“Treat your child as the person you know they are capable of becoming.” (quote from Haim Ginott)
Sometimes as parents we doubt whether anything we say or do to try and influence our kids is actually working. If it’s a particularly bad day we catastrophize that not only have we failed to do this but that they will end up being an axe-murderer.
There are tons of articles about how self-centred and selfish the current generation is. Quite often I hear stories from parents that say different and here’s one:
My friend went to her 12 year old daughter’s school. It was for a talk given by an inspirational speaker called William Pike. William told the children about how he had endured a shocking ordeal. He was caught in a volcanic explosion while on a trip with his friends. He became trapped in the freezing cold. Critically injured and not knowing if he would be rescued he thought about his life and kept his spirits up by dreaming of what he would do if he survived. It is a heart-wrenching account. The powerful way the story was delivered had the children riveted.
At the end of the talk many of the children put their hand up to ask a question including my friend’s daughter. My friend admitted that she panicked slightly, thinking it might ask one of those mildly embarrassing, trivial questions that children often ask. In the end her daughter didn’t get to ask her question so she was a bit relieved.
At home later that night her daughter said “I wanted to know whether, if he had the choice, would he rather have his leg back or have his life the way it is now”. That’s a pretty insightful question. So my friend felt that she had underestimated her daughter that day and instead she got to see a glimpse of the person her daughter might become. So let’s try and treat our children as the people they are capable of becoming and we will help them to become that person.