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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Every time I think that the Little PEOPLE are getting ahead, I realise they aren’t. I was very happy with the recent election because I felt that the new administration was supporting the middle class that was no longer the middle class under the current, soon past administration.
What I have recently realised is that I have joined the lower class (once working class or even middle class in many situations). We are squeaking by on social security and disability payments (which have been borrowed from to pay other government expenses) and have to seek help like free food from The Master’s Hand locally. Also in this area, if you have farm income (that counts against you as it is considered income before farming expenses are taken out) in terms of getting any extra government help.
Most of us would contribute something to the economy if there was a way we could. Most of us would like to have a voice in the new administration. For example, most of Illinois voted for the new administration except for the heavily populated urban areas. But where is our voice? No one campaigned in our areas and we feel that no one has listened to our concerns. What do you think? Are there other areas of our country in the same shape?
Also who is the voice of the forgotten little people? On the network that supported the election of the new administration, we are not represented. They are again relying on experts who have no real life experience or it is so far in the remote past that they don’t remember it or so far removed from it, it doesn’t matter anymore.
Also, there is pressure on these experts, especially women, to conform to certain standards not representative of the men and/or do not reflect what ordinary people look like. It is nice for some of us to remain “young” and look youthful but is not the way most people look and it is easier to see the standards for men are less stringent than for women.
For example, most woman experts on this network look like they are ready to go to a cocktail party instead of a business occasion. Yes, the men are nicely and appropriately dressed but they don’t have to struggle as much as women do to appear appropriately presentable, youthful and beautiful.
When are the Little PEOPLE going to be represented? The overall wearing, wearing second-hand clothing, or in “high style” Wal-Mart, but often foreign made, clothing? We have a lot to say and we don’t have a lot we can do about our situations but suffer. Welfare often misses us and as our social security or retirement checks do not raise, but inflation and the cost of living does and as things cost more and more, we have to get by on less and less with little or no representation in or help from society or the government!
The Little PEOPLE do have something to say! We have learned something through experience. We do have “philosophical” discussions. We can see things others more fortunate and potentially more powerful don’t.
Certainly how Little PEOPLE experience life has something to say about the type of life we are promoting for all! Often as people do better and better economically, they tend to put people down who haven’t and consider their opinions useless and their motivations feckless! Also other people who have done well often think the same way and might make fun of those who don’t. How many Little People do you see in certain churches or certain social groups like the Elks? Nuff said.
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!
First shack ups, now hookups, distancing ourselves, avoiding any real connections. How can you lose someone when you never really had them? Avoiding feeling close to someone with whom you perform an intimate act seems to be worse than two people moving in together without any commitment.
Hookups seem like pornography. How can you mechanically have sex without caring about the other person or feeling close to him or her and have a real life emotional experience? Sex without responsibility still has consequences. Sexual diseases and pregnancies can be the unwanted consequences.
Society seems to want to have life without any responsibilities, any form of commitment. Respect, honor, responsibility all seem to be avoided in this way. Yet these are the things that make life real. With these things come pain, courage, glory, and honor. These real experiences help us learn how to cope with life especially when we experience a loss possibly through no fault of our own.
My best learning experiences often occurred when I thought I was going to fail and initially did not know what to do next. I had to do something out of the box in order to get out of the box. I had to give some of myself, something that I didn’t know I had, and risk failure and disappointment. For me, being intelligent could not always ensure I could win the competition.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained?
Either I already know them or I don’t want to hear them.
Oh, you were just being nice or you wanted to set me straight?
You wanted to be sure I knew something so I wouldn’t embarrass myself or you!
You wanted to show off your superior knowledge and I was a willing victim.
Stop and think before you say something like that because you might reveal more about yourself than you may reveal about me.
Truly meaningful and loving comments build me and you up at the same time.
Next post will be, “When A Compliment Is Not A compliment.”