January 03, 2010

Listen To Your Children

"But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly.They always need to have things explained. My Drawing Number Two looked like this. (Photo above). The grown-ups' response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar. That is why, at the edge of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter. I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number T."

"...and after some work with a coloured pencil I succeeded in making my first drawing. My Drawing Number One. It looked like this. (Photo above). I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them weather the drawing frightened them. But they answered: " Frightened? Why should anyone be frightened by a hat? "My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant."

"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear-sighted, I tried the experiment of showing him my Drawing Number One, which I had always kept. I would try to find out, so, if this was a person of true understanding. But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say:
"That is a hat. " Then I would never talk to that person about boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars. I would talk to him about bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties.
And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man."
                                 
This is the beginning of the wonderful book The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupe'ry.
Such a strange and wonderful  parable for all ages; a MUST-read.
 

The author asks the indulgence of the children who may read this book for dedicating it to a grown-up, Leon Werth, who understands everything even books about children.

All grown-ups were once children- although few of them remember it.
Actually, I so believe in encouraging child's self-esteem and confidence. I remember my dad would always encourage and help me get involved in activities that could raise my self-confidence; such as music or art.

What is your opinion, dear readers? How can we develop child's social skills, or boost self-confidence?
                  
When you were children did you get any support by your parents?

I'd like to dedicate this post to all grown-ups who still remember they were once children. xx                                                                                                                                 

71 comments:

Steven Anthony said...

what a wonderful story.....children should always be encouraged, always!

peace

Aion said...

WOW! Loved THIS POST Betty :0) One of my Favorites so far (and I love ALL of your posts!)

I always made it a point to be "approachable" and to "listen" to my children as well as to try and talk to them about what interested them and... most importantly: "stop whatever it was that I was doing" and LISTEN TO THEM while they where talking to me!!

I was taught that by "example" from my Father.

Aion

♥♥ tuğçe♥♥ said...

wonderful posts and i still feel myself like a child((: yeah actually children should be encouraged firstly by their parents and then by their teachers to develop their skills and adults should always try to understand children's feelings by remembering their childhood
lovess and hugss
kisses((:

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Steven , thanks so much.Glad you like it.
Aion,Yes, we always have to boost our children's self-esteem.Thanks for your most generous comments.

OceanDreams said...

I love this children's story book, such a wonderful book! Thanks for stopping by my blog, you have a great blog land too! ;)

Secretia said...

Betty you are a very smart person, and I think you are still an artist at heart!

Secretia

Drahdrah said...

Thanks for reminding me !!! I love The Little Prince, but I don't always remember that I once was a child too.. have to keep it in mind when I get upset with Baby J for being a child... hehe. HAPPY NEW YEAR !

Nevine said...

Oh, Betty. I am the eternal child. I think we all should keep some of that childlike wonder in our hearts, in our spirits. If we don't, we risk becoming unhappy adults who see the world as a place with no magic, when in fact life is filled with wonder. And "The Little Prince" is one of those books that you read and read and read throughout life, and every time you read it, you learn something new. I think all children should be encouraged to express themselves, and complimented and further encouraged when they do. Our personalities come together at such an early age, and though they continue to change throughout life, those first years are always the most critical.

What a lovely post, Betty. Very thought-provoking, interesting, and warm. Thank you for sharing this. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and have a great week!

Nevine

Dayne Gingrich said...

Couldn't agree with you more! I wish more grown-ups thought like children... what a happy world this would be!

Pres. Kathy said...

As a former teacher and a mother to a two year old, I can only say that I try to be positive in every situation. My parents always encouraged me to follow my dreams, even if I was not the best at something. That is something I would like to pass down to my son. We should always try new things and live life to the fullest!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Nevine,
Pres. Cathy,
Tugce,Drah
You're absolutely right. Not encouraging children's self-confidence may have lifelong severe consequences. We should listen to children's concerns.
But first of all we should encourage children to share their concerns.With encouraging children learn to develop a healthier ,more positive outlook.
We shouldn't ignore or underestimate their dreams and desires.
Thank you so much friends.
xxx
Drah Drah, how are you doing? Glad to "see" you here.

Deborah said...

That is a like always being able to hear the Christmas bell.
I saw the snake that ate something. I didn't see the hat! Then I thought it was a dinosaur of some sort. So I wasn't too far off LOL

5thsister said...

I've missed you! I'm back and will try to be a good blogger follower. This post reminds me of one of my very favorite movie quotes: "A child's voice, however honest and true, is meaningless to those who've forgotten how to listen."
Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Prisonor of Azcaban

bonequinhoda bic said...

Isn´t this a spectacular story ?

athina said...

Great thought!

Yaya said...

It is sad how often times the creativity in children gets diminished.
I like the boa constrictor picture!

Stephanie Fey said...

Hi Betty,

Your question seemed to me to be a very clear one. How can we boost children's confidence? In a way, it's something that I've thought a lot about.

The key it seems to me is to give love that doesn't want anything for itself. I think when you do this then it opens up a space within people for them to roam around and express themselves and know that it's safe to do so.

The best love is placed around the other person like a field; it's all around them, as far as the eye can see, but never suffocating. And all that the field proclaims is: this field is absolutley yours and you're safe in it; and in it, you can do and be whatever you choose.

Thank you for the beautiful and encouraging post! You're a field.

Lots of love,

Steph Fey x

chelsea rebecca said...

you are way too sweet! thanks so much for the welcoming comment that made MY DAY! your blog is absolutely ADORABLE! so excited to be following you. i am already inspired just reading a few of your posts!!
xo

Journaling Woman said...

The best way to grow up a child with self confidence is to listen. That's all. Listen.

Great post, Betty.

Tertia said...

I was raised by two wonderful parents who refused to grow up. They refused to believe there was anything I could not do and when I could rwlly not throw a ball or do any sport for that matter, my dad simply said that he thinks I would be a wonderful coach one day, because I understand how it feels not to be perfect at anything. You know what, he was right! I coached a champion cheerleading squad for many years, even though I have a fear of hights and can't dance to save my life! LOL
I am a teacher and my mantra in class is: If your dreams don't scare you, you are dreaming the wrong dreamd.
Loved your post, wish more people would think about this.

Anna Rivas said...

Hi Betty, i have read that book!
It's great!
Thanks for sharing.
Annax

ritsa said...

Loved this post! Listen to the children!!!

Sophia said...

Wonderful post and book!
much love

nikgee said...

hi Betty,very well put. The book and illustration there ofput the icing on the cake. I totally agree we should always remember the small child within. But not just to remember, allow him/her to come out and play whenever possible. It might be one of many reasons people have children.keeping them atuned with the child.

Jujube said...

I like your post.
I did not understand the story of "little prince" when I was little.

The older I am, the more I love the story!

Mommakin said...

I am raising two children. One is full of self confidence, the other displays a sort of false bravado. I have no idea how this happened, as I have raised them almost identically.

Naqvee said...

hey Betty like always you were great this time as well, a really thoughtful question to ponder upon.
didn't we like to get some attention of the elders who used to understand our thoughts. didn't we love those guests who said that we were "really good in drawing" and such a beautiful "handwriting" remarks ? when we loved those people because they said we were "outstanding" so why not return the same remark to some one who's at the same foothill on whose top we are standing now ! I have always gathered good remarks and positive response for my drawings and thoughts behind them as well as handwriting. i still get from people like you who encourage me with blogging. so with such a positive response, I tell my tuition kids that they have done a very good job at the exam and its better to enjoy studies rather than cramming and vomiting it out on examination paper when they get " low marks", once a kid made a really bad sketch of my dog, he was trying to show that his sketches were really good, but he himself got disheartened when he forgot to make another eye of my dog, I just smiled and said " you are talented and the one eye which you have made actually resembles his real eye, next time make another one also he will look more kind" that kid was so overwhelmed, that not only he made my dog's sketch [with both eyes. but also made "me" petting him. its was really cute!

we can override the bad always but we must persuade him for a better approach and a better way to follow. encouragement is a key for a bright child.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Naqvee, that is an astonishing analysis!! as usual!. You menaged that bad situation with that child wonderfully . You're a very wise and nice person and i'm happy i 've "met" you!!.


Thanks so much everyone for your precious comments on this post.!!
Lots of love!
xoxo

....Petty Witter said...

Grown-ups can be so dim, of course it was a picture of a snake digesting an elephant. A great post Betty.

Working Mommy said...

hahaha! I love those 2 pictures...and they sound like something I would have drawn as a kid!

~WM

Lynette said...

I love stories like this.

elena m said...

I agree kids should always be encouraged by their parents, teachers etc.
When I was a kid things were more
difficult.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

How creative you were. I totally agree. As parents we need to be careful about squashing dreams. They can be anything. In fact as adults, I am hoping we can be anything too!

ΕΛΕΝΑ said...

Ούτε που θυμάμαι πόσες φορές έχω διαβάσει τον Μικρό Πρίγκηπα.
Εξακολουθώ και τον διαβάζω με την ίδια πάντα λαχτάρα!
Τα μηνύματα που κρύβει μέσα του είναι απλά μοναδικά και εξαιρετικά!
Καλή και όμορφη εβδομάδα εύχομαι!

The Blonde Duck said...

How wonderful. I think growing up is simply growing away from the true wisdom of life, which a child innately has.

So therefore, I won't grow up!

~Marcia~ said...

I really liked this post. Me, being a big kid myself, have always wanted my daughters to open their minds and see the unseen. My husband and I have tried to provide many options for creativity to develop in them. They fiddle around with music instruments, have become very good artists (as a hobby) and have developed artistic computer skills as well. It does boost their self-confidence by allowing them to feel that they can try anything and not be afraid of a challenge. You have such a great blog Betty! Thanks Aion for helping me discover it.

presious said...

I think it awesome that you tried your hand at drawing. I think it quite creative to draw it a different way a second time :).
I do hope you re-visit this skill from time to time. Afterall, creativity is relative to the creator. It's not your fault if others can't figure it out! lol! It's all for the fun of creating :).

Unfortunately, my parents were too busy fighting to realize any of our interests. When they did "try" to listen every once in a while, they tried to put me in art school when clearly my interest has always been the piano. They persisted with art school until I straightout told them that if they enrolled me, I will refuse to attend. Yes, they got that message, but never tried to put me in any music lessons.

As I grew up into my teens, I obtained a part time job and set out for lessons. I was self taught prior to the lessons and I played quite well. Overall, I was quite successful.

However, upon leaving my parents house (after they separated...finally), I moved to southern california and had to leave my piano behind.

It wasn't until almost 20 years later that I was able to retrieve it from my parents' cold, damp basement. By this time, the piano is pretty much ruined.

Today, I still have the piano as it was my mother & her sisters', me and my sisters, followed by my children. It needs to be restrug at a hefty price of $2000+.

One day I still hope to fulfull that dream.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Thanks for reminding me of that lovely book!

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This comment has been duplicated as response on my Blog,

3 hungry tummies said...

That is very sweet, thank you!

Just Be Real said...

This was so cool to read. Love how you relayed the story. Betty, thank you so much for sharing and also for your encouraging comments on my blog. Blessings and hugs.

Georgia said...

Love your post and how you related it.Have a great day!

The Peach Tart said...

Great and beautiful post.

Alice said...

I love this post. I think parents sometimes mistake a packed schedule for encouragement. I've been guilty sometimes. Running to five events in one day, afraid they will miss out on something. But it's been easier lately, now that she gives clear opinions on what she's interested. If it doesn't have to do with sea creatures of some kind or another, I don't feel bad skipping it. So what if people look at me odd that my 4 year old daughter's favorite movies are Jaws 1-4.

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

great post! I wanted to be an artist and writer when I was a little girl. My mom wanted me to be a lawyer. I wound up doing neither. but blogging has inspired me to write again. I working on a second career as a children's book author. I am definitely going to support my daughter!

Traci said...

J'adore ce livre, Le Petit Prince!!! -- en francais et en anglais!

You are right that it is a beautiful reminder to adults -- we need to listen more to our children and remember to see the world a little through their eyes.

I try very hard to listen to my kids and validate them. Sometimes it is hard, I'll be honest. Especially when we're running late for school, etc. But I work at it everyday and hopefully, my children will know that I saw the boa constrictor not the yellow hat.
:-)

Corrie Howe said...

Wow, what a talent for six years old. I just commented on another post of a woman in her 50s or 60s who is taking her bar exam. My father is in his 70s and learning how to play piano and Spanish. I hope to be like them and never grow up enough to think I'm too old for learning new things.

Farila said...

I personally want to thank you for this blog Betty..
I am doing a workshop for parents in our locality and the main topic I am covering is trying to see through the children's eye as to what they are showing. This will be helpful and I may even those pictures..
Love and hugs to you

The Blonde Duck said...

I used to do art all the time until college--I wanted to tell you you've inspired me to start again.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Oh yes, I remember well being a child. I had a wonderful mom who did her best to undo the damage being done by our raging alcoholic father. He's much better today though and seems to have a bit of memory loss about his behavior.

BTW, I saw the rock formations of Arizona where others saw a hat. I wonder if that is weird Lol?

Sam said...

what a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing :)

kys said...

Love it! One way to boost their confidence is to help them find something they excel in. But still encourage them to try the harder things. We all need to have something in life that we can be proud of.

I think being light-hearted about mistakes/disappointments/etc. helps too. A sense of humor is a life skill that is always valuable.

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ΝΑ ΦΕΡΕΙ Ο ΝΕΟΣ ΧΡΟΝΟΣ
ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΜΗ ΒΡΙΣΚΕΙ ΑΦΟΡΜΕΣ
ΝΑ ΣΟΥ ΣΗΜΩΝΕΙ Ο ΠΟΝΟΣ.

michael said...

What a great story! I ''have to read this book! Thanks for sharing!
:)

PopisK said...

I love this post, and I still feel myself like a child.Great book!

Kristin said...

That's always been one of my favorites. I need to buy it to read to my little man!

sonia said...

I love this book! Thanks for reminding me!
Much love to you!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Listening the others is not an easy job...

Tara said...

Me encantan los niños...
Y el principito es un libro genial.Saludos Tara

flying eagle woman said...

apparently i'm not a grown up (whew! that was CLOSE!) i immediately saw your boa contrictor!!!!!

You're such a sweetie, I just love stopping by!!!!
Shawna

blueviolet said...

I absolutely love that book and I even read it in french because I loved it so much!

the greenhorn knitter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the greenhorn knitter said...

Betty, thank you for stumbling upon my blog! Your positive comments are great! Thank you. BTW I dusted of the cover off The Little Prince in my grandma's attic when I was 9. It was and still is an inspiration. As a teacher, I am continually helping students find the "elephant" in their work. Thank you for this post. I'll be following! :)

tattytiara said...

I would not be surprised if this has already been proposed by one of your other fine commenters here, but I for one would love to see you do a whole inside-the-boa series. I am 110% serious about this!

Michelle said...

I love the Little Prince <3!

Unknown Mami said...

Imagination and fancy should always be encouraged.

Midtown Girl said...

What a darling post!

I think the most valuable thing for a child is to have parents who will listen to their opinions/thoughts/ideas.

Sometimes parents shun children's views bc they are young, but children are so organically honest and much more intelligent than we sometimes give them credit for..;-)

XOXO
Amy

The Trendy Fashionista said...

Amazing post! I love the Little Prince, it's a fabulous book.
Thanks for your lovely comments! :)

-The Trendy Fashionista
http://thetrendyfashionista.blogspot.com

Pat said...

That is a great story and a great lesson. We should always encourage our children and let them grow.

Crafty Hands said...

Hi Betty!
Haha! I love this post!
I was lucky when I was young that my parents, mom especially, encouraged me. She has saved sooo many art pieces I have done that I was amazed of ALL my art pieces I unearthed this past weekend. I will be blogging about them in the near future.
Thanks for becoming a follower! =D Much appreciated! BTW how did you "accidently" come across my blog? Just curious. ;)

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