Tomorrow night, my angel will adjust her wings and fly toward something she has been dreaming about for six years. The first time I took her to The Nutcracker, I shrugged off the “you’re taking a 3-year-old to do what?” comments, pulled out our holiday finery and loaded up my purse with peppermint bribes. She made it almost two hours before needing a mint and has been hooked ever since.

My Doodlebug is an unusually disciplined student, and I often wonder how her life will play out, what she will pursue, and how I will help shape the person she becomes. We parents can only do so much, I know, but yet we can do so much. A little food for thought as our children twirl and leap toward their futures…

Happiness is Contagious

If you always compare your children’s abilities
to those of great athletes, entertainers, and celebrities,
they will lose their own power.
If you urge them to acquire and achieve,
they will learn to cheat and steal
to meet your expectations.

Encourage your children’s deepest joys,
not their superficial desires.
Praise their patience,
not their ambition.
Do not value the distractions and diversions
that masquerade as success.
They will learn to hear their own voice
instead of the noise of the crowd.

If you teach them to achieve
they will never be content.
If you teach them contentment,
they will naturally achieve everything.

We all want our children to be happy.
Somehow, some way today
show them something that makes you happy,
something you truly enjoy.
Your own happiness is contagious.
They learn the art from you.

~William Martin’s The Parent’s Tao Te Ching


  1. that poem…SO great! I’m putting it on my tumblr page. Thank you for giving this to me today! I needed it. (Said after I scolded Bean for her poor efforts in doing her title page on her mission report)

  2. THAT..


    For some, it may be hard to understand.

    But, for me…I was raised so the opposite of what a child would wish for.

    The lessons here are easy to learn.


    Thank you for this.

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