We Learn, Therefore We Are

How do we raise our children well in a complex time, when parenting books are so plentiful we choke on their advice? How do we teach our children about the world, when that world seems to be a thick forest of confusion and conflicting paths?

Perhaps: we simplify. We listen more closely to our instincts. We strive to worry less. We put more trust in ourselves – and in our children.

Yes, we are busy, jostled, overloaded, stressed, and anxious. But is that the lifestyle and the mindset we want to teach our children? There is no simple plan to simplify, no quick way to gear down and relax and watch the clouds for hours. Yet we can ask ourselves what it is we truly want our children to learn, versus what we as parents and teachers are inadvertently teaching them.

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “You never step in the same river twice,” because change is perpetual, and everything keeps moving on. A child is a wondrous flower taking new form every day. We need to nurture, care for, love, and teach our children. But we are trying too hard to control and direct and protect every moment of our child’s life. That’s not how a healthy flower thrives. Nor is it how the river flows.