My recent post on memories of grad school brought me to my bookshelf today and left me wondering how it is that solid truths can be forgotten or overlooked or ignored. I became a new parent in 1963 and by 1965 I needed help with the parenting enterprise. I found Dr. Haim G. Ginott’s Between Parent and Child hugely helpful. Although I’m far from perfect and didn’t utilize it as much as I wish I had, if I had another chance I would keep the book under my pillow.
I have a habit of hanging onto important books from my past and present, so found Ginott’s book awaiting my re-perusal on my shelf. I’ll share a few underlined sentences:
The niceties of the art of living cannot be conveyed with a sledgehammer…
It is not helpful to ask a child, “Why did you do it?” He, himself, may not know his motivation, and pressure to tell ‘why’ can only result in another lie.
I’m not sure I spent sufficient time reading Ginott’s section on responding to jealousy among siblings. He writes, Children do not yearn for equal shares of love. They need to be loved uniquely, not uniformly. The emphasis is on quality, not equality.
He learns about his emotional likeness by hearing his feelings reflected by us. It is more important for a child to know what he feels than why he feels it. When he knows clearly what his feelings are, he is less likely to feel “all mixed up inside.”
When a child tells of an event, it is sometimes helpful to respond, not to the event itself, but to the feelings around it.
When a child promises to take care of a pet, he is merely showing good intentions, not proof of ability. A child may need, want and love a pet, but rarely is he able to take care of it properly. The responsibility for the life of an animal cannot be the child’s alone.
And so forth. I really like the one above because I was told I let the parakeet die when in the second grade and haven’t forgotten it….SORRY. I couldn’t get rid of the inappropriate images.