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Sensitize Yourself
to  ' Their '  Experiences

Click for Cartoonist Info --->  One Big Happy - by Rick Detorie
'One Big Happy'   -   by Rick Detorie
(Used with permission)
We often hear the phrase "You cannot truly understand another person until you have walked in his shoes!" This is usually said in reference to adults who may be different from ourselves in one way or another. We also can apply this quotation to our understanding of children.

Of course, we all were children at one time. However, apart from therapeutic counseling during which we may have been consciously or hypnotically time-regressed to thoughts of our early childhood/infancy, we typically don't utilize our earliest experiences when parenting or assisting young children. Unless we can truly empathize with children's experiences, we will be less able to help them grow in a positive way.

Today, our society seems to be taking childhood away from children. During medieval times, "childhood" did not exist. Society during that period did not understand child development and the normal phases of growth. Children were expected to work alongside their parents. They dressed in similar clothing as adults and "play" was not recognized as a valuable activity. Even artists of that era were unable to capture the essence of childhood. Children's bodies were drawn with adult proportions. Have you ever wondered how they played? ..... dressed like this?

Proportions of children typically depicted as adult-like The daily attire for middle to upper class children was incompatible with childhood activities. The daily attire for middle to upper class children was incompatible with childhood activities.
As ridiculous as that era's paintings of "adult" children appear to us today, it is not much different from what our present society is doing to its children. Look at the clothing of the children of today. Much of the media (television and magazines etc.), and even the clothing stores, portrays a nine (9) year old girl as a "streetwalker" -- . . . sexy . . . and . . . alluring. We wonder why she grows up with a distorted value system.

Maria Montessori said, "Children's play is their WORK." In the present time, parents are reversing that phrase and making work the child's play! There are lessons . . . lessons . . . and more lessons. Computer activities, . . . clubs, etc. fill every moment of the child's day, and children cannot truly "play" in the real sense of the word.

So, . . . how is the child really feeling about all this rush!, rush!, rush! that he/she is experiencing? Often, the feelings are exhibited in either health or behavioral problems. Elimination of the "rush!" OFTEN gets rid of the problems.

When you meet a new person, . . . you don't expect to change him or her. . . .(Do YOU??) . . . An adult should not interact with children by . . . putting ourselves upon them . . . or . . .shaping them. Rather, . . . we adults should help them in their way of developing -- i.e., to help them become WHO they already ARE.

Some of these thoughts apply to older children, BUT --- (0 - 3) is the period when parents must recognize this philosophy --- to more or less train themselves AS PARENTS. They should not be pushing their children to become what the parents want them to be. As parents and caregivers, each of us needs to instill into our own "belief / behavioral system" the following valuable concept: Let your child be enfolded in your love and understanding, and the child will beautifully unfold.

When you welcome a new baby into your life, think of him or her as a foreign visitor in your home. It is up to you to teach about the "lay of the land". However, . . . the baby arrives with a personality, temperament, talents, interests, etc. Those aspects of life will grow and blossom under your loving care and acceptance. You will be amazed at the enjoyment that is gained through observing your baby and thus becoming acquainted.

It is more joyful to experience a child's blossoming into him or her SELF than to impose a framework for propagation of oneself.

There are many areas in which Sensitizing Yourself is important. Here are some of them for you to think about, .... ponder them.

"Sensitizing  yourself" to the experiences of others is a   FORM OF RESPECT.

Learning HOW your child will typically develop will help you become a Sensitive parent. This world of ours is changing rapidly with each new technological discovery. We don't have to get caught up in THE RUSH!!!
Take some time to "rediscover your family" ... and ... "slow down a bit".

Magda Gerber puts it so well: With people living past 70 today, why do we rush infants and children? They have only a short time in that period of life -- Let them enjoy it!

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