I am reminded this week of a beautiful quote by Louis Pasteur:
When I approach a child
He inspires in me two sentiments:
Tenderness for what he is,
And respect for what he may become.
There is nothing more beautiful to me than the innocence of a child. I am reminded that the environment that I create and the interactions that I have with that child will affect who that child becomes. It is an awesome responsibility.
Children only have one childhood and adults only have one chance to get it right. While I do believe that adults understand this, I do not believe that we allow that sobering thought to guide every decision we make for our children. I firmly believe that if we did, we would all make different decisions on a daily basis. I know that I wish I could go back and redo some decisions and mistakes I made with my own precious children. Life does not allow us that luxury. We put our imprint on them while they are young and it stays.
As parents, educators, and influential adults, we must carefully weigh each decision we make and how it impacts any child in our life. Every child deserves respect, kindness, a chance to be heard and understood, and an environment that is safe and nurturing. I challenge us all to weigh our decisions as we make them, so that when we reflect, we have no regrets.
Don’t assume your child feels loved, safe, or understood. Take the time to talk, give a hug, or offer reassurance. If you have made mistakes, correct them and start over. Try not to rush through any stage of development. Some stages might feel more frustrating to you than others but each one has beautiful moments. Find a way to savor those moments and celebrate them, your child will benefit from that positive exchange with you.
Parents are the most important people in a child’s life. Use your power wisely… “Tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become” with YOUR help and guidance.