just not working. It’s just not working. It’s just not working. It’s just not working. So we need to get back to some sense of normalcy, human connection, and hopefully not get back to normal. And how school was before because it already had a lot of problems. We need to increase engagement.
Another effect of 2020 on our kids, on us, on on maybe you and I and people we know is hunger, food lines, poverty, homelessness, hopelessness, lack of opportunity. People are struggling so much. And our kids are experiencing this or they’re seeing it. What kind of a world are they growing up in? What do they think when they look at the world?
Another impact of 2020 is I think a lot of kids their self esteem, if it was already struggling is struggling even more right now. The impact of grades, because we’re still doing grades, and we’re saying “Engage in this thing that’s not engaging. If you don’t do we’re going to punish you with bad grades and retaking classes,” and stuff like this. That’s been a big impact. I mean, these kids with executive function struggles, they’re either working so hard, they have no time for other things, or they’re just like, “I give up, I give up, I give up,” and then they try and then they give up. It’s not mentally healthy.
Next one is the impact of being indoctrinated in systems that judges you based on arbitrary meaningless stuff, stuff that’s not engaging. We have teachers and curriculum and stuff that judges how they create a grade. It’s based on so many different arbitrary things and it’s so different from person to person. That’s just more of a you know, why grades just don’t make sense anyway, but. But what this indoctrination, to me, trains our kids to do is to be mindless, and to be robots, and to not think which is what we want them to do. You have to jump through these hoops to get these things. “Kids, if you do this, you’re a good person,” blah, blah, “And if you don’t, the opposite is true.”
Another thing that’s been big in 2020 is, I think, a fear of death that we haven’t really seen. Our kids are seeing so much tragedy and death and these kids, they’re telling me their stories about what’s making them uncomfortable and being afraid of dying because of viruses or whatever and so they’re really thinking about death and sickness. They’re so exposed to stuff about it all the time. It’s really a scary time. So anxiety and depression are going through the roof.
The last thing that I wanted to mention as I see it as a big thing in 2020, is this divisiveness modeling, like where adults are modeling divisiveness. Fear the other, the other is bad, we’re good. The other is scary. This disconnection on so many levels, that they’re growing up saying, “Oh, this is what life’s about. We’re supposed to fear them, and hate them, and like them, and appreciate them.” And so what’s the solution to that? I’ll tell you momentarily what I think. But here’s what I want, and what I hope. So that was what I wanted to break down some of the things that I’ve seen in 2020.
Here’s what I want, and what I hope for you and for your children. I really want you to think metaphorically about planting seeds and not weeds. When we don’t cultivate, we don’t plant, we just let things go wild and do whatever they want. There’s no intentionality and no consciousness around it. No self awareness around it, no mindfulness around it, we’re just letting things go how they are, then weeds take over. And weeds are very hard to eradicate. We need to consciously plant seeds. So what seeds do we want to plant? What do we want to grow? Do we want to grow fruit, vegetables, flowers? What do we want to grow that’s going to bring health, and nourishment, and beauty, and love, and kindness, and warmth, and success, and happiness, and connection to our kids lives? What can we do to plant those seeds? So education is first of all, isn’t just for our child. We want our child to have a good life. But the education that your child receives also impacts their neighborhoods, their communities, their families, their cities, their states, their countries, the world even, okay. So the impacts of education are real. Your child’s education that they’re experiencing right now is going to not only impact their future, but it’s going to have this snowball effect and has an impact on everything else. So we want to really not just do it right just for them. But do it right for everybody. They are kids and as we do now, but in their future will influence culture and change culture. They will change how people think, they will change the future, they will create the future for their kids. So we want to give them as much now as we can in education, so that they can impact their future and their kids and their cultures in positive ways. We want them to have a great education. And what I think a great education is, what I think a great education is that will help do this, is that we are teaching them how to think not what to think. Our standardized tests, our curriculum, our tests, our grades, all our scores, all of these paradigms and belief systems that we’ve created, these stories about education that we’ve created, are very much involved with teaching kids what to think. Who writes the history books? Who decides what should be in the math curriculum? Who decides what should be the science curriculum? Who decides this stuff? Where does this come from? Do we ever ask that question? And if we do, do we ask it enough? So I want ultimately, our kids to know how to think. I don’t want to teach them what to think. There is an element of that, but ultimately, I want them knowing how to think. I do not want seeds of them being robots. I want them to have seeds of self development, self awareness, being mindful, being conscious of what they’re doing, aware of what they’re doing, developing who they are, working on being the best person they can be, being conscious about these decisions. Not just a robot, not mindless, but being conscious.
So the influencers who benefit from education, the people who make money, or profit, or power from education that are sort of in the background, they don’t want people to be learning how to think. They want compliance. They want people who are not thinking. I think about kids like in their phone all the time and this neck position, they’re just like this all the time. And that is such compliance, their attention. Their most valuable thing, one of your most valuable things in the world is your attention. Pay attention, pay, it’s like a currency, attention. They’re paying a currency, investing, and what are they getting back for that investment? Not much. They’re investing in these devices all the time. Investment, investment, investment, investment. Their posture, their self esteem, their thoughts, they’re invested in devices, they’re investing their attention into this. So, these, the people benefit from this. They want compliance, it’s “Do what I say, not what I do” type of attitude. It’s “Do as you’re told, and then if you jump through these hoops, and do as you’re told, then you will be accepted. You will be loved, you’ll be worthy.” Okay, and these messages are deep, even from education, “Do what you’re told, and you will be rewarded.” And for kids who struggle, so many of them struggle with self esteem because they’re trying and they can’t do what they’re being asked to do, and they’re not getting the support they legitimately need. So these messages are deep, they go to the core of our mental health, and our well being, and of what we believe about ourselves.
So I really want to see us planting seeds that focus on not being compliant, but knowing how to think. I want for our kids, my hope is that, we can have a focus on the relationship and building healthy, secure relationships with you and your children, with teachers, with your children, and their friends, healthy, secure relationships, and that they have awareness and mindfulness around what that is, and that they have awareness around what dysfunction is, and know how to set boundaries, and know how to listen to their intuition and their gut, and what’s right and wrong for them, and to trust themselves. And how do we do that? Part of that is by validating them, and so much of what they get from us, from parents, from teachers, from cultures is invalidating, is what you think is not good enough? It’s not okay. How do we validate what they think and help them become who they are? How do we listen to them better and hear them better? And as we model that, they’ll be better listeners and better at hearing people. They’ll be better at validating other people. How do we teach compassion and empathy in a time that’s so divided? I want these kids to be learning compassion and empathy. I want them to learn generosity, and service, and giving back, and not being afraid of giving. You know, we’re in a consumer society. Take, take, take. The more stuff we have, the happier we’re going to be. And then we take years or decades to figure out that it’s the opposite. It’s the more we give, and serve, and love, the more we have. It’s not the ‘stuff,’ but the consumer society perpetuates these messages. So how do we teach compassion, empathy, generosity, service, and giving? How do we build on their strengths, even though there’s this pandemic going on? And just craziness with school? How do we even now build on their strengths? Because that’s what we want them to build a life on, is their strengths. But schools don’t really focus on that. So how do we do that? Schools don’t always focus on that, I should say. How do we inspire curiosity? What’s happening now is there’s a lack of engagement. It’s so unengaging, how do we get back to focusing on inspiring curiosity? How can you inspire your children to be curious? How can we give our kids mental health tools? I want our kids to learn mental health tools in school, and education, and in their life. I want them to be learning these things, learning about their nervous system, and who they are, and self-development, and how people do it. People focus their whole careers on this stuff, it’s out there, why aren’t we teaching it?
If I had a wish, I would wish that our kids were journaling. That I think is one of the most tangible things I can give you from this conversation. It’s just such a powerful thing in so many ways. How do we help our kids have goals that matter to them about who they are? How do we help them achieve those goals rather than everybody else’s goals? How do we really help them build those goals and strengths? How do we have that help them have service mindsets, and generosity mindsets, but how do we get them opportunities to be of service to others?
The last thing that I hope for them and wish for them and want them to have through education through this time, is what I call saturation theory. And that is where I want our kids to be saturated in all different types of experiences, of sports, of arts, of subject matters, of books, of things. I want them to be exposed to many different things so that they can find things that matter to them, and that are inspiring to them that create curiosity for them. And then going back to the beginning, is this. When they’re saturated in these things, and they are building on their strengths, and they’re learning about service, and compassion, and empathy, and listening, and relationships, and all these things, then the hope is, is that we are planting the seeds instead of planting weeds so that our kids can have this great education, and have a great life, and have a great future, have a great present, and really know how to live on this this planet in a good way. So those are some of my thoughts.
My final wish, what I want to end this video with. My final wish is this. All those things I just said about compassion, empathy, generosity, journaling, goals that matter to them, service, saturation, and all sorts of different ideas and mindsets and books and things. All of these things are designed to educate kids to learn how to think not what to think. How to think. My final wish is that everything that we do in the back of our heads, we’re saying, “Is this teaching them how to think or what to think? Is this teaching them how to think? Is what we’re doing teaching them how to think?” Are they thinking or are they mindless robots going around this world, not questioning themselves not questioning things, just listening to whatever they happen to get hooked into in social media and subcultures or wherever. And that’s where they take as truth. We are very emotional beings. When we do not know how to think we just go down whatever rabbit hole is most appealing in the moment. We get indoctrinated in these things and we can’t think for ourselves. We can get stuck in these things. We can suffer, cause suffering, and really lose who we are. And I want our kids to know who they are, what makes them education. So again, I want them to learn how to think. My final wish is that they learned how to think. That education, their education, teaching them how to think, will provide them, their families, their friends, their communities, their cities, their states, their countries in the world, more love and peace. I want your children to have as much love, and peace and joy, and contribution, and service, and generosity, and empathy, and compassion. I want them to have those things. And I wish that for you and for your child and for your family. That’s why I do what I do in the world of education. I’m an executive function coach so I focus on a particular type of kid, but my mission is really about quality of life. I want the kids and families that I work with to have more love, and peace, and joy, and contribution, and service, and generosity, empathy, and compassion, and those sorts of things. That’s what I want. That’s why I do what I do. It’s not about the kids getting good grades, even though that may be how people find me. It’s not about kids being successful in school and being a great student, but I want them to have good quality of life.
My name is Seth Perler. I’m an executive function coach. If you haven’t seen my website, I have a lot of freebies and stuff there. SethPerler.com. I have an Executive Function Summit called TEFOS, The Executive Function Summit online, it comes in the summer of 2021. It will be going on no matter what because it’s an online summit. I got my YouTube channel, give me a thumbs up, like this, leave a comment below. If you’re watching me on YouTube or on my on my site right here, what do you think? What is this good education for you? What have been the problems this pandemic that had been come out in 2020? What are some of the positive ways we can deal with that and the solutions? What’s your wish? What do you want for your kids? What are some of your thoughts? Go ahead and leave them below. If you want to support me again, leave comment, thumbs up, like it, subscribe, whatever, share the stuff. Take care. Have a good day. I hope you had a great holiday season. And I really sincerely hope you have a fantastic 2021 that is filled with a lot more peace, and calm, and joy, and love, and freedom, and safety, and health, and all those things. Be well.