A small 20-month old hand holds my right hand whilst wandering forward one small step at a time. A bird chirping, a leaf blowing, and rocks strewn across our path capture his downward gaze. He pauses to examine a pebble. And I think. I hold the future in my hand.
I look down and glimpse the sense of wonder and appreciation a little boy has for our world. In a moment of time I feel hopeful that the future will be brighter if his upstretched hand is ready to grasp the tomorrow as firmly as he grasps the present.
In the early years of a child’s life we hold a child's future in our hands. We do not make all the difference in their lives, but we do make an important difference. For a brief moment in time, our strong hands lift them up when they are weary and hold them close when strange sounds and images trouble their souls. Our hands point them in the right direction, show them how to write, cook, build, and celebrate.
When the future comes close, our hands grab their shoulders in a hearty well-done embrace. Then we wave good bye. The future is theirs to hold.
Parenting is about deep and caring relationships built one small moment upon another. Respectful discipline flows naturally as parents bridge the gap between the present and the future. This is why I wrote Discipline with Respect. I believe parents hold the key to the future in the palm of their hands. Parents, and all their helpers, enable children to create the future of the world.
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