The following, without an author's name, appeared on the internet in its early years.
When children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
When children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
When children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
When children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
When children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
When children live with encouragement, they learn to have confidence.
When children live with security, they learn to have faith.
When children live with fairness, they learn to be just.
When children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
When children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
When children live with friendship, they learn to find love in the world.
I found it during the 1980s and for the first time I described what had happened in the family I grew up in as child abuse. Also for the first time I knew why I envied children I'd known who'd seemed to be happy.
I printed it and hung it on a wall where I would see it often. It was the begin of some serious healing. In time I added a line.
When children live with violence, they learn to feel fear.
A few years passed before I learned that someone had found the author, Dorothy Law Nolte, and that she had composed and published it around 1970 without identifying herself.
I have never not had this poem on a wall where I live.
In the early 1990s I happened to see on NBC-TV in San Francisco a story about a support group that was forming for adults who'd been abused when they were young. Its name was, and still is, Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. I checked it out and in its weekly I healed some more.
And I could add this line:
When children live with hypocrisy and betrayal, they learn to yearn for justice
I have said many times that indoctrination of children with religion when they are not of an age which allows them to understand the full meaning of what they are being taught amounts to child abuse, especially when that indoctrination is pushed with the stick of an eternal punishment which scares too many of them out of their skins.
Children Deserve Respect - FULL STOP.
Long ago I spent a lot of time to search the bible for texts about respect for children or protection for daughters - never found a word to help me.
Not any more than you'll find anything about human or individual rights, Chris - there are none. Again I have to say: the bible is not about rights. It's about your obligations to The Man and what you have to do to cootchey-coo him the right way to get into his country club.
To which I say: FUCK THAT.
I love your way of wording, Loren!