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.

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3 thoughts on “We Learn, Therefore We Are

  1. Balance lives in your advice here, as well as in your sentences. I especially like the word “inadvertently.” It reminds me of the time I first heard about a school’s “hidden curriculum.” The gap you suggest between what we adults want to teach and actually teach the children reminds me of my tenth grade students this year. As we studied Sophocles, I asked them what wisdom looks like. All three groups cited the ability to be aware of ourselves, as well as our surroundings. I greet you at the beginning of a wonderful blog.

  2. We put more trust in ourselves – and in our children. This really resonates with me. I continue to believe we underestimate our children, what they can do, what they want to learn, and how complex their thinking can be.

    <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. Beautiful; a wonderful challenge for educators and parents.

    Thank you.

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