A Cure For Children Only?

I Read this today about Children. . .

“We can hurt a child’s self-esteem by:

1. Putting them down.

2. Breaking Promises.

3. Not allowing them choices and independence

4. Not giving them respect and privacy

5. Denying their feelings and personal identify.

6. Not being consistent.

Joyce and Dennis Ashton 9n “But If Not” V3p71

All excellent advice and certainly very true. BUT. . .

Doesn’t each one of these apply to all people? Adults included? I believe so. What happens when someone puts YOU down? Does it increase your awareness? Do you immediately respond with ‘Well now, that was insightful, I think I’ll change right away?” I highly doubt it. Usually we respond in one of two ways, defensiveness or ignoring. Neither are helpful or uplifting.

What about a broken promise? While it causes the person who broke the promise to diminish in your estimation, don’t we often thing, “Well, s/he must not really care about me. . . S/he must think I’m not worth following through. . .” etc. How about number three? What happens when you feel like your choices have been taken away? Does it EVERY increase your desire to be warmer, more loving, a better person, more obedient? It doesn’t for me. It makes me resentful, angry and often MORE desirous to do exactly what has been denied (Maybe I’m just a rebel at heart) .

Perhaps my point has been made and I needn’t go through each of the above, but my suggestion is this: Each living person needs to feel accepted; worthy of integrity; able to choose; respected; allowed to explore preferences and valued enough for commitment.

Next time someone annoys you, consider what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow says.

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies,

we would find in each man's life

a sorrow and a suffering

enough to disarm all hostility." ~


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