Disneyland might the happiest place on earth, but the home is by far the most powerful place.
I’m working on the book version of this blog and the more I read and study on the concepts and developments of self-worth, the more I realize that this is true. The home holds great power. Here’s a “poem” which says a lot:
Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolt
This is no shock to anyone. We know that children are shaped all along the way by parents, teachers, and society. And we know that there is debate about nature vs. nurture. Some children are born more strong-willed while others are more compliant, but every child will become who they are within the confines of a home, be it traditional, single-parent, foster, or whatever. We know that the family dynamic stamps a child with many labels and price tags. If you don’t believe that, start recalling events in your past that left you with a label: lazy, ugly, fat—or beautiful, smart, lovable. The first three are, of course, a pack of lies. But the last ones can be delicate ground, at times too, especially if the child comes to believe that he/she can do no wrong, can depend on his/her looks or brains to impress the world. It’s important for us to come back to seeing ourselves as God sees us.
No matter the world’s view of me, I choose to believe Ephesians 2:10.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (NASB)