I was about 5 years old when the wheel came off my favorite tricycle. I tried to stick it back on but it kept coming off. So the obvious thing to do from my viewpoint was to learn to ride the tricycle with two wheels instead of three. And that became an awesome adventure. I could do ‘spins’ by going down the driveway real fast and then slamming down on the axle of the missing wheel and just whirl. It was a blast!
Speed, motion, lots of action! That was what I lived for as a child. Golly, it was fun.
My parents never taught me to be afraid. They never taught me that I couldn’t do things; well, at least I never learned that I couldn’t do things. I always thought I could do anything if I really wanted to, like riding a two-wheeled tricycle.
But there was this old lady a few houses down who didn’t like all this motion coming from me and my friends on the block. She would get ‘nervous’ and ‘worried that we were going to get hurt’. She would come out and yell at us and run us off her yard. (She lived on the corner and had great trees to climb.)
All this motion and action (and maybe loud peals of laughter) were too much for her. She wanted us to be quiet and motionless. Still. The perfect child; seen and not heard.
What a sad person she was. She wanted to stop things in her own life and it spilled over to trying to stop others in her environment. But as kids, we just moved on down to the other end of the block and continued to have outrageous fun.
What a joy it is to see a child who has the self-confidence to control his own environment. A child who is bright, in communication, wants to contribute and works toward the greatest good for all concerned. This is possible.
And what a treasure it is to find a parent who can tolerate the calamities of a child learning how to be self-confident and in control. A good-hearted, loving parent who has the patience of a saint to help the child regain possession of his own universe is the pillar of our future generation.
I have learned a lot about how to help children and parents achieve this goal from a book called NEW SLANT ON LIFE by L. Ron Hubbard. If you are interested in helping your child, grandchild, or neighbor’s child be happier, get a copy and read it.
You will smile too.