Friday, April 15, 2011

Children Learn What They Live


So here's the story that caused me to pick up this book today... and I'm not saying I'm proud of it.

After a day of solid fighting and total disrespect I had each kid in a neutral corner. Kids and mom needed a time out. After we all calmed down, I informed them that we were all going to work out the extra energy we had by cleaning the house. After all we have energy to fight, we have energy to clean. Just as I finish my parental speech, I look up to see my daughter's eyes roll and lips mimic me silently. Well Hot cross buns!!! I've never felt so capable of hurdling my kitchen breakfast counter and wringing her little 8 yo neck. I told her so and then commenced to wearing that butt out with chores.

Later, a large mosquito followed hubby in from the garden. It circled Little Pixie and disappeared. She began panicking that it was on her back ~ Is it on me?!? she yells ~ twisting and turning to try and actually see her own back. In my mommy brain I envision myself, hands on my hips, rolling eyes and silently moving my lips in hysterical mime.  But I resist. Hopefully that last shred of maturity pays off one day.

Anyway, the book is based upon this poem:

Children Learn What They LiveBy Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
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 patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte


Jeanette said...

I want to read that as well...will you share? :)

And I have always loved that Children Learn What They Live 'poem'. So true.

Jennifer said...

I taped it to my bathroom mirror as a reminder. Wonderful. And you my friend can read this book as soon as I'm finished with it ~ it's at your local library :-) Check it out! *pun intended..

Barb said...

LOVE that poem. I don't think I've ever seen the whole thing before, just bits and pieces. Thanks for posting it. I may look in my library for that book, though I've sworn off reading parenting books. I used to read them constantly - lol.

Jennifer said...

Oh I know I swore off of them too Barb! I felt like every one I read just said, "If you tried harder you wouldn't have this problem!" Thus far I haven't found this book to be like that. It's much more inspirational than how-to. Thank heavens!!