Children are like African violets. (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.) They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted. Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of. Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.
As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support. When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant. The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.
Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child. Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.
Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction? Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.
Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another, This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling. This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.
The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling. Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive
Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases). Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.
Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right. The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought. They often cost more time than money. First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.
Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support. A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian. The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!
Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored. “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed. Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.
Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children. Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost. Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well. The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.
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Children are our most precious resource. Don’t waste them. This subject is worth repeating. They need love and affection to thrive. Good self-esteem is a must for all children to have. Nor should they lack support. Enough food and drink so they can grow and be healthy and not be hungry. These needs are often not met during weekends or in the summer. For some kids, all the food they get is in school. How can one study and learn when they are hungry? Security and safety are another need. Children should not be afraid or the innocent victims of crime. Adequate housing helps meeting these needs. Don’t forget adequate schools that can meet these needs too.
Finally and still important is an education on the rights of people, the rules we need to respect so that we can all get along, and the development of an inner sense of right and wrong. History is a necessary part of education so we don’t make past mistakes and so that we can also learn from past successes. Children also need protection so that they are not used only to satisfy other people’s needs when it is not in their best interest.
Parents or parent substitutes can be valuable assets to our culture. Those who take on the responsibility of providing for their or other children’s needs. Support is often provided for those parents who fail but not for those who want to succeed at doing this. Laws should be created and adjudicated with the child’s rights in mind. Children are not property and are individuals with innate rights. Custody determinations often forget this. I know of one county court system that penalizes the worst of their judges by having them do custody cases. Yuck!!! Children are not property!
Criticism is the little voice in your head that holds you back and hinders your performance. Even though others say it is for your own good, sometimes it isn’t.
Reality is not always what you think it is or what you were told it is. You can miss seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing some things because someone told you that you just were imagining things.
Sometimes as people get older they don’t get wiser, they just get more set in their ways. Sometimes a strongly held theory or opinion becomes a person’s life jacket when he or she is drowning in new information.
How hard is it for a person to change his or her mind? This may be why people are told not to bring up religion or politics at the dinner table. Maybe this is a good reason to think outside the box. Many inventions were created this way.
Remember people are natural born originals and can’t be easily shaped into something that they are not. Gemstones have to be cut into shapes that work with their natural structures. What about individuals who are being shaped into contributing citizens?
Two years ago in November I went to Sedona, Arizona, to find myself; but I did not want to take any old trip or stay in any hotel or spa. I wanted it to be a form of a retreat. I went to find myself and for that reason, I wanted to go alone. I found the site for Sedona Soul Adventures which offered an individualized retreat with three days of personally designed spiritual retreat with appointments with local practitioners of meditation, massage, and other types of personalized spiritual experiences.
(If you call Soul Adventures and set up a retreat, mention that you found them on this website.)
I wound up staying in a Yoga house in Sedona and I had my own room and the offering of vegan meals for a set affordable price. I was also directed to a local agency to rent a practical older car in good shape. I set up two experiences on my own: a visit to a power vortex with my own guide and a one-day bus trip to the Grand Canyon
It was a wonderful experience and it was all part of my goal to establish who am I really? Do you know who you really are? Even before birth, various experiences shape you and determine who you are going to be. Are you thinking right now, “Wait a minute, I know who I am.” But do you know how you got to be that way?
Who are you? Everyone is different from birth. Lots of things that happen to us can change our perception of ourself. People around us expect us to be like them and as a child, we often don’t know any better. We all have different kinds of potential and that potential helps define our purpose in life. We often are so busy responding to the demands put on us by the outside, we have little time or opportunity to discover who we really are inside. Often we are caught up in doing what we think we should be doing but not really what reflects our purpose in life and uses our unique talents and abilities. Sometimes this is reflected an adolescent rebellion or in a midlife crisis and others don’t discover this until they are facing retirement.
How do you define yourself? By what others tell you? By what you think you should be? By what you really are?
Most of us grow up learning to define ourselves by the first two ways given? Thus we may never learn who we really are! Often we reach middle age or our golden years, not knowing who we are! Then we feel we have lost valuable time actually we could have been being ourselves in our lifetimes.
Who are you? In our society, we are subject to many outside influences trying to control who we are. We are unique human beings (one of a kind) who are shaped by varying outside influences and by inborn internal constraints.
Even identical twins are not entirely identical. In their bodies in some ways, they are mirror, rather than identical, images of each other and, of course, inevitably they are not treated exactly alike by other people and have experiences that are not exactly alike.
Yes, we inherit certain abilities and disabilities from our ancestors; but not always in the way that our family is happy with. Because that is so, many parents and grandparents are unhappy with their children and grandchildren who are unable to follow in their footsteps.
Even if we find idols other than our parents or grandparents to follow after, we might still not be qualified to do so. My parents were not college graduates so when I went to college something that my parents had not had the opportunity to do), I chose to become a psychologist, something that no one in my family had ever done.
I ignored some of my creative artistic and musical inclinations to become a knowledgeable scientist who would successfully do research to prove certain principles in the science of psychology. I felt had to do this to become what I was interested in being a practicing therapist and intuitive diagnostician and this was a preliminary step!
Actually, I was really interested in helping ordinary people before their problems became serious which is something I am doing now by writing this blog. I have also discovered that instinctively I have a good singing and speaking voice and artistic sense. That led me to rethink my past interests in projective drawings and hypnosis and other forms of altered states as an aid in therapy. I had briefly become involved in these things and then rejected them because they did not represent mainline scientific psychology and because I thought I was not talented enough in these areas.
So who are YOU really?
Do you feel that you and what you do is insignificant? The Lady Bug appears to be an insignificant insect. Yet, what would a garden do without them? They defend and protect it from predators. They appear to be cute little things and because they are, they might not be expected to contribute much to life. Except as a pleasant diversion to observe when in the garden.
Lady Bugs go quietly about their tasks and are often overlooked; but what would we do without them? Maybe you already know some human lady bugs including yourself. They are needed in every community in organizations like schools and churchs. They might not be missed until they are gone and there is no one to take their place.
Lady Bugs care about people. They protect and provide for their friends, families, and communities and (may I add) for their countrys. In WWII they had their ration books and other conservation practices, and,yes of course, Rosey the Riveter. They are industrious bunch and they often are self-starters.
They are often very spiritual and are an essential part of God’s Garden. They do not need fanfare and may not even want it; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it to them. It also doesn’t mean that they are aren’t thoughtful people and have the brainpower to back it up. To be continued….