This is back to school week where I live.

Yesterday I was sitting next to a group of parents in a coffee shop who I think had just dropped their children off at school.

The parents were jittery and excited. The tone was stressed and the volume high. I had no trouble over hearing.

They were worried about their children getting things right at school. One said that they would have to be organized and other said it was self-discipline that was necessary for success.

Another parent felt that being popular with peers was the way to be successful in school while still another said that children needed a balance to be successful students. A combination of schoolwork and sports or physical activity was what would help her child manage her year well.

All points worth considering, yet I left after a while feeling sad that courage was never mentioned.

No one said how difficult it is to be a child or a young person and be subjected to the enormous pressures that that time of life brings with it.

No one mentioned the power of the group and the huge force that children and teens have to cope with to fit in, to be popular and accepted.

No one mentioned how children need to be able to reflect and process and how they need a safe place to be able to ask questions and search for answers.

No one said that the ability for a child to be a questioning, searching individual is fundamental.

Children need to know that everything that they hear from friends, from teachers and certainly from social media that constantly pounds on them needs to be examined and questioned.

No one mentioned the value of decency, fairness, respect or kindness.