Children Learn What They Live

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Children Learn What They Live is a poem written by Dorothy Law Nolte in 1954.  It reminds us that our greatest gift to children is the example we live as role models every day.  

Dorethy wrote that poem in the hope that it would serve “as a guide and inspiration to parents as they face the most important job of their lives – raising their children”.

If children live with criticism,

they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,

they learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,

they learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,

they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,

they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance,

they learn to be patient.

If children live with praise,

they learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance,

they learn to love.

If children live with approval,

they learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty,

they learn truthfulness.

If children live with security,

they learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness,

they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Dorothy Law Nolte, Doctor of Philosophy
© 1972 to 2000

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Debbie Bassingthwaighte is a teacher, facilitator and mentor who aspires to live her very best life.  Her passion is to nurture and celebrate the unique and limitless potential of every learner.