As a Mom and a School Counselor, I Know What Kids Need Most

As a mom, I often think about the many things I need to be teaching my children. Manners, kindness, empathy. Phonics, algebra, sentence structure. Oh, and of course, the practical matters of humor and hygiene. Hope hasn’t always been one of the things on my radar, but our children need it now more than ever.

Hope is the feeling that what one desires will happen; an overall perception that one’s goals will be met. Hope, like oxygen, is essential to life. We simply cannot live without it. When we have it, it can carry us. When we don’t… we suffocate.

As a school counselor, it wasn’t hard to see which kids were full of hope and which kids were grasping for it. Our children are experiencing a mental health crisis like nothing we’ve seen before. An estimated 17 million children are currently facing a mental health disorder (Child Mind Institute), and depression among children is sadly common, frequently unrecognized, and occurring at younger and younger ages (American Academy of Family Physicians.)

In today’s world, hope isn’t just one of the things we need to impart to our kids, it very well may be THE thing.

Life’s most important and desired behaviors: showing up, maximizing productivity, enjoying good health, and living longer are all dependent upon hope. Having hope can boost happiness, increase academic performance, and expand an individual’s professional successes.

Julia Cook
Julia Cook
Julia Cook, M.S. is a national award-winning children's author, counselor, and parenting expert. She has presented in thousands of schools nationally and internationally, regularly speaks at education and counseling conferences, and has published children’s books on a wide range of character and social development topics. The goal behind Cook's work is to actively involve young people in fun, memorable stories and teach them to become lifelong problem solvers. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counselors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home. Cook has the innate ability to enter the worldview of a child through storybooks, giving children both the “what to say” and the “how to say it.”

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