free as wind
A Newsletter from the Center for Sacred Psychology * Vol. II, September 1996
Children's Corner    |    Warrior's Hoop    |    Elder's Circle
Children's Corner
     In the dance of parenting there is usually little question about what the child wants.  Most parents I encounter struggle with finding the balance between allowing their child to have some of what she wants and teaching that child how to cope with the feelings that comes when she is frustrated.  In his recent work, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman writes eloquently of the research and vision indicative of what our children need. "Emotional intelligence, which includes self-control, zeal and persistence, and the ability to motivate oneself...can be taught to children, giving them a better chance to use whatever intellectual potential the genetic lottery may have given them."  This is an important thesis in a time when educators are being pressured to provide simplistic solutions for the educational needs of our children.  In an a world that is increasingly technological, the emphasis on linguistic and mathematic intelligence is understandable.  Yet the demands for self-awareness and other-awareness cannot be sacrificed.  Such education begins at home, with the most fundamental want your child has, as much positive attention as you can give.  By the time he reaches adolescence, the frustration of this want will haunt you both, whereas the fulfillment of it will be the bridge that will carry you to the joy of being co-travelers on the road of life.

   

    For those of you who have no children, consider being a part of the lives of those around you.  In my newsletter fron the Child, Youth and Family division of the APA, I read provocative statistics.  Let me translate them for you.  Imagine a classroom of twenty children in our country.  Four of those children are raised in poverty.  Five were born to single parents.  Fifteen were born to mothers who did not receive adequate prenatal care.  Only eight started school fully immunized.  If we follow that class through adolescence, seven of them will observe, or be the victim of, physical violence in the home.  If you were building a house, and this were your foundation, what would you predict for the stability and longevity of the building?

     In the current political debate it has been suggested that there was a time when we did not need a village to raise one child, that the family was enough.  If there ever was such a time which I do not believe, it is not now.  Now is the time to be involved and to serve those in need wherever you find them.  Create relationships when you can.  Act as if your action will effect the next seven generations.  Our children are our teachers.  The way we raise them creates our future.

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