January 12, 2020
It’s extraordinarily difficult thinking about children growing up – which is weird when you consider how much we talk about it. We jokingly ask when it’ll be time for them to move out and start imagining their careers, based on precious little evidence. “Oh, look at little Humphrey with his crayons, he’s going to be an artist!” But try to imagine it, properly – your little kid all grown up and leading a life independent of you – and it doesn’t quite work. You end up picturing a zoomed-in toddler in a lab coat or a little kid wearing a false moustache.
Here’s Why It’s So Hard To Think About Our Kids Growing Up
What’s going on? Why can’t we do it? “It’s just very hard to picture the future,” says existential psychologist Professor Emmy van Duerzen. “Very few of us actually project ourselves into the future for anything more than a couple of weeks – and doing it on behalf of other people is almost impossible. That kind of time travel in your own mind is very hard.” 
Hindsight helps, she points out, which is why grandparents find it easier to picture their cute little grandchildren as spotty, surly teens or even fully grown. But they have the memory of raising their own kids to draw on. “It is by processing our past experience and learning that we become more capable of creating this imaginative fantasy universe with some predictive realism.”
When little Hyacinth stacks her blocks, that doesn’t mean she’s going to be an architect then? “That has no truth value at all,” says Professor van Duerzen – ie. not necessarily “But it is nevertheless a game people like to play, engaging with that process of turning something in the present into potential for the future.”
This isn’t a bad thing though. “That potentiality is an unknown country, but it is the largest space that we have in our minds, especially when we are relatively young. When you’re suggesting your child will be a scientist, or an architect, or anything, you are promoting different pathways into the future for them – the more of those that you try out, the easier it will be for them to have the confidence that they can explore these many paths.”Becoming a parent is such an enormous shift that for a while the role feels all-defining. The demands of a young child mean pretty much every element of a new parent’s life changes. This adds another complication to imagining the future. A grown-up child doesn’t need you (or at least not in the same way), something that’s mind-boggling to take in at a stage when your whole life is dictated by their every requirement.
“Right now your child is the core of your life, and your life is utterly defined by looking after them and protecting them,” says Professor van Duerzen. “That’s made your life full, in a demanding way, so it takes up all your mind space. That makes it difficult to picture yourself letting go of your child, allowing them independence and filling a more distant role.”
It’s quite a heartbreaking thought, which is where the gradual passage of time comes in – nobody’s toddler is about to bid them farewell and move in with some buddies across town.
“Every month will bring that bit more independence, and that will change you as well,” says Professor Emmy van Duerzen. “[Parenting] is a weird thing – you give it everything you’ve got, and your child takes it and moves on, and you’re left with everything you’ve learned, transformed into something quite different. These little ones define us for years on end, and then you have to let them go.”Something happens when your kids grow up, of course: you get older too. And, when you get old enough, you die. This is where the idea comes in that it isn’t necessarily just that we can’t think about the future, but that we won’t.
There’s a theory known as terror management theory, which suggests everything we do and ascribe significance to is pretty much a way of avoiding thinking about the inevitability of dying. Famously, in Freudian psychology, everything ultimately is about sex – TMT is that but for death, suggesting our primary motivator in every action is trying to block out the inevitable. You’ll change, your child will change, your relationship will change."Professor van Duerze“I am sure the theories I work with would suggest it is a block, or what terror management theory calls a ‘proximal defence’,” says Dr Arnaud Wisman, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Kent, who has studied the methods people use to escape thoughts of mortality. “Basically a conscious type of defence related to denial and suppression.”
On a less conscious level, says Dr Wisman, according to the TMT, this increases our efforts to do something ‘meaningful’. 
“When we feel meaningful we feel less mortal and manage to keep anxiety at bay. There are many ways to achieve this. Some people believe in heaven, others in becoming famous or very successful. In my research I argue that one can also have a pint or two – if we escape the ‘self’ we do not worry about mortality – with the note that such a solution is less permanent and only works temporarily”. 
While picturing the reality of our children all grown up may be difficult and even upsetting, if you’re finding it hard, remember it’s of minimal value given how unknowable it all is. They’ll grow up how they grow up. 
“We are as good parents as we are flexible,” says Professor van Duerzen. “You’ll change, your child will change, your relationship will change. We can’t be impatient and think too much about the future, but just go with the flow.”More by Mike Rampton No Joke: The Scientific Tricks To Making A Child Laugh These Metal Dads Are A Bunch Of Massive Softies – And We Love It Don't 'Tell Off' Your Kids, Say Experts – Here's What You Should Do Instead
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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