Children can be Geniuses and Saints
Aug 28, 1995
What can I do when my daughter is jealous of other children because she thinks that other children can do everything better than she can?
Wiveka, from Sweden
From a practical viewpoint, children need positive encouragement. One method is to guide your daughter through simple challenges (for example in sports) and praise her for each small success. When I taught someone how to drive, I told them to turn the key on and start the engine. I then told them to turn it off. I then praised them with great fanfare -- "You started the car! Congratulations!" This type of approach will show our children that they can indeed succeed in doing things.
Looking at the question from a more long-range perspective, children also need to learn about their innate value as human beings. This is a profound question, and cuts through the issues of historical barriers such as caste or class, economic status, race, nationality or lineage. There are many examples throughout history of individuals who believed that they would never amount to much because of the barriers I mentioned. Society doesn't seem to foster the belief in children that they can do anything that they set their mind to (legal and moral things, that is.) How many times has someone been told, "You're no good because of ...."?
I believe that this question can best be answered by examining the origin of mankind. If humankind evolved from monkeys, then the capacity of each person would seem to be heavily influenced by the environment, and thus their "station" in life.
On the other hand, if God created humankind to be in a parent-child relationship, then it would seem logical that our nature, character, personality, heart and capability would have the potential to reflect the nature of our Creator.
Although this might seem a very philosophical answer to a simple question, it has tremendous impact on our viewpoint toward our children. I tell my children that because God created them to be His children, they have two innate destinies or characteristics (among many others, of course.)
First, God is definitely the genius of all geniuses. I tell my children that ALL people, because they are created by God to be his children, are also created by God to be geniuses. Isn't this logical? This means that each of our children, even though they have differences, have the unique potential to be a "genius" within each of them.
Second, without getting into denominationalism, it's commonly thought that God's nature includes that of a loving Parent, and that unselfish love is an attribute that people commonly respect or aspire toward. I therefore tell my children that God also created them to be "saints" and people of unselfish love, and that all children have this wonderful capacity to love others. Recently I told my third child, Ranin, (who is four) that he had a "special, secret power" -- and did he want to know what it was?
Of course, he wanted to know. I told him that he had the "special power" to "love others, and make others happy." He was VERY pleased -- and now whenever I ask him what his "secret power" is, he tells me, "to love others!"
To be a "genius" and to be a "saint" is each child's right and destiny. Isn't this better than a "class" or race-based system of evaluating a person's potential? To find each child's unique version of their "genius" or "saint" attributes will of course take time. Providing them with a clear understanding of how valuable and precious they each are will bolster them as they search for their individual talent or calling.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”
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