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 ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, 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 to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship
He learns to find love in the world.
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

My Oma was my grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She was of German decent and I am only third generation from the time her parents arrived in Galveston, Texas from Germany. My Oma was my very best friend. We always shared birthdays because hers was on February 1st and mine on February 2nd.

I spent a lot of time with her and I remember her teaching me so much about life. In her kitchen there was a plaque that had the above poem on it. I grew up seeing it all the time. As I grow older it speaks to me louder and louder.
I spent many a weeks at her house living with her during my summers. We would garden together, gather a harvest and most often cook a dinner of okra gumbo. We grew flowers and cut bouquets to enjoy in the house, spend hours sewing or ironing together, shopping for project supplies only to go home and make something from what we collected. She had a pedal sewing machine that was always so much fun to sew on because it was quite a feat to coordinate the movement of my feet and pay attention to the sewing at the same time. Our evenings were spent sitting in the back yard watering the grass and just sitting together…sometimes saying nothing but our hearts were bound.

My memories of being with her are so vivid, I miss her so much. If she were here today I would be sure to ask her just how she made all those moments at her house feel like an eternity, like there was always plenty of time and never a rush.

Every child should be so blessed to have an Oma and or an Opa who can give eternal quality of time in great quantities. I have been so moved by my Oma that I have started a list that I continually add to called: When I’m a Grandparent. These are things that I would like to do with my grandchildren and for my children. Well, that seems so far away at the moment for my oldest is only 16 and I have a new baby coming in only a few weeks. But it is my intent that I always keep my family first and pass on the love and many blessings that my Oma bestowed upon me.

So When I am a Grandparent I will:
o Think like a mentor and display the most excellent character I can.
o Just be with the child, living and giving like my Oma did, expanding time and giving the child a feeling of eternity.
o Show up at my children’s house to catch up their ironing or wash their windows for them or whatever they feel behind with.
o Hold the baby and change the diapers giving the Mom a break.
o Give the grandchildren educational gifts and tools they can use as well as starting a savings for them.
o Prepare meals for them and being okay with being in the grime of life.
o Offer to take older children to meetings and lessons.
o Always thinking of others and not being selfish.
o Always see the world like a child with wonder and intrigue.
o Just have fun and be happy with them, exploring what life has to offer.
o Be unconditional with my children’s choices for life and living.

What would you add to your list? Do share. :)

Until then I will continue to add to my list and anticipate each day as a new adventure. I will pause and consider as I raise my children: Children Learn What They Live.

Love, peace and blessings to all,
author of the forthcoming book: An Inspired Education.

Ps. Do you have a home schooling question? Just send me an email. :)

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