Life in the Rose Garden
Children are constantly discovering and learning — mostly by touching and tasting and falling. They crawl all over everything and put things in their mouths. This is how they get the information they’re seeking. Helping children process all of this input is the task given to responsible authorities — parents, teachers, coaches, and other trusted adults.
These responsible authorities must understand the needs of a child, respect the worth of a child, and recognize just how vital it is to validate the child’s emerging sense of self. They must allow for spontaneity, encouraging awareness and evaluation of this ongoing learning process if a child is ever to attain any measure of mastery over her environment.
The most damaging thing one of these adults can do is to attempt to keep the child from experience or protect them from pain. This is the time when a child learns that the world is like a rose garden — filled with beautiful things and thorns — a place to be entered into with care.
Don’t throw them in the rosebush, but don’t keep them from it, either. Let them explore, and make sure you have plenty of bandaids.