Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Respecting Young People

The issue of respect by young people and the need for good parenting has been strongly promoted as an essential ingredient for reducing re-offending. Sadly, adults and parents often have difficulty recalling their own fears and weaknesses as children and teenagers. The following poem is perhaps worth more than a moment’s reflection.

To My Parents
by Helena Bailey

Don’t spoil me; I know well that I ought not to have all that I ask for. I’m only testing you.

Don’t be afraid to be firm with me, I prefer it. It makes me feel more secure.

Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them at early stages.

Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly ‘big’.

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.

Don’t make me feel my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.

Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.

Don’t be upset when I say “I hate you”. It isn’t you I hate but your power to thwart me.

Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get the attention I need.

Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing to be deaf.

Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. That is why I am not always accurate.

Don’t make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken.

Don’t take my honesty too much. I am easily frightened into telling lies.

Don’t be inconsistent. That confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.

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.

Don’t put me off when I ask questions.
If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek information elsewhere.

Don’t ever think it is beneath your dignity to apologise to me.
An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.

Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible.
It gives me too great a shock when I discover you are neither.

Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be difficult to keep pace with me. But please try.

Don’t forget I love experimenting. I couldn’t get on without it. So please put up with it.

Don’t forget I can’t thrive without lots of understanding love.

Take care of yourself. I need you to be around for along time please.

Sent in by Graham Ledger - Love2grow