Monday, May 25, 2009

children are people too!

"if there is something we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves"- carl jung

this quote sums up my thoughts on children completely. i see a disrespect and sense of ownership towards most kids, and it breaks my heart. i am not talking about spanking, or time-outs, or any other punitive measure the majority of people in America use, but the general attitude behind all of it.

i have yet to figure out why, if parents/grandparents say they want to spend time with their children/grandchildren, when it comes time to actually being together, the adult usually ends up chastising the child, and the child ends up in tears. for not playing the proper way, for not "staying inside the lines", for not posing just so for the photo, for "being sassy"... the list is endless. next time, why not step back and watch the child at play? marvel at the ingenuity and creativity that is naturally intrinsic. why not sit back and see how cleverly kids can work out problems themselves, instead of directing how they are playing together.

children are resourceful and capable beings, they do not need nearly as much "help" as we assume. let them figure out how to put on their shoes, dress themselves, feed themselves, cook with you... when we do these things for them, usually out of impatience or inconvenience for ourselves, we take away the child's independence and will to try something new in the future!

children are not malicious, nor do they have the capacity for manipulation or deception. curiosity is not equal to impertinence. (sidenote: honestly, i'd rather have an impertinent child who thinks for herself, than a "good girl", who does not question anything.)

simply put, there is never a reason for an adult to make a child feel badly about himself. when i am with my daughters, i want them to feel huge and confident and complete in themselves, not belittled or shamed.

steps to take towards respecting children
from john holt: the needs and rights of children.

-being genuinely courteous towards a child, using the same tones you would towards an adult
-not treating a child like a servant and demanding from him favors or services that we would not think of asking of someone our own age
-respecting and protecting the child's right to privacy, that means privacy of thought as well as space. (People who really like hearing what their children have been doing don't usually have to ask them.)


Anita Ann said...

Hey, I skipped on over here from Vanessa's blog. I was reading they Mothering thing about independant play, there are many ways to look at it. In the back of my mind, a kid who plays on there own a lot triggers an alert in my brain. I have one autistic child and finally now that he is almost 7 will play with others. Kids are beautiul beings. I kno what you mean about kids being chastized for living outside the lines.

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