The Making of a Better Decade 1 & 2
Using the Decade-Calendar View – Part 2
For these next installments we’ve broken the decades down into three different segments:
1 – Decades 1-2 (0-19): The Out-of-My-Control Decades
2 – Decades 3-8 (20-79): The Peak Performance Decades
3 – Decades 9-10 (80+): The Finish-line Decades
We will begin with the first two decades, the out-of-my-control decades. In the movie The Matrix, which I love, there’s a famous quote. “Everything that has a beginning has an end.” In this lesson, we will start with the beginning. Every life has a starting point and we’ve seen it occur numerous times because it is a normal, natural occurrence. A baby is born and we don’t begin counting their age until their first birthday. Hence the reason we begin this decade at 0 and it ends at 9 for the complete decade, 10 years. Regardless of how we count their age, there are a few things one must consider.
Decades 1-2 (0-19): The Out-of-My-Control Decades
Decade 1 (age 0-9) and 2 (age 10-19) isn’t one that’s in your control. There’s not much you can do with this one on your own.
The first two decades are really out of your control, your parents have the responsibility for setting the course for your first two decades (0-19). It’s only when you become a licensed teenager that you can truly begin to live alone in decade-2, but it rarely occurs at this time. In thinking about it from a calendar view perspective, it’s up to your parents to begin the plan for your first two decades. A person will, during decade-2 however, begin to have some input into her or his decade-2 activities.
- Decade 1 (age 0-9)
In decade-1 (0-9), a person typically is parent dependent, begins daycare or some type of childcare, and is involved in grade school along with other grade school extracurricular activities such as Sunday school or children’s ministry. At this stage of life, it should remain pretty straightforward with the normal cuts and bruises a child gets from time to time. However, if introduced to activities that should be experienced in subsequent decades, this will devastate childhood as we know it. It would be like taking a second grader and placing him on the high school varsity football team. If you think about it for a moment, you can think of a number of folks you know that have been displaced into an inappropriate decade’s activity. For example, think of those individuals who have been preyed upon by older adults, or those who’ve been forced to take care of a sibling, or those who’ve gone unwanted by a parent with no place to live. These are the types of experiences that can derail decade-1. For this lesson, we’re not only making ourselves aware of what can go wrong, but making sure we’re not the cause for something as devastating to occur around us. As a parent to a decade-1 person, we’re to guard, protect, provide for, and direct so that decade-1 is as successful for our child as possible. In fact the goal is to give our children a jump on being more prepared, ready, and equipped to handle what’s to come, the next decade, decade-2.
- Decade 2 (age 10-19)
In decade-2 (10-19), a person typically is parent dependent until the later end of the decade. Therefore, for more than half of decade-2 a person is completely dependent.Decade-2 is one of the more critical decades in our development as a human-being. There are a lot of changes we can plan for in this decade which include, but is not limited to, the following:
- leaving elementary school
- going through puberty
- completing middle school, junior high, and senior high school,
- begin the college years or post-high school era
- learn to drive
- learn to earn for serve or work rendered, and
- develops self-reliance.
Obviously, there’s a lot that can happen in a decade, but decade-2 is as unique as they get. Most of the important activities and habits for a person are built in decade-2 and it’s up to us to plan to make the most of them. You can build your calendar around making these experiences the best for your decade-2 child so that they experience them in a much better way than you experienced.
Let’s discuss the challenges that one can face while in decade-2. We see challenges in decade-2, when a person has lingering behaviors from decade-1. Ancient scripture says that childhood is something that must be put off ; it doesn’t just go away on its own. Some individuals are allowed to let decade-1 behaviors and activities bleed over into decade-2. This decision whether intentional or not tends to result in a person who is behind. Behind in what? Behind in what’s necessary to be as effective and successful in decade-2. Recall that each decade builds upon the other. It’s like in math, the lessons learned from last year are needed to understand the lessons being taught this year. If you missed the previous lesson, you’ll need to do some remedial work because you have to make up for being behind. How many people do you know that have to make up from being behind because they got their decades out of sync? This is not to say they have a disability or aren’t smart enough. It simply means someone allowed them to get behind. Don’t let this happen to your children who have little control of their decade-2.
Then there is when the out of sync decade goes in the other direction. What does it look like for decade-3 or greater activities to bleed over into decade-2. Here’s one you see fairly often. And that’s when a person starts a family; we simply say they get pregnant. Please don’t take that statement the wrong way. I’m not here to make a judgment call or say what’s best for humanity, but I would like to leave you with a thought. When you bring decade-3 (or greater) level activities into decade-2, one must be fully prepared to handle it as if they were in decade-3 (or greater) otherwise they will need some help that might not be as available as it otherwise would be.
Staying with the example of starting a family, when you start a family while in school, you need additional support from others, like your parents. Because the activity or experience is out of sync, then it impacts more than just you. In fact, a decision of that nature could keep one for finishing school or ever completing college. It can force one to stop self-developing because now you have to be focused on developing another. Now you can see how such a decision can not only impact the current decade, but even decades thereafter. The key here is to not be discouraged, but I’d like to encourage you to think decades so that no matter what happens to you or the decisions you make, you know what you should be planning for from the impact of your decade impacting decisions.
We don’t have enough time to go into every area impacted, but I think you can get the point of what can occur in decade-1 & 2 when the decades get out of sync. But more importantly, the thought pattern of what you need to plan against if this shows its face in your world or any one in your world. In our next installment, we will move on to the peak performance decades and see how these decades can be impacted as well as what’s to be anticipated.
Question: what one thing would you lookout for knowing that a decade can be impacted?