An Inspirational Poem About Parenting

I came across this poem on a teaching course ages ago and it’s always stuck with me. Sometimes, when I was having a stressful, difficult day and I was finding it hard to remain calm and positive with the children, it helped to read this – to remind myself that these are some of the things the children might be living with, and also that I could have a really positive effect on their way of looking at the world.

It’s a simple but powerful message: that children learn from what they live with.

Children Learn What They Live

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 fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity, your child will live with peace of mind.

With what is your child living?

(by Dorothy Law Nolte)

I’d love to hear what you think about this poem, or if you have any other parenting poems or inspiration to pass on.  I’ll be posting my list of favourite quotes about play soon.

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