Shaping children?

The following is a poem I saw posted on a classroom wall the other day.

Children Live What They Learn 

By Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with Criticism – He learns to condemn           

If a child lives with hostility – He learns violence

If a child lives with ridicule – He learns to be shy

If a child lives with shame – He learns to feel guilty

If a child lives with encoragement – He learns confidence

If a child lives with praise – He learns to appreciate

If a child lives with fairness – He learns justice

If a child lives with security – He learns faith

If a child lives with approval – He learns to like himself

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship – He learns to love the world.

What do you think about this poem?

With this in mind how concerned should we be about outside influences (friends, social structures, music, media)  – Does the home invironment automatically overpower these other influences in shaping our children?

What about kids from broken homes…. How can we be influences in their lives helping to reshape them?


5 thoughts on “Shaping children?

  1. I like the poem and I think there is a lot of truth to it. I do think we need to be careful of outside influences on our kids, and I don’t think the home influence automatically overpowers it.

    I am fortunate that I didn’t come from a broken home, but I can see how this could greatly affect the shaping of a child. I sit next to a guy at work who has a son of about 11 years old. The mother and he are divorced. I always find myself feeling sorry for the kid because of the negative energy his dad and mom have toward each other. I see how he is torn and often “used” as a tool to coerce the other parent. It is really sad.

    But, I don’t think this is always the case. I think kids from broken families can overcome and parents in that situation can work together for the good of their child(ren). And, like the saying goes, “It takes a village…”. If the parent surrounds him or herself with a good group of people that will support and list them up, it will be a big help in raising the kids.

  2. Hi Darrell,
    Praise God this poem is getting out of the classroom! As a retired teacher, I always looked at this poem when my children were successful. I wanted to know what I contributed too encourage their success too continue. I was even more interested in how the poem could help me with the struggling, shy, angry, and disengaged child. Just when I’d let out a big sigh and ask God to show me another way, he’d lead me to this poem and reenergize me to continue trying.

    You can use the greatest and most up to date teaching methods out there, however if they are not taught with love, patience, and understanding they will go in one ear and out the other.

    If you think about it, children spend more time with their teacher and in their classroom than they do with their parents on a daily (Monday through Friday basis. I always found my children were the most successful and responsive when I treated the children like one big family. I couldn’t save ever;yone, however I know I touched some. I wonder if God feels the same way as my last sentence.

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