content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: Possibilities – What Our Children Need to Hear

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Possibilities – What Our Children Need to Hear

On Oprah’s show today, Bill Cosby spoke about our children’s destiny and what we, as parents, need to do to ensure their safety and well being. He co-authored a book with Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, entitled Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors. He’s upset with the attitude of some parents and the complacency he sees today and our children are suffering from it.

There are too many young men fathering children and abandoning them and young girls turning their bodies over to prostitution. He is “calling out the dirty laundry” and is fired up and wants others to be just as upset and fired up as he. Where is it leaving the children in all of this? He repeated from another source that, “Hurt people hurt others!”

On this same show, there was a story of a young man named Bill talking about how he overcame the loss of his mother and brother who were shot to death. It was because of the support and love from his grandmother, teachers and friends that enabled him to reach for more than what he had ever known to be possible and to believe in a future and a life for him.

How can we show our children the possibilities of this world not only in successes and goals but in the spiritual truths? How can we teach them to believe in themselves and to respect one another’s right to have different ideas? These children are the future generations and we need to show them how to dream, how to have high expectations for themselves and the world and what it means to be a caretaker of our environment. Dr. Wayne Dyer in Wisdom of the Ages talks about our children, our future generations, when he quotes from Oren Lyons, known as the Onondaga Faithkeeper:

“In our way of life, in our government, with every decision we make, we always keep in mind the Seventh Generation to come. It’s our job to see that the people coming ahead,the generations still unborn, have a world no worse than ours – and hopefully better. When we walk upon Mother Earth we always plant our feet carefully because we know the faces of our future generations are looking up at us from beneath the ground. We never forget them.”
Whatever expectations we set for our children and ourselves that is only what will be achieved. Dr. Wayne Dyer in Wisdom of the Ages quoted from Michelangelo saying:

“The greater danger
for most of us
is not that our aim is
too high
and we miss it,
but that it is
too low
and we reach it.”

In today’s environment with cell phones and ipods how do we really reconnect with our children? Is it too late? Never-say-never. Our children want to be wanted by us. They want to know they can count on us and that they’re important enough to come before job, phone calls, e-mails, bills to pay. Most of them don’t know about any of those responsibilities yet.

From today’s Rocky Mountain News there’s an article written by Tina Griego about an award winning teacher in Montbello, Colorado, Linda Alston, who believes in children and it shows in her classrooms. Her expectations are high and the children always respond to it because she believes in herself and has faith in the children and the students know it. She is a teacher making a difference with young children early in their lives.

In her kindergarten classroom, all the children have jobs: a meteorologist reads the weather report, an accountant does the head count, historian marks the date, day and year, and the afternoon receptionist answers the phone. People can say and think they believe in children and have high expectations but when it comes to having the faith in them to allow them to demonstrate it they pull back.

Tina Griego in her article gives an example of this when she talks about taking you into Linda Alston’s classroom where there are plants on the children’s tables and fine china and the children are serving the guests tea. Would others have that much belief and faith in the children to allow a tea party without worrying about them making a mess? “Alston says she believes all children, not only those who are poor, not just minorities, suffer from this lack of adult faith in their capacity to learn.” If you want to read more from Linda Alston, you can check out her book entitled Why We Teach: Learning, Laughter, Love and the Power to Transform Lives.

Bottom line - that is all our children are really wanting from us – our faith and belief in them! How can we not respond and answer the call showing them all the possibilities that are available to them. All we have to do is point them to the stars and have faith in them.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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