Monday, January 4, 2010

A Nice Thought

A nice thought for you all you parents of toddlers out there, from a book I'm reading, The Emotional Life of the Toddler by Alicia F. Lieberman, Ph.D. I'm only on chapter two, so I can't fully endorse it yet, but I liked the way she opened the chapter. It says "mother" but you could easily say "father" and it would make equal sense and be just as meaningful:

"The loving mother teaches the child to walk alone. She is far enough from him so that she cannot actually support him, but she holds out her arms to him. She imitates his movements, and if he totters, she swiftly bends as if to seize him, so that the child might believe he is not walking alone...And yet, she does more. Her face beckons like a reward, an encouragement. Thus, the child walks alone with his eyes fixed on his mother's face, not on the difficulties in his way. He supports himself by the arms that do not hold him and constantly strives towards the refuge in his mother's embrace, little suspecting that in the very same moment that he is emphasizing his need for her, he is proving that he can do without her, because he is walking alone."

What better job is there than to be a parent?

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