Thursday, March 18, 2010

Children Learn What They Live

As a follow up to the previous post, I would like to share this poem by Dorothy Law Nolte.

"Children Learn What They Live"
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Very well put, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

For children, today is all about tomorrow!

For children, today is all about tomorrow. By nature, they look to the future, since so very little of life lies behind them. Everything worthwhile is “in front.” The future is waiting to happen for them.
How a child feels about his or her future has everything to do with what is going on in life today. In their mysterious and wonderful minds, children observe, absorb, and apply a tremendous amount of information from their earliest moments. They are busy discovering their world, finding their place in it, figuring out what they might do. It is a delicate and formative span of time.
(From “Too Small To Ignore” by Dr. Wess Stafford)

I find great enjoyment and satisfaction in watching children. Maybe that’s why I love my job so much. Maybe that’s why, most of the time, my job doesn’t seem like a job. Maybe that’s why I find myself asking the question, “How long will God choose to have me here, doing this?” Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying the book, “Too Small To Ignore” by Dr. Wess Stafford so much. Children are fun to study.

When Kadence and Brayden or Joey (3 of our 4 grandchildren) come to visit, I’ll find myself just watching and listening to them instead of doing the things I had set out to do around the house. It’s fun to try to place myself inside their little heads to try to follow their reasoning. The quote above truly caught my attention when I read it. It’s true.

Today is all about tomorrow for a child. What they learn today will help them through tomorrow. God planted within them the desire to learn as much as they can every waking moment. I think that’s why they often don’t want to go to sleep when they should. “I might miss something.”

Even though many parents or grand parents might dread the time when their little one becomes mobile, I look forward to it. Their little minds are like sponges, soaking in everything they come in contact with. Their senses are alert, and in tune with everything around them. They may hear something across the room that needs investigating, and as they crawl across the floor towards the sound they are stopping to check out every piece of string or plastic of mud with their eyes, nose and mouth. They file that information away for future use, without even knowing that they are doing this.

Joey gets to come visit Papa and Nana quite often, as they live close to us, so I get to watch him often. Now that he’s walking, barricades have been placed in strategic places around the house to keep him from exploring too far and falling down the stairs, or opening cupboards with dangerous chemicals in them. Breakable things have been moved up to protect him. We make these adjustments to his and our surroundings because we love him very much, and don’t want anything to harm him. Doesn’t our heavenly father do the same for you and me? Yet, Joey has the freedom to go almost everywhere he wants. We want him to learn what he can or cannot do, and how that might affect his life later. He has to learn how to make the right choices. (side note – Rick (Joey’s dad) has taught him to close doors that are open, instead of opening them to pull things out. Isn’t that a great idea? It will be fun to see how long that works.)

I still find myself learning from the little ones. I suppose that the moment I quit trying to learn from them, my heavenly father will remove me from this position. I pray that never happens.

Thank you Lord, for giving us children. Thank you, for the spirit you’ve placed within them. Thank you, for the lessons we can learn from them. Thank you, for the love they unselfishly give to us. May we always provide for them an environment that encourages them to experience your presence.