“My greatest joy would be that someone, having forgotten that I was ever instrumental in the process, was more in touch with themselves.” – Alma For Ada, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE

Several years ago my husband Jonathan wrote the following poem about the work he does helping parents and teachers foster character development in young children.

The cultivation of indomitable will,
a courageous and compassionate heart,
a sharp and open mind
finds genesis in the fertile soil
of childhood.
In this first season,
when seeds of living
take root,
let us nurture the child
with life-giving experiences.

Through all seasons
seeds seek light.
Let us illumine each seed with a radiance
that bears a harvest
of noble self-expression
and enduring goodness.

What it comes down to is that we adults model what we want our children to manifest and become, that we demonstrate how we struggle to achieve Goodness as well as Goodness itself. To that end, Jon wrote a wonderful series of character development books called The self-Awakened Child that provide stories, affirmations, and exercises that teach adults how to teach children about self esteem, critical thinking and healthy relationships. (www.jonathanwolff.org/peace-book.htm)

Working with these books has also helped the adults who use them re-engineer their own patterns of self-limiting thinking and move through patterns of behavior that challenge their relationships with others and the world they live in. These personal “A-ha’s” are always a surprise to the adults. As parents we tend to be so focused on the growth of our children, or on our grown-up problems, we forget that the child with us also needs tending. How fortunate we are when our children, or tending our children, opens the doors to our own expansion. It’s one of the joys of parenting that too often passes us by. The seeds for “life-giving experiences” are sown for all time.

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