It is not we who educate our children, they educate themselves. Unique, complete, amazing. Every child and every childhood is a challenge to discover and respect their individuality. Let’s enjoy the revelations they give us and grow ourselves by observing and facilitating their growth.

As parents, educators, teachers or professors, our role is not to decide how to grow these young plants, but to weed them. And above all, to be the sun and the clouds in their garden, allowing them to develop in their own particular rhythm and shape.

It is not we who teach the children, it’s they who learn. Learning is their personal journey of discovery and development. Although it’s not easy for us to accept, it’s not our job to decide the destination, the route, the means of transport or the timing of the journey. We are merely guides and protectors who, to the extent that we are prepared to do so, expose them to new and diverse environments, provide opportunities and tools for exploration, and facilitate their journey. Let children have the joy and freedom to show us what interests them, and let them take the initiative in shaping their own path.

As parents, educators, teachers or professors, our role is not to decide how to grow these young plants, but to weed them.

It is not we who develop children’s thinking. It develops on its own, sometimes with our help, sometimes against our influence. Our role is to give children the opportunity to discover and appreciate the power of a tiny torch to find their way through a dark cave, the power of a lighthouse to reveal the rocks hidden in the darkness of a storm, the power of the morning light to dispel the nightmares of the night. The power of the light of the mind is the superpower of every child, strengthened by every valid argument, by every successful new exercise of critical thinking.

It is not we who define the character of our children. They form their own character, beautiful or imperfect, strong or weak, like a bridge over a turbulent river. They will build it on the foundations they have learned to pour, shaped by the architecture they have seen around them. They are the architects, the engineers, and the builders. We, consciously or unconsciously, only give them the inspiration.

It is not we who create harmony in our children. Harmony is an inner symphony they write as they seek the balance between challenge and achievement. We simply give them the first note, the first rhythm, and they create their own melody with their own unique accords. Parents who can watch their children navigate life with calm and confidence are parents who have succeeded twice: once in their own lives, and then in making those lives attractive to the children who have grown up with them.

And that’s because when children look to their parents, they find the most powerful source of inspiration: a patient gardener, a beacon in a storm, a solid bridge, a composer of harmony in their family life—a faithful reflection of the Creator.

Norel Iacob is editor-in-chief of Signs of the Times Romania and ST Network.

You might also enjoy reading:

indoctrinating your children