Child is the father of Man


Image by Roland

The title of this post is from William Wordsworth’s  “Ode to Nature’.  I always wondered what that meant, or rather in what context was the poet referring it to, until a discussion I was having with a friend about bringing up boys.  How do I know when is the right time to tell my son about the birds and the bees?  (Not that one has anything to do with the other , but it is poetry – it most definitely could.)  My son probably already knows but how do I know he KNOWS ? And people think raising girls is hard!!!

I don’t know and even if I ask my son – he is probably going to roll his eyes and walk away.  So as I contemplate this phrase I realize that it is not what I say but what I do that is important.  Mainly because children see and learn.  What their parents do is what they do.  You can say some things a million times over, but if you are not practicing what you are preaching, the children are going to do the same thing.  At the same time, how their environment is around them definitely has an impact.  If you are surrounded by people who are principled and will not bow down to the pressures of society, that will have an impact. If you are surrounded by people who have a positive outlook to life, that will have an impact and if a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

My interpretation of the phrase is – how you live your life as a child, is how you see life as an adult.  If you have seen a rainbow through the wondrous eyes as a child, when you become an adult, your inner child will enjoy that rainbow remembering those wondrous moments as a child.  It is your experiences as a child that colors or creates your outlook and approach to life as an adult.

So as a mother, how do I raise a sensitive young man that I can be proud of?  If I surround him with good values and role models, teach him to treat women with respect, be honest and compassionate and a hard worker – am I doing okay?  So coming back to my original question – when is the right time to tell him about the birds and the bees – I guess there is no right time but when he starts asking questions – maybe you can plan on moving to a farm where there are lots of animals?

5 Responses to “Child is the father of Man”

  1. Cross Atlantic Friend says:

    Hi Malini,

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    So, don’t stop writing….

  2. Malini says:

    No way Jose – if I stopped blogging my mind would explode with all the stuff going on in my head. :) Now that I know I have people waiting to hear what I have to say – I will make sure that I don’t miss posting. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

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