While I was growing up, my next-door neighbor had this poem on a poster in the kids’ room. By the time I was a teenager, I was their babysitter. One time, while putting them to bed (after the lights were out) I asked them if they knew the words to the poem on the wall. It was so cute, all three of them reciting this thing in the dark.
I don’t know them anymore but often wonder if those kids had kids and whether they thought about this thing while raising them.
For me, these are probably the most important things I know about parenting.
Children Learn What They Live
BY DOROTHY LAW NOLTE
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 ridicule,
He learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
He learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
He learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
He learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
He learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
He learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
He learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
He learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
He learns to find love in the world.