value the child

May 11th, 2015

My daughter went to a wonderful preschool that had a slogan on its brochure: Value the Child. I liked the sound of that, but it took me time to realize what it meant. It didn’t mean what I thought at the beginning. I’m not sure how many other parents ever got the gist of it. To them, the value might have represented the price of monthly tuition. We already valued our children so much that we wanted them to have the best, and the most, and the first, and the highest.

In other words, we didn’t value our children at all.

When I say that my daughter went to the preschool I really mean that I went to the preschool, because I did, for part of every day. Gradually, I learned what the devoted, loving and talented teachers were showing me: what it means to value someone else. It’s not a lesson to learn once.

It doesn’t mean to prize.
Not to elevate.
Not to demean.
Not to impose.
Not to judge.
Not to expect.
Not to push.
Not to accelerate.
Not to withdraw.
Not to label.
Not to conclude.
Not to give up.
Not to coddle.
Not to do things for them.
Not to do things to them.
Not to do.

To value a child is to value them as they are. To support them where they are.
To show them the immeasurable and eternal value of love. Yes, I know: a mother’s work is never done. But the next time you see your child, act as if it is, and smile.

6 Comments »

  1. I really needed this today, Maezen. Thank you. Your words continue to inspire me. Sending you love

    Comment by Kristy vanacore — May 11, 2015 @ 7:32 am

  2. One day after Mother’s Day…very humbling.

    Comment by MJ — May 11, 2015 @ 7:51 am

  3. This is so powerful and speaks to the best parts of me. Now, if I can put it into action…

    Comment by Hillary — May 11, 2015 @ 10:03 am

  4. Thanks.

    Comment by Paul Brennan — May 13, 2015 @ 6:20 am

  5. Yes, it took me quite a long time, but now I can wholeheartedly say to my children that the world/ life/ God needs them exactly as they are. Why? If not they would have come to us differently. But it really takes time to understand and trust that and we have to be ok with ourselves as well in order to see it.
    Have a wonderful day (I hope you are OK).

    Comment by Simone — May 14, 2015 @ 8:18 am

  6. PS, This: “We already valued our children so much that we wanted them to have the best, and the most, and the first, and the highest.”
    Is just so spot on. It is like a magic wand people think will help them not suffer, not become poor, always be succesful etc. Do your best, be your best, don’t fail, choose the best, (become rich), get the perfect guy, get the perfect dress, the perfect ring etc. And life will reward you (because you deserve it) and when it doesn’t we must have failed, made a mistake etc. But life loves all of us regardless of “The Best”.
    We got a new dog 10 days ago. She is not a puppy, she is an adult stray dog from Spain and a small very unclear mix of different dogs, but we all love her with all of our hearts. No such thing as “best” there and she is fantastic regardless. Love needs no particular “form” in order to be.
    (I was once waiting at the dentist, a couple came in, their daughter had fallen and her tooth was now grey (babyteeth). The assistent told them it was permanent until the tooth fell out, the mother started sobbing on the counter (really). All the while this joyfull happy little girl was admiring the fish in the fishtank.)

    Comment by Simone — May 14, 2015 @ 8:38 am

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