John Steinbeck in East of Eden
And as a few strokes on the nose will make a puppy head shy, so a few rebuffs will make a boy shy all over. But whereas a puppy will cringe or roll on its back, grovelling, a little boy may cover his shyness with nonchalance, with bravado, or with secrecy. And once a boy has suffered rejection, he will find rejection even where it does not exist -- or worse, will draw it forth from people simply by expecting it.
John Steinbeck in East of Eden
In group discussions, girls
spoke openly to me about their intentionally covert aggression. When I
visited the ninth graders in Ridgewood, they threw out their tactics with
gusto, prompting the semicircle of bodies to lean forward, nearly out of
their desks, as eager affirming cries of "Oh yeah!" and
"Totally! " filled our fluorescent white lab room. Walk down the
hallway and slam into a girl-the teacher thinks you're distracted! Knock a
girl's book off a desk-the teacher thinks it fell! Write an anonymous note!
Draw a mean picture!
The gift of space is
sometimes invaluable, something as simple as giving your child some
occasional "mental health" days off from school. Educators may be
angry at me for suggesting days off, but I have seen how grateful children
can be when they have been given the space to relax and figure things out.
(Such a day is not to watch television. It is for sleeping late and having
parent and child spend a different kind of day together.) Such days enable
many kids to rediscover their courage. I think of it as providing space for
American mothers chat
endlessly with their babies... unconsciously giving the message that the
baby is an individual and worthy of such attention. Gusii mothers of
western Kenya feel that such verbal attention produces an adult that will be
self-centered and selfish and not fit into the family system.
Children have taught me that no matter what they say, they are always searching for a relationship with an adult that is challenging and supportive for them. It's also crucial that it's clear the relationship means something to the grownup, too.
Michael Thompson, The pressured child: helping your child find success in school and life
The good child cries very little, he sleeps through the night, he is confident and good-natured. He is well-behaved, convenient, obedient, and good. Yet no consideration is given to the fact that he may grow up to be indolent and stagnant.
Small children disturb your sleep, big children your life.
Throughout the world future generations of children and families will be much more interrelated. In order to protect the future for one child, we must protect it for all.
T. Berry Brazelton and Stanley I. Greenspan in The Irreducible Needs of Children
Children want to feel successful. This craving is so powerful that you can always count on it. Adults sometimes lose track of this fact and start to believe that kids don't want to succeed in school. Children may confuse us by doing self-destructive things. Because they are scared of being humiliated they don't study for tests. They fail to "try."
I believe that the central task of raising a child is to understand who that child is, what her strengths and limitations are, and the myriad of ways in which she is different from her parents. What makes watching a child trot off to school so tough for a parent is that there is perhaps no setting that drives home a parent's sense of helplessness as acutely, nor any place that emphasizes the stylistic differences between parent and child, the way school does. Having a child in school hammers home the discrepancies between a parent's dreams and the sometimes ruthless reality of a child's abilities and experience. Each child must construct her own school journey, according to her own abilities and temperament, and in light of the pressures and personnel she encounters. Even if we have a child extraordinarily like us in temperament, so many other variables will certainly be different. We cannot predict what is going to happen when our children go to school.
Michael Thompson, The Pressured Child: Helping your child find success in school and life
... until the age of three and a half, children simply cannot classify something as belonging to more than one category at the same time. For instance, a red ball cannot be categorized as a round ball and the color red at the same time. Likewise, three-year olds given a novelty toy such as, say, a large sponge painted to look like a rock, find this kind of subtlety to confusing. In their mind, the object possesses only one characteristic, not both at once. It is a rock or it is a sponge.
Children are not cruel but they are good at mindlessly copying cruelty and bias.
Invite your children to voice their feelings. This is an obvious but easily forgotten step when it come to soothing a child who has been the subject of hurtful jabs. Often we want so badly to jump in and fix the situation that we forget to stop and let out child simply
Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parentís Guide to Raising Multiracial Children by Donna Jackson Nakazawa