Sunday, March 25, 2018

the child, and the path

the tension between license and control

how can a skinned knee be a blessing?

the too-protective world shields the child
at the cost of denying the child
the right to make mistakes,
and thus the right to make one’s own path,
there skinned knees, wet feet, and brambles await,
as well as the skills to persevere
through difficulties and mistakes
into the power that a person can live
when the self is trusted to make its own way,
the “school of hard knocks” is real,
and it is hard to know when it’s best
to protect the fragile child
and when it’s best
to allow the child to make mistakes,
then to learn what works and what doesn’t,
and thus to become a stronger self,

in our middle school staff meetings,
I feel a a tension between
the excesses of either license or control,
of giving rein to the horse
or holding it to the path,

somehow we need to hold both the parent who holds the child close,
and the parent who lets the child go into its own future,
at my deepest, I seek to honor the self
struggling to be the best it can,
I see and celebrate what is working
while also lovingly I work to help the self
to realize what didn’t work.

by Henry H. Walker
March 23, ’18
honoring the work of Wendy Mogel Ph.D.
The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee: Using Timeless Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children

also check out Joan's writing on her new blog:

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