It is important to realize that children need to belong, that the first desire that human beings have is to belong and to be a part of humanity. Therefore, if a child is allowed to be included, even with work, they will usually jump at the chance. This might sound strange to parents of a 10-year-old or a 13-year-old, but remember how kids were when they were three or four, and how much they were getting underfoot trying to help with the dishes, trying to copy what dad was doing with the hammer, or attempting to pick up things to give them to the parent?
Children practice at being adults. They practice being capable and competent, and they ask to be included, and they ask to help. Only when a child becomes disillusioned, with their parents or their own ability, will they tend to turn away, and either pull inside and do very little, or to actively identify with the negative side of life.
In order to be an effective parent it is important to have an accurate picture of how children and adults perceive their world and the differences in how they think.
By Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT 2008.
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