Memo from a Child to Parents
Reprinted from The Message International,
June 1991, p. 40
- Don't spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have
all I ask for. I'm only testing you.
- 2. Don't be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it, it makes
me feel secure.
- 3. Don't let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to
detect them in the early stages.
- 4. Don't make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me
behave stupidly "big".
- 5. Don't correct me in front of people if you can help it.
I'll take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private.
- 6. Don't make me feel that my mistakes are sins. It upsets
my sense of values.
- 7. Don't protect me from consequences. I need to learn the
painful way sometimes.
- 8. Don't be too upset when I say "I hate you".
Sometimes it isn't you I hate but your power to thwart me.
- 9. Don't take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes
they get me the attention I need.
- 10. Don't nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself
by appearing deaf.
- 11. Don't forget that I cannot explain myself as well as
I should like. That is why I am not always accurate.
- 12. Don't put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you
will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.
- 13. Don't be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and
makes me lose faith in you.
- 14. Don't tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real
and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.
- 15. Don't ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible.
It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither.
- 16. Don't ever think that it is beneath your dignity to apologize
to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards
- 17. Don't forget I love experimenting. I couldn't get along
without it, so please put up with it.
- 18. Don't forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be
very difficult for you to keep pace with me, but please do try.
- 19. Don't forget that I don't thrive without lots of love
and understanding, but I don't need to tell you, do I?
- 20. Please keep yourself fit and healthy. I need you.