I don't believe that children can develop in a healthy way unless they feel that they have value apart from anything they own or any skill that they learn. They need to feel they enhance the life of someone else, that they are needed. Who, better than parents, can let them know that?
A young apprentice applied to a master carpenter for a job. The older man asked him, "Do you know your trade?" "Yes, sir!" the young man replied proudly. "Have you ever made a mistake?" the older man inquired. "No, sir!" the young man answered, feeling certain he would get the job. "Then there's no way I'm going to hire you," said the master carpenter, "because when you make one, you won't know how to fix it.
My friendship with Mitzi was like the friendship that many children have with their pets. My mother and father thought it was "good for me" to have a dog for a companion. Well it was good for me, but it was only many years after she died that I began to understand how good it was, and why.
I believe that at the center of the universe there dwells a loving spirit who longs for all that’s best in all of creation, a spirit who knows the great potential of each planet as well as each person, and little by little will love us into being more than we ever dreamed possible. That loving spirit would rather die than give up on any one of us.
Parenting forces us to get to know ourselves better than we ever might have imagined we could--and in many new ways. . . . We'll discover talents we never dreamed we had and fervently wish for others at moments we feel we desperately need them. As time goes on, we'll probably discover that we have more to give and can give more than we ever imagined. But we'll also find that there are limits to our giving, and that may be hard for us to accept.
If you like to make things out of wood, or sew, or dance, or style people's hair, or dream up stories and act them out, or play the trumpet, or jump rope, or whatever you really love to do, and you love that in front of your children, that's going to be a far more important gift than anything you could ever give them wrapped up in a box with ribbons.
Of course, I get angry. Of course, I get sad. I have a full range of emotions. I also have a whole smorgasbord of ways of dealing with my feelings. That is what we should give children. Give them ... ways to express their rage without hurting themselves or somebody else. That's what the world needs.
We've forgotten what it's like not to be able to reach the light switch. We've forgotten a lot of the monsters that seemed to livein our room at night. Nevertheless, those memories are still there, somewhere inside us, and can sometimes be brought to the surface by events, sights, sounds, or smells. Children, though, can never have grown-up feelings until they've been allowed to do the growing.
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?... It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood, A neighborly day for a beauty. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?... I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So, let's make the most of this beautiful day. Since we're together we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor? Won't you please, Won't you please? Please... Read more »
Music is the one art we all have inside. We may not be able to play an instrument, but we can sing along or clap or tap our feet. Have you ever seen a baby bouncing up and down in the crib in time to some music? When you think of it, some of that baby's first messages from his or her parents may have been lullabies, or at least the music of their speaking voices. All of us have had the experience of hearing a tune from childhood and having that melody evoke a memory or a feeling. The... Read more »
The very best reason parents are so special . . . is because we are the holders of a priceless gift, a gift we received from countless generations we never knew, a gift that only we now possess and only we can give to our children. That unique gift, of course, is the gift of ourselves. Whatever we can do to give that gift, and to help others receive it, is worth the challenge of all our human endeavor.
The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society that support those values, command our love. When those things that we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged. And what a healthy thing that is! Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe.
I wonder if we might pledge ourselves to remember what life is really all about—not to be afraid that we're less flashy than the next, not to worry that our influence is not that of a tornado, but rather that of a grain of sand in an oyster! Do we have that kind of patience?
When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.
Most of us, I believe, admire strength. It's something we tend to respect in others, desire for ourselves, and wish for our children. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we confuse strength with other words—like 'aggression' and even 'violence'. Real strength is neither male nor female; but it is, quite simply, one of the finest characteristics that a human being can possess.
The presence of a grandparent confirms that parents were, indeed, little once, too, and that people who are little can grow to be big, can become parents, and one day even have grandchildren of their own. So often we think of grandparents as belonging to the past; but in this important way, grandparents, for young children, belong to the future.
More and more I've come to understand that listening is one of the most important things we can do for one another. Whether the other be an adult or a child, our engagement in listening to who that person is can often be our greatest gift. Whether that person is speaking or playing or dancing, building or singing or painting, if we care, we can listen.
I wonder what memories of yours will persist as you go on in life. My hunch is that the most important will have to do with feelings of loving and being loved - friends, family, teachers, shopkeepers - whoever's been close to you. As you continue to grow, you'll find many ways of expressing your love and you'll discover more and more ways in which others express their love for you.
And those handmade presents that children often bring home from school: They have so much value! The value is that the child put whatever he or she could into making them. The way we parents respond to the giving of such gifts is very important. To the child the gift is really self, and they want so much for their selves to be acceptable, to be loved.
How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements... and into dreams that we can make come true.
Part of the problem with the word 'disabilities' is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can't feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real... Read more »
One way to think about play, is as the process of finding new combinations for known things--combinations that may yield new formsof expression, new inventions, new discoveries, and new solutions....It's exactly what children's play seems to be about and explains why so many people have come to think that children's play is so important a part of childhood--and beyond.