Many years ago when my children were small, I found the treatise on parenting seen below. I wanted to save it and keep it somewhere I could see it as a reminder. The craft of decoupage was popular then, so it ended up on a piece of wood. That piece of wood with the message is gone. But I made sure to copy and saved this message in electronic form.
I didn’t parent perfectly and there’s always going to be some baggage, I suppose. I carried my own briefcase full of blues into adult life, after all. Surely, one can hope.
“Children Learn What They Live”
When children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
When children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
When children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
When children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
When children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
When children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
When children live with security, they learn to have faith.
When children live with fairness, they learn justice.
When children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
When children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
When children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.
We aren’t given guarantees. That’s because there’s no simple mathematical formula for treating every child the same. And of course, “Life Happens,” throwing monkey wrenches into our well-oiled systems.
But this is a good start at any placeyou find yourself in parenting. Perhaps if we take these statements to heart and act on them, we’ll even see relationships change with our adult children.
Father in heaven, today we pray you’ll remind us of the extraordinary gift you gave when you gave us children. Please help us to guide all of them the same way you guide and teach us. Show us Your example and empower us in these important roles of parent and influencer to children.