Friday, October 8, 2010


Dear Mr. Morton- What’s your philosophy on today’s children? Just Curious, Port Clinton

Dear Just Curious- Maybe by comparing the similar needs of children everywhere through history may provide an answer. I’ve always thought children need unconditional love, a love that doesn’t depend upon making the Honor Roll or winning a football game. Just a love because they are our children. Parents must practice the “separate the deed from the doer”. If their teen daughter is taking drugs, they can still give them unconditional love by saying, “Honey, I love your basic substance, but I can literally spit on your drug behavior and out of my love for you, I will not tolerate it. So, here’s what I’m going to do.”

Children begin their world by loving their parents, then judge and question them as they grow older. Great child psychologists like Haim Ginott and Jean Piaget used to compare them to blank sheets of paper ready to be written on. They’re like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression. They may be raptured by a tiny, green worm inching its way across the sidewalk than a brand new $600 swing set assembled in the backyard. When children leave the nest, they’ll remember not the material things we give them, but the feeling that they were cherished.

To me, the innocence of small children are nearest to some omnipotent divinity, just like small planets are nearest the sun. Their candidness and honesty is yet restrained by social taboos. Years ago, I had difficulty evaluating a preschool girl for early entrance. She remained pokerfaced as the evaluation began, so I stopped the testing to establish rapport. When I asked her if she had any questions, her brown eyes grew wide and she asked, “Why are you so fat and what’s that fur under your nose? My daddy’s skinny and he shaves his fur off.” Once I explained about overeating and that it’s OK for men to grow mustaches, she became communicative and performed quite well on the evaluation, although she curiously gawked at my “fur“ for an hour straight.

I’d say most of the truth-telling in the world is done by children. For parents, children may or may not be a blessing. We have our share of mistreated children, but, to create children and then fail them as a parent is pure damnation. I genuinely detest the Morey Popovich show, which belittles unborn children by relying on DNA testing to determine who the father is. I always say, there’s no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S., has retired from his positions as school psychologist and adjunct professor in the School of Leadership and Policy Studies at Bowling Green State University. Questions or comments about parenting, educational, family or personal concerns? Click HERE to contact him at our secure Bpath Mail Form.