Power Over Children

the Basica

  If you harm a child, you not only cause pain in the moment, you make yourself part of the internal killing of the adult that child will one day become. This is not about feeling guilty. It is not about throwing blame around. Hold yourself accountable, and realize what you do.

  Children often need a firm hand to guide them. They must learn honor and respect. They must come to understand responsibility, limits, and consequences. But they must not be abused. And they must not be allowed to abuse each other. They will carry what happens to them for the rest of their lives.

  It is one thing to expect the young to become accustomed to defending themselves and others when the need arises. It is another to expect this without properly teaching and modeling it in some appropriate manner, to subject them to pointless cruelty, and to needlessly allow them to be overwhelmed by challenges known to be beyond their coping ability. Adults cannot be with every child at every moment or solve every problem that ever arises. This is neither practical nor desirable. But find the reasonable ground between such an overbearing approach and one of neglect or unwarranted harshness.

  To a boy or girl, a grown man or woman is huge and powerful. Compared to an adult, a child is small and fragile. All of our children depend on all of us. We cannot be flawless. But we must strive always to do right by them. It is not possible for it to be their responsibility to ensure this. It is ours. We not only owe it to the vulnerable people they are today, we owe it to the people they will become tomorrow, with all their strengths and weaknesses, and the vulnerable people whose lives they will touch.

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