Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Learning to Recover

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

We are not helping our children by always preventing them from what might be necessary falling, because you learn how to recover from falling by falling! It is precisely by falling off the bike many times that you eventually learn what the balance feels like. The skater pushing both right and left eventually goes where he or she wants to go. People who have never allowed themselves to fall are actually off balance, while not realizing it at all. That is why they are so hard to live with. Please think about that for a while.

— Richard Rohr, Falling Upward, p. 28

Dance in Our DNA

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

There’s no question that some people are more musically inclined or coordinated than others, but I’m starting to believe that dance is in our DNA. Not super-hip and cool dancing, or line dancing, or Dancing with the Stars dancing — but a strong pull toward rhythm and movement. You can see this desire to move in children. Until we teach our children that they need to be concerned with how they look and with what other people think, they dance. They even dance naked. Not always gracefully or with the beat, but always with joy and pleasure.

— Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection, p. 120

The Awesome Gift

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

We struggle over a theology of imagination. We find it hard to believe that imagination is God’s idea and that it is among the chief glories of human beings. Of all creation, human beings are the only creatures who have the ability to transcend the smallness of self and imagine something different than what they know. God is imaginative; we are made in his image.

Children are wonderfully imaginative; they are born that way. Bread crusts on highchair trays become trucks; dolls cry and need to be rocked. Imagination is to be encouraged, trained, developed, enjoyed. That is why we surround children with picture books that tell stories, and why we read to them about adventures in far places. Dr. Seuss lets them put their tongues and their imaginations around words that make up stories. Yet even before the advent of the book, people were drawing images in the sand and making up legends. Imagination is not only a human capacity; it is an awesome gift.

— Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Woman’s Heart, p. 33

Why Kids Read

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Why do kids read? They read because they are made to, of course, but they also read — via media in a multitude of forms — because they want to find something out, or they want to join their imagination with somebody else’s. I will say it again: They read for the same reasons adults do.

— Roger Sutton, A Family of Readers, p. xviii

Reading Great Books With Our Children

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

When we read great books with our children, we teach them to turn to great books throughout their lives for comfort, humor, and for illumination of the human experience. The most influential leaders and thinkers in the world have consistently relied on literature for inspiration at their most difficult moments. Nelson Mandela turned to Steinbeck during his imprisonment and says it changed his life. Lincoln was criticized for reading novels in the middle of the Civil War; he defended himself by saying that it kept him sane.

Whether we are called upon to govern a nation or organize a birthday party for too many children, the key to both surviving our days and cultivating our next generation of leaders is many books, well chosen.

— Kyle Zimmer, Everything I Learned to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, edited by Anita Silvey, p. 207

Gloriously Inhabit All the Ages You Are!

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

The opposite of old isn’t young. The opposite of old is new. As long as we continue to experience the new, we will gloriously inhabit all of the ages that we are.

~ SARK, posted on Facebook, August 4, 2009

No Reason Needed

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Children are often happy without reason — it is part of their charm. Often you can catch a child laughing for the sheer joy of it, smiling for the sake of smiling, playing happily with happiness. It both amuses and saddens me to think that when a child laughs for no reason at all, we think it’s wonderful, but when an adult laughs for no reason at all, we immediately fear for his or her health. The point is. . .

who ever said happiness needs a reason? . . .

Maybe your greatest downfall is that you believe you have to understand happiness before you can be happy.

Can you accept happiness unconditionally, without even understanding it? If you can, then happiness is yours unconditionally. Happiness is never grasped; it is simply let loose. In truth, happiness needs no reason. A smile needs no reason. Love needs no reason. Kindness needs no reason. There are gifts for free — life’s true treasures. Can you cope with that?

— Robert Holden, PhD, Happiness Now! p. 139-140

Loving Along the Way

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

In spite of all my efforts as a mother, my children will not wake up one morning and be perfect. Just as I will never “arrive” as a mother, they will never “arrive” as children. My work is to companion them on their journeys, guiding, loving, and teaching them to love themselves along the way. Maybe that’s what our responsibility is to ourselves, too, as parents — loving ourselves at our best, in uncertainty, and in spite of flat-out failure.

— Lisa Groen Braner, The Mother’s Book of Well-Being, p. 168

The Sanctity of the Present

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Too often, we miss the sanctity of the present. The present usually arrives peacefully, offering itself as a refuge over and over again while we sit muddled in our minds. We might believe that our thoughts are productive or even interesting, but we’re really ignoring the gift of the day before us.

This is where our children can teach us. babies absorb the world around them, touching, tasting, and seeing. They delight in their senses, enjoying the unexpected swoop of a robin or the warmth of the sun emerging from a cloud. Let’s suspend our thinking for a change, return to the simple and original mind with which we were born. Let’s immerse ourselves in the river of the senses — to drift, swim, and float in the day.

— Lisa Groen Braner, The Mother’s Book of Well-Being, p. 100-101

The Child Inside

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

For that delightful, exuberant, lovable child in us to come out and play and show his or her beautiful face in moments of intimacy and closeness, that child first has to be found.  Secondly, that child must know that if he or she comes out to play he or she will be protected, valued, cherished, and cared for.  That the child in us must feel this way isn’t optional:  it’s essential and a prerequisite to intimacy.

— Melody Beattie, Beyond Codependency, p. 185