So what have I learned?

I saw this poem on my cousin’s wall back in the 1970’s:

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 fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.

If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.

***** (division mine)

I grew up in the first part of this poem. Constant criticism and verbal abuse formed me into a twisted jar of clay. Mix in some physical abuse in the early years, and you have a human being formed into a bowl of Jello, having no real sense of self or well-being, with a steel covering for protection.

Sadly, the walls that protect are the same walls that keep out healing.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.

If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.

If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.

If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.

If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.

With what is your child living?

–by Dorothy Law Nolte

 

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2 thoughts on “So what have I learned?

  1. Unfortunately I lived through a lot of things in the first poem as well. And also unfortunately I carried some of that over into my own parenting. I have tried to remedy some of that but I see the lasting effects of it in my own daughter which makes me sad. I would hope I could do better as a grandparent if she ever has children..

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