No-limit children have learned a different response to the same stimuli because they know the world to be friendly. Their behavior is meant "for the best," or at least their mistakes are "honest." Therefore, if an action goes awry, it does not elicit feelings of guilt. Remorse, learning, redoing and improving are possible responses instead. Rather than worry, a no-limit child sees future events as exciting adventures, opportunities to grow, chances for fun challenges and new experiences. Since self-worth is not tied to performance, the worry about "doing well" is eliminated. No-limit children are "doers," and guilt and worry do not do anything. Thus, it is very unlikely they would bother themselves with negative thinking or destructive behaviors.
Living is not a race; it is a journey, something to be enjoyed each day. You can do a great deal to help children to understand this important truth, and you will get a nice bonus as well—that is, a lot less anxiety for yourself as part of the bargain.
Some time ago, my mother wrote me the following poem that summarizes beautifully the feeling I want to convey to anyone involved in a child's life.
A mother can but guide ...
then step aside—I knew
I could not say, "This is the way
that you should go."
For I could not forsee
what paths might beckon you
to unimagined heights
that I might never know.
Yet, always in my heart
That you would touch a star . . .
I'm not surprised!
— Hazel Dyer
You can help your own children to touch their own stars if you follow that important advice. Guide, then step aside.
Dr. Wayne Dyer is the co-author of four children's books, the most recent titled, No Excuses (Hay House). His voice can be heard in the new Pixar film Day & Night, released June 18 with Toy Story 3.
Keep Reading from Dr. Dyer:
Don't let worry get the best of you
How to live with ambition and meaning
The resolution it's never too late to make
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