Creating Tomorrow Today
Creating Tomorrow Today
Hugh Mckay, in his latest book, “What Makes us Tick”, tells us that human nature is ruled by a Law of Reciprocity. He means that I will treat others the way they treat me; or how I think they are going to treat me, or how people have treated me in the past.
He explains that this is why the persecuted often turn into ruthless persecutors, why people who were bullied often become bullies themselves. And why people who were criticised as children can become harsh critics of others.
It can lead to terrible consequences, or be a force of great good, depending on the environment they experienced in childhood.
It seems to me this has great implications for how we parent; what kind of environment will we create for our children today; so that tomorrow they will become agents of respect, and care for others?
How will my children know that they and others are worthy of respect? By being respected themselves.
How will children know how to handle someone who has a different opinion from their own? By having adults around who are willing to listen, and who are interested in what they think, and who role-model calm and honest ways of expressing their differences.
Are you quick to disagree?
Are you quick to tell your child they’re wrong? Or silly? Or they don’t know what they are talking about? Or do you enjoy the fact that they are thinking for themselves- and encourage them to think some more?
Today I saw a friend’s home video on face-book. Their baby girl was taking her first steps. She wobbled, took a few faltering steps, then fell into mum’s waiting arms. Both mum and baby squealed and laughed with delight at this wonderful achievement!!
The next attempt was not quite as successful and the little one did a big face-plant before reaching mum’s arms.
What I loved was that mum did not criticise, scold, or reprove. She just enjoyed this wonderful moment of learning and growth. This little girl will be left with an inner warmth, a message that she’s ok, that she can have a go at new things, and that someone will be there to enjoy the moment with her; to encourage and celebrate, and help her to have another go.
I wonder why we lose that joy and celebration of our kids? I wonder why it is so often replaced with criticism, disapproval, a nasty tone of voice, or maybe just an annoyed sigh when they “get in the way”.
Maybe we should consider the kind of future we are.