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Friday, July 01, 2011

Children Learn What They Live

While not much is going on this summer - nothing fantastic, nothing too hectic - it seems like I am getting too  emotional thanks to visiting my family. After my last trip to India in 2009, I am seeing my parents only now... while intellectually I can understand aging, I refuse to accept it when it comes to my parents.

Anyway, my dad had sent me these words, something that he came across on the web a while back, when we were talking about what 'discipline', 'obedience', and 'respect' meant to him as a parent and how it has evolved from his generation to today's.

My dad used to say, Command respect, Don't Demand It and 'command' of course in this context equates to 'earn'.

In an unrelated note, by coincidence, I recently read Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin and while the book is a bit of a disappointment thanks to its morbid tones and weak plot, the writing is brilliant as always with strong social commentary. And, I was struck by a simple dialog between Ged (G as in guest, not ginger) and Tenar about Tenar's ward Therru:
"How she's changing!" she said. "I can't keep up with her. I'm old to be bringing up a child. And she . . . She obeys me, but only because she wants to."

"It's the only justification for obedience," Ged observed.

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

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.

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At 7:15 PM, Blogger Vibha said...

so meaningful and so true Sheela.


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