Children Learn What They Live By

Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with criticism

He learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility

He learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule

He learns to be shy.

If a child lives with jealousy

He learns to feel guilty.

But if a child lives with tolerance

He learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement

He learns self-confidence.

If a child lives with praise

He learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness

He learns justice.

If a child lives with approval

He learns to like himself.

If a child lives with security

He learns to have faith.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship

He learns to find love in the world.

What are your children learning from their life experience?

To consider:

By Pamela Chan

If your child could rewrite this poem, what would she say?  Does she live with love, hate, anger, compassion, indifference, patience or irritation, for example?

What is she learning from these experiences?

How do our ideals as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles match the reality of our lived experiences with the children in our lives?

To do:

Vacations are a time for relaxation and renewal. When you return from a holiday, take the time to write down sentences (however few or many) that document what you like about your time together as a family, what you want to change and new approaches that you want to try.  Keep these notes in a safe place and review them a few weeks or months after you are back into your daily routine.

Image: painting by Jessie Wilcox Smith, an American illustrator.

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