February 14

Today's quotation:

And then I thought: what fools we are with our children--always plotting what we shall make of them, always planning for a future that never comes, always intent on what they may be, never accepting what they are.

Howard Vincent O'Brien

Today's Meditation:

Children are probably our least valued resource.  We tend to try to control them rather than let them be who they are, thinking that we're doing them a favor by getting them to act like everyone else, to do things in the same ways that everyone else does things.  It really is quite a shame, but we keep doing it, over and over and over.  But right now, at this moment, kids are who they are, and they're trying to become the best version of themselves, while we keep sabotaging their efforts by trying to turn them into what we think they should be.

We can't allow ourselves to be fools with our children.  After all, their futures are at stake--their happiness, their fulfillment, the reaching of their potential.  If we instill them with foolish things like fears of criticism and the desire to please others rather than following their hearts and their passions, then we're sabotaging their futures, and they simply don't deserve to have us do that.

When I work with young people (that's what I prefer to call them), I always try to find things that they're good at, and compliment them for that rather than trying to find the things they're not so good at and criticizing them or trying to "fix" them.  Right now, at this moment, they are wonderful young people with their own gifts and talents, and we get a whole lot more from our relationships with them if we allow them to be themselves, and enjoy our time with them without feeling frustration that they're not becoming what we want them to be, or what we think they should be.

Let them be who they are, and celebrate that, and love that.  If more of us adults would do this, our world will become a much more loving and caring place as new generations grow up and spread what they've learned to the new young of the world.

Questions to consider:

Why do we seem to be so intent on turning kids into what we think they should be?

In what ways can we show acceptance for the very young people in our lives?  What effects might that acceptance have?

When was the last time you simply listened to a very young person, instead of correcting and trying to "teach" while doing so?
For further thought:

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Khalil Gibran

more thoughts and ideas on children



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