Monday, March 16, 2015

seek not to make them like you

I'm always grateful when Post Oak parents send me articles to read about parenting and education.  I enjoy our shared dialog, and it reminds me of their keen interest in topics that shape my profession.

In the past few days Richard Yoo sent me "Why children need chores" from the Wall Street Journal, and Vasanthi Jayaraman sent me "How to survive the college admission madness" from the NY Times.

Both articles challenge our current parenting practices and beliefs.  Both fly in the face of our fears.

I love seeing the various books, essays and articles I read grate against each other, sparking flame like iron and flint.  I first thought to analyze the themes of these two articles.  My second thought was, "Where do these two articles send me?" 

The answer?  To Kahlil Gibran's 1923 classic, The Prophet and the verse-essay "On children."  Here's what I read:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday."


  1. This is definitely an incredibly rich resource that you have spent so much valuable time developing, I'll recommend it to parents at our school as well as link to it in our Montessori Resources section so that our teachers can take a look. Thanks! Check us out too at the best Montessori Preschool in Brooklyn

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  4. I believe that this is the most important thing, Extended paper that a parent can do is give the child the opportunity and not try to make himself out of him in the best way.

  5. Great to reflect on!