Let’s start from the very beginning

"The model often used for compassion and empathy is a mother-infant relationship…research indicates that when parents recognize their infants’ negative emotions—their anger and sadness—and help them to cope with those emotions, children over time develop better physiological regulation of their emotions and show more positive behavior…

"I see many parents who get angry at their infants and toddlers for getting angry—over time, children, knowing that certain emotions can’t be shared, shut them down. This makes a child overstressed…because the emotion is still there, and it puts an obstacle in the way of developing a basic trust between the child and adults…

"A critical issue here is that relationships in infancy set the course for later social emotional development…In short, making babies happy grows the circuitry that will help them have positive feelings like joy throughout their lives."

~from Destructive Emotions by Daniel Goleman

Of Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's
longing for itself.
They come through you but not from
And though they are with you yet they
belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not
your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not
their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit,
not even
in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek
not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries
with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path
of the infinite, and He bends you with His
might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand
be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

~from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran


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