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No one is too young to be treated with respect

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!

BUT…

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.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. I love this because I am a child in a way of putting it. My mother and I have had our differences but never has she called me stupid or bad or anything along the lines, but that has never stopped her from disciplining me for something that I had done. She treats me with respect and as a peer there for she gets it in return. In today’s society we have deffinately seperated the way we treat other people, whether younger or older. We think of people from a different age group with more or less respect depending on what age they may be. But regardless of age, yes, everyone deserves the respect in order for the world to advance to the future, with our next generation coming forth to help, but if we put that generation down then we lose our chance of the world really advancing. My generation has pretty much lost most reason for respect, or at least from where I live they have. I think that if the the older generations would treat us the way they expected to be treated themselves then we wouldn’t have as many issues as we do.

    1. I think you’re absolutely right, Emmy. For a child, you have a lot of insight. So, if you are any indication of what the next generation will bring to the table, then that gives me tremendous hope. I’m thankful that my parents were like yours in the sense of recognizing the compatibility between discipline and respect. I think most of the world’s problems are the result of people never having learned to love and respect themselves. I hope that more parents and authority figures awaken to the power they have in this area.

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