This musing I wrote a few years ago, but I think it still holds quite true.
Setting the Tone, From the Beginning.
One of the reasons that I am an avid student of human behavior, is that human beings are the most interesting creation that God ever put on the planet. The sheer creativity of the human mind and spirit continually blow me away. Sometimes it is as I listen to a wonderful piece of music that I marvel that someone could actually create something like that. Sometimes, as I type on my keyboard and try to imagine the level of imagination it must have taken to develop the computer, and all of the visionaries that took the technology and made it accessible to almost everyone in the world, I am simply blown away. Clearly, we can be visionary when we desire. Sometimes that vision is born from necessity -- how do we bring down that wild beast so that we can eat. Sometimes that vision is born from a celebration of the spirit -- and the result can be anything from a wonderful peaceful moment with ourselves to an expression in the arts that touches the soul of the world.
When we are of our best selves, we are creative, nurturing beings, exuding positive energy that feeds the cycles of the world in the best ways possible. Amazing power we possess. And amazing gifts we are given. And we also have awesome responsibilities.
One of the greatest responsibilities is the one that we have with our children. As I look at all the recent incidents of school violence and violence in general, my observation is that we are waiting too late to accept our responsibility to our children. I hate the expression that people use when referring to children as "shorties." Children are not short adults. They are CHILDREN. They need our input and our guidance from the VERY beginning. Think about it. From the day that they make their first appearance on the planet until age 3, children go from being totally dependent on someone for survival to being able to crawl and to then walk -- from not being able to communicate at all to being able to understand and imitate, and ultimately talk -- from not being able to make any decisions to being able to evaluate their surroundings and let us know clearly when they do not want to do something. They learn to control their bodies to take care of their basic needs, like feeding themselves and going to the bathroom. There is no other time in a human's life when there is so much learning and development happening. This is the time when children need our attention, guidance and love the most. And how we, as the adults and stewards of that development, lovingly develop our children during this time sets the tone for the rest of the child's life. So take the time on the front end, and teach your child to learn. It will make your life as a parent much easier in the long run.
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