“Children Learn What They Live” is a poem that has been around a very long time. I have included a short version in this blog for those who are not familiar with it. I believe that we sometimes make parenting so much more difficult than it has to be. I believe that every parent wants to be a good parent. Every parent wants to raise a child who becomes a loving, caring, and productive member of society. So often we drag our troubled children to professionals “to be fixed,” and yet we are unwilling to look inside our own lives at what we could improve. We resist changes that would create the right environment for our children to become what we dream they could become.
More often than not, our children become who we ARE…not what we TELL them to become. Read this beautiful poem and perhaps take a personal inventory. Determine who you want your children to become and then work hard to BE that person. You will be astonished at the changes you will see, even in the youngest child! Good parenting is truly about being the best that you can be and being honest about what your children experience daily. Great parenting doesn’t just happen. It requires a personal dedication to excellence. I do not mean perfection…but rather a genuine commitment to make adjustments in one’s self as needed.
Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte
If children live with critisism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972/1975 by Dorothy Law Nolte