“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung …
Becoming a parent has been one of the most important learning experiences of my life. As it turns out, many of the things I felt I needed to change in the lives of my children were actually things that were best addressed by making small and meaningful changes within myself. How they would act in public, their likes and dislikes, their fondness with getting dirty or making messes–these were a source of stress and frustration to me, but also, were perhaps a reflection of how well I functioned as a parent. And as I began to approach my own shortcomings, and make more positive changes in my life–the way I spoke, the tones I used, the habits and attitudes I embraced–I began to notice those changes also happening in my children’s lives.
We should not expect children to think and act as adults do–they are children, not adults. And as teachers and guides in their lives, we should teach them important things such as respect, courtesy, compassion, integrity, and honesty. But we should not treat them as we would treat another adult–or even ourselves–when they fail. Children have to learn, they have to make their own mistakes and experience their own successes and failures, make their own discoveries and do their own learning on their own unique paths in life. And we must recognize that the things that worked for us in our life, may not necessarily work for others, especially a child.
When we give children room to learn and to grow, we become a powerful source of strength in their path in life–our words and actions become much more powerful, our lessons become a greater part of their foundations, and our message is heard much more clearly. Take the time to guide and to help the youth of this world. And when you do so, remember that often times it takes a strong example–such as changing our own self–to help encourage and direct a child on the path towards positive growth. As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Seek to allow children the ability to grow and learn unburdened by your own desired change.
Questions to consider:
What are some things you feel should be changed in children? Why?
What are some things you could change in yourself? How could you go about making these changes?
How might our desired changes in children show us a reflection of the changes we should seek in ourselves?
For further thought:
“Each child is an adventure into a better life–an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new.” ~ Hubert H. Humphrey