Friday, 26 June 2009

More Wise Words on Family Life

Our children are given to us for a time to cherish, to protect, to nurture, and then to salute as they go their separate ways. They too have the light of God within, and a family should be a learning community in which children not only learn skills and values from parents, but in which adults learn new ways of experiencing things and seeing things through young eyes. From their birth on, let us cultivate the habit of dialogue and receptive listening. We should respect their right to grow into their own wholeness, not just the wholeness we may wish for them. If we lead fulfilling lives ourselves, we can avoid overprotecting them or trying to live through them... The family is a place to practise being 'valiant for the truth'. We can live lives of integrity, letting both 'yes' and 'no' come out of the depth of truth within us, careful of the truth in all our dealings, so that our words and our lives speak the same message. We cannot expect our children to be honest with us or anyone else if they hear us stretching the truth for convenience or personal gain. They are quick to catch such discrepancies. Moreover, we should trust them enough to be honest with them about family problems - disasters, serious illness, impending death. It is far harder on children not to know what is wrong.
Elizabeth Watson, 1980 - Taken from Quaker Faith and Practice.

5 comments:

Angela said...

Yes- it is really important to be honest with children. Especially about big things like family illness and bereavement. I was so grateful to my Mum and Dad for the thoughtful way they explained things to me , and have tried to pass that on to my children. And if they know that truth and honesty matters to you, it will matter to them too.

~~louise~~ said...

Children Learn What They Live...

Did you see we played the Picnic Game on my blog while you were gone. Such FUN!!!

Sarah in England said...

So true. Lovely words. xx

Linda said...

Thank you for this post. It is not the general rule these days, when the onus is put on making your child feel good, rather than on teaching. I think truth is extremely important with children, if not the most important thing, and dealing honestly with children, rather than patronizing them and hiding things from them, creates an ongoing dialogue that helps to build a relationship that lasts through the rough patches.

June said...

Watching my daughters "grow into their own wholeness" is the most deeply rewarding experience of my life.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful excerpt. I love your blog.