Children Learn What They Live

I became aware of this poem many years ago at a time that was exactly what I needed to see and read. Oftentimes, upon reflecting on my past and how far I have come, I’ll read this poem to remind me there are many less fortunate than myself. It reinforces my gratefulness for another day and the gift to be responsible and accountable for who I am and what I do… or don’t do.

May this poem help to motivate, remind, teach and inspire you as it has done with me. It contains truth, hope and defines what we can do to be a positive influence on children within our families and those around us.

Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

Do not turn your back on those who weep, but share
the grief of the grief-stricken.  ~Ecclesiasticus/Sirac 7:34


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