Parents need a reminder that their words matter
DEAR ABBY: While shopping at the mall, I have seen too many stressed-out parents ignore or yell at their children. It certainly isn’t helpful. It isn’t how I was raised or how I raised mine. Years ago, I saw a poem in your column that addressed the ramifications of bad parenting versus good parenting. From what I’ve been seeing, you should print it again. Many parents who should read it won’t see themselves in it, but it could help the ones who do. Its message is so important. Thank you. – JANET F. IN MINNESOTA DEAR JANET: I know the poem you are referring to and I agree it sends an important message for parents. It’s one of many profound poems and essays included in my “Keepers” booklet, which was compiled because so many readers requested reprints of their favorites. Read on: CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE by Dorothy Law Nolte If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.