Monday, February 21, 2005

We have them, you know. We may not speak of them often, but they're there. And sometimes, in our fast-paced and hurried lives, it's nice to be reminded of the expectations we do have for our relationships; how we treat one another, how we see one another, and how we care for one another... especially when it comes to our relationships with our children - our own children, our students, our neighborhood children, those we babysit, our nieces and nephews, ...

Recently I stumbled across a reflection entitled The Childrens' Ten Commandments for Adults. You may have read it already. I know I've seen it a number of times over my life, but never took enough time to fully absorb its message. So today, I share with you those ten commandments:

The Childrens' Ten Commandments for Adults

  1. My hands are small. Please don't expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball. My legs are short. Please slow down so that I can keep up with you.
  2. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have. Please let me explore safely. Don't restrict me unnecessarily.
  3. Housework will always be there. I'm only little for such a short time. Please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.
  4. My feelings are tender. Please be sensitive to my needs. Don't nag me all day long. (You wouldn't want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would like to be treated.
  5. I am a special gift from God. Please treasure me, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner.
  6. I need your encouragement and your praise to grow. Please go easy on the criticism. Remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.
  7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday, I'll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.
  8. Please don't do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn't quite measure up to your expectations. I know it's hard, but please don't try to compare me with my brother or my sister.
  9. Please don't be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides, it's a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.
  10. Please take me to worship regularly, setting a good example for me to follow.

If you have time this week, print out this reflection and read these ten "commandments" again - this time, read them as if they are coming from your aging parent, a disabled friend, a loving spouse or significant other. Not all the wording may fit the particular person, but there is at least one "commandment" that fits each of them - especially numbers 2, 4 and 6.

And while you're reading them for others, consider these same requests from yourself to others. As number 5 states, my friend, you are "a special gift from God" as well.

hoedl's haven
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2003