There is a belief among too many adults that young people, if given the opportunity to do nothing, will do nothing. It is based on an ageist, anti-youth, and often ableist mindset that children are flawed creatures and must be forced to work to overcome their inborn sloth. It is also untrue. No one is more eager to explore and learn than the youth.

A young Abromie facing away from the camera sits curled up on a yellow chair reading a graphic novel she checked out from the library. 

First, they are biologically wired to try to engage with the world and learn. The best thing adults can do is stop interfering in that natural inclination.

Two masked Abromies hanging out in the lounge playing a game of Uno. 

Second, they have less life experience so they are much more likely to find their experiences novel, and hence more likely to be excited to engage in it. Except when adults ruin it by mandating it, gamifying it, or testing it.

Third, to the extent that they do act “lazy” when given the freedom to play and learn, it is more often an inability of the adults to understand how young people learn outside of schools settings.

Finally, if they are truly slothful and want to do nothing, it is usually because they have expended too many cognitive resources performing for adults.

If adults want the young people to grow into grownups who are eager to engage with the world, to be lifelong learners, they would be wise to let the young people be free to play and learn, today.   

An Abromie, facing away, working with the Scratch programming platform for the first time.

A masked Abromie standing at a whiteboard working through some multiplication problems. 

Two masked Abromies in the kitchen working some flour for a cooking creation. 

Two masked Abromies facing the camera after they created a new dessert together.