As readers in this blog well know, I am an advocate for raising children gently, with love and beauty so that their childhoods are imbued with all the good things. We don’t need to treat our children rough to model the real tough adult world. In my 30 year experience as a mother and as a 48 year old woman, I have met fragile adults who are products of tough parents, adults whose inner child has not had the opportunity to grow in love. These adults grow to have a tough exterior that conceals the wounded child within.
Human beings are like tree trunks – we need to build the strength layer by layer, from inside out. We need to nurture the inner child first, to make him/her feel safe for him/her to have the courage to grow.
Drawing from www.buddhadoodles.com
My children’s father and I face criticisms that we do not teach our children how to live in the real, harsh world. That is wholly unjustified if you met my older kids. Anyway, this is our youngest daughter, Georgina, a few days ago, in Lisbon. She was learning the navigate her way around this city, speaking in Portuguese to the locals asking for directions, finding her way round the public transport system. Her father and I hover behind her, not interfering but ready to step in if and when she needed us to. In any case, she managed perfectly on ‘on her own’.
Now, some parents may say we should just let her find her own way. But what is the point? She learned the same lesson as she would if she had just been dumped, but only in a gentler, less harsh way, so that her soul is unmarked by the harshness of the world as long as we can possibly manage.