A Journal Entry I Wrote for Class on Dec. 2, 2008
As I sit here and think of what to write, my mind is filled with thought after thought. Instead of settling on one idea or topic, I think I’ll just start writing and see where that takes me.
I am sitting with my two-year-old daughter on the back porch.
“What are you doing Daddy?” she asks.
“I’m doing my homework sweetheart.” I reply.
Reaching for one of her markers, she draws on a piece of paper and says, “I’m doing my homework too, Dad.”
It is amazing how much knowledge a child her age can absorb. They know no limits, no boundaries, no time. Anything is possible for them and fear is not in their concept. As they get older, they are bombarded with our “adult” views and perspectives, our rights and wrongs, our dos and don’ts. Their once open, free, unaltered minds become corrupt with rules and regulations, limits and liabilities, fears and what ifs.
We tell them how they should think, act, and talk, not letting them have a say in any of it. Instead of guiding them, we control them. Instead of allowing them to learn, we force them to think. We don’t allow them to become the best of who they are, rather force them to become who we think they should be.
Before long, that once innocent mind that was our child, becomes stagnated and clouded with useless “knowledge” and essentially stops functioning properly. Instead of working at it’s highest level of performance, their mind slows to an almost trance like state, and there it stays, idly absorbing all the garbage that it is surrounded by every day.
Parents, teachers, and TV. Everybody telling them what’s best for them or how they should be, because we, as “adults” of course, know everything. A child, unlike most adults, will make a mistake once and learn from that mistake. An adult will make the same mistake over and over again and wonder what we are doing wrong. Children are brutally honest because they don’t know how to lie. We, as “adults” teach them how. A child doesn’t judge by color, race, or religion, until we, as “adults” teach them how.
Children live in the moment, not dwelling on yesterday, and not worrying about tomorrow. We as “adults” teach them how to do that as well. Adults love on condition, children only know how to love. Mother is the name of God when spoken by children. When spoken by adults, God is a means to justify one’s actions.
When a child does something “wrong” we ask, “Why did you do that”? Do we stop to think, that maybe we adults taught them to do it? We diagnose children with ADD and other “learning disabilities” when we don’t want to take the blame for not giving our child the love, affection, and the attention they need. Our children are not our pets, but some pets get treated better than our children. When Fido doesn’t listen, he gets “bad doggie”; when our children don’t listen, they get medicated.
Where have our priorities as adults gone? We need to step back and look at the bigger picture, and stop thinking we know what’s best for our children when we don’t even know what’s best for ourselves sometimes. I think we need to step out of our egotistical, self-serving, need to control selves and get down on the level of our children. It’s our children who can teach us, if we would just listen. What we can learn from our children is priceless, can’t be read from a book, and could possibly help us, as adults, change the world. I think I’ll start listening more closely to my children, how about you?