Children learn from how they live...
Many moons ago, I came across a very special, little ditty, written by the American writer and family counsellor, Dorothy Law Nolte. Sadly, Dorothy passed away in 2005 at nearly 82 years of age – you may well have come across a number of variations to what follows with each line possibly pulling a heartstring as you think about your own childhood.
Working with clients who, for whatever reason, missed out on their early childhood years, yet today appear to function as highly competent and successful individuals, it never ceases to amaze me how often, just by reciting the lines below, a few tears seem to be shed by many of them:
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn,
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight,
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy,
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty,
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient,
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns be confident
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate,
If a child lives with fairness, he learns about justice,
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith,
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself,
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.
“Children Learn What They Live”, Dorothy Law Nolte (1924 – 2005)
So, as the summer holidays continue, coming close to an end, and we think about the start of yet another school year, however happy you think your childhood was, I hope this provides a gentle reminder on how best to support your own children.
As they grow up and start to discover the world in their unique way, here’s to them being lucky enough to simply be guided by us and loved totally unconditionally, unleashing nothing but pure potential…