If children truly are the future, then we, as adults, are creating the destiny of our planet by the way we teach children to think about themselves.
The manner in which we instruct them is not a neutral issue. It means everything.
We simply cannot afford to talk to children as if they are mere children. We must speak to them as if the fate of Earth’s evolution is in their hands.
When we speak to children as if they are stupid or hopeless, they internalize our attitude as THE truth about who they are.
My Mother never told me “you’re bad”, but she did say “You’re better than that.” My Father never said “you’re stupid”, but he did say “You’re a bright young man. Now, start acting like it.”
My parents understood the following: Human dignity does not vary with age. A 40-year-old’s body & soul is not more worthy of respect than a 5-year-old’s body & soul. How many birthdays you’ve been lucky enough to celebrate has nothing to do with how valuable you are as a person. Dignity is timeless.
Can children be frustrating to deal with? Absolutely!
Does their youthfulness demand a special style of discipline and instruction? Of course!
Is it necessary, at times, for adults to demonstrate tough-love by establishing healthy boundaries for their children? Most definitely!
is the value of our children precious enough to warrant the extra effort it takes to always address them as if they are creatures of intrinsic value and infinite potential? I think so. And I hope you do too.
That’s today’s two cents.