September 18

Today's quotation:

All children wear the sign:  "I want to be important NOW."
Many of our juvenile delinquency problems arise
because nobody reads the sign.

Dan Pursuit

Today's Meditation:

It concerns me to consider how many times I might have missed reading such a sign.  Perhaps that kid acting up last week was just starved for attention, waiting for someone to notice him.  And perhaps that little girl has received positive attention so rarely that she's not quite sure how to ask for it.  But since the way that we treat children is part of our contribution to the world, I try to keep in mind that my encouragement and praise can have a much broader effect than just making the child feel good for the moment--it can add a sense of confidence and self-respect to the child's psyche that can never be taken away.

It can, though it won't necessarily do so.  It depends upon how I give it, and how it's received.  It depends upon whether I encourage again, later, or turn around and criticize and discourage later.

Children are works in progress--works of art, if we allow them to be so and help them to be so.

It's remarkable how much effect our sharing of positive energy can have on others.  It's amazing to see how another human being can feel so much better when they receive positive input from us.  And children can do great things with that energy, for they have so much energy themselves, already--receiving our positive attention and combining that with their own enthusiasm can create a fantastic synergy.

While giving children the attention they deserve can help prevent much delinquency, that of course shouldn't be our reason for giving it.  When we give sincerely out of love--unconditionally, without expectations of return--then we can truly contribute great things to the young people in our lives. 

Questions to consider:

What kinds of attention can have positive effects on children?

What kinds of attention hurt children?

How good are you at seeing the signs on children?

For further thought:

What's done to children,
they will do to society.

Karl Menninger

  

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