If a child were provided three wishes, what do you think he or she would wish for? I think the answer to that question would all depend on where the child lives in the world.
A child living in an upscale suburb of Los Angeles would have very different wishes to a child living in poverty in Somalia. Take a 10-year-old boy or girl as an example. Between the ages of 8 and 10 years, a child will learn to mentally combine, separate, place in order, and have the mental wherewithal to transform objects and actions. Their ability to apply logic and reason increases, as does their ability to focus their attention. As a child reaches the age of 10, he or she will start to think of themselves as being more a teenager than a child. However, while some will start looking and acting more mature, others will remain more child-like, both physically and emotionally. Being 10 is all about change. It is a period of transition that offers challenges and delights as children start to embrace the approach of adolescence.
It can be a very trying and vexing time for parents as a 10 year will begin to push the boundaries of parental rules. So what would your average 10-year-old living in Los Angeles wish for? This would depend on a number of factors. Is the child involved in sports? Does he or she have a love of music?
A child of the same age living poverty in Somalia or Afghanistan would have very different wishes to his or her contemporary in the US. When you consider 15,000 children die every day due to malnutrition and lack of health care it does not take too much imagination to visualize what three wishes would mean to a child living in these types of circumstances.
All these children would have the wishes that include clean water, food, caring parents, freedom from the poverty they endure and a safe place to live. In the case of a 10-year old whose very well off parents are splitting up, this child could have a room full of toys and all the latest gadgets and I would say this child’s wish would be for mom and dad to stay together.
The wishes of ten-year-olds are very different from those of younger children who do not have the ability to visualize the serious side of wishes, with the exception of a few. Younger children, when asked what they would wish for, will come back with answers such as follows. A boy”s response: I wish I can be Batman when I grow up. A common answer from girls is the wish to be a princess.
However, as a child reaches the age of 10, he or she begins to get more serious about wishes and needs, putting more thought into it and with a growing realization at this age, of the seriousness of life. Therefore, a 10-year-old living in a ‘have” society in a family with one or more siblings and parents who are committed to each other would probably wish for material goods such as the latest X-box or tech toy. Or, wish for a younger brother or sister to be not so annoying. If there is an elderly grandparent with an illness, a cognitive ten-year-old could wish for his grandparent to get better.
Caption: 10 Year Old Yemen Boys in a War Zone
A ten-year-old child living in poverty, possibly in a war zone and of an ethnic group that has been marginalized by an oppressive government would wish for a semblance of order in his or her life; perhaps for the father to find work, the mother to not be so worried and afraid. Though he or she may not be able to articulate it, they would probably wish for any of the following with any three of the following in their top three.
To not be hungry
To not live in fear
To have clean, running water.
To have some nice clothes
To feel happy
To live in a nice house with toilet facilities
We, in our comfortable homes living under democratically elected governments, take all in the above list, so much for granted.
If you have comments or thoughts on this post, please contact me. I am a big advocate of the rights of children and am always interested in communicating with people with the same interest.
Post Image Credit: Bill Wegener, Unsplash