Parenting in the Inspiration Age

Amid our ongoing “Information Age” children who grow up addicted to food, drugs, cigarettes and self-destruction are not living that way because of a lack of information. What they lack is inspiration and a sense of worth. Parents unwittingly literally take their child’s life away as they impose behavior patterns, careers, and more. The sweet identical twin sister who pleases Mom and Dad and the family and internalizes anger is far more likely to develop breast cancer than her little devil of a sister. The problem is that up to the age of six, a child’s brain wave pattern is similar to that a hypnotized person. By the time children become conscious and capable of evaluating their parents’ words, they have a real struggle on their little hands to free themselves from the negative messages most parents deliver.

One very telling study done with Harvard students revealed that only one-fourth of those who felt loved by their parents developed a major disease by midlife, while well over ninety percent of those who didn’t feel loved had developed such a significant health problem.

Some things TO do to give your children a sense of being loved and valued include getting a pet. Oxytocin and serotonin levels rise and help people bond with one another when they are involved with their pet(s). We had a house full of pets and our children developed a reverence for life and connections which helped them to thrive with the knowledge that they were needed. I think you can apply the great advice my vet friends have given me when bringing home a new puppy to your parenting approach—focus on “Love, trust, respect, consistency, discipline, affection and exercise.” For more good parenting ideas, I encourage you to read my book Love, Magic and Mudpies.

Inspire your child with the words you use. Never say, “There’s something wrong with you.” Please love your children even when you don’t like what they are doing. Take every chance to sincerely applaud what is right with them. The poem that follows says it beautifully:

purple handsPURPLE by Alexis Rotella

In first grade Mrs. Lohr
said my purple tipi
wasn’t realistic enough,
that purple was no color
for a tent,that purple was a color
for people who died,
that my drawing wasn’t
good enough
to hang with the others.
I walked back to my seat
counting the swish swish swishes
of my baggy corduroy trousers.
With a black crayon
nightfall came
to my purple tent
in the middle of an afternoon.

In second grade Mr. Barta
said draw anything;
he didn’t care what.
I left my paper blank
and when he came around
to my desk
my heart beat like a tom tom.
He touched my head
with his big hand
and in a soft voice said
the snowfall
how clean
and white
and beautiful.

Copyright © 1983, 2008 by Alexis Rotella.
This poem may not be published or used in any form without the express permission of Alexis Rotella.
[email protected]

PURPLE: a parable
illustrated by Diane Katz.

To purchase visit