"What we give our children is as potent as what we do not give them. Our children are those who live and do not live in our community. We have a responsibility to them all. May we always choose wisely." --Suzanne Kyra

I see childhood as the spring of the Natural World’s seasons. Like spring, childhood is a tender, strong, vulnerable, and malleable time, dependent on adults for care, protection, support, guidance, inspiration, and love. All of this is required to nurture the treasure that lies within every child. As childhood ends, children ideally leave behind their parents’ nurturing environment and take their place as adults. Children’s tomorrows are not for parents to experience. However, those tomorrows are deeply influenced by the parents’ maturity and ways of caring for their children. Our children are not our own. We are only entrusted to nurture them in becoming healthy individuals. They require bonding to their parents by love, rather than by duty, in order to become healthy adults.

I Have Learned
... that childhood is undefended innocence. As a child, I was like a sponge soaking in the external world in an earnest effort to match it with my internal world. In a nurturing environment, the external world supported my internal world to become more robust, individuated, and self-confident. In an un-nurturing world, my emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological needs could not be met. The more aware I am of what happened during my childhood, the more intentional my choices are as an adult. It has taken me a full life to begin unraveling the impact of my childhood. I have discovered that the hurts in childhood not mourned in adulthood may turn into a state of incomplete actualization. Parents can give their child what they never had; however, they personally cannot take their child to a level of awareness that is unrealized within them.

Musings on Childhood, With a Sense of Innocence
Innocence, like childhood, is a most delicate, precious state of kindness. How did your parents care for you during your childhood? How similar or dissimilar is your present care of yourself? What meaning does your childhood now bring to your life? What intentionally meaningful messages do you give children you are with? Are you able to see when your child acts in an innocent way, and does not mean to betray you?

May one of the greatest gifts you take from your childhood be an understanding of the parts that serve and support you, as well as the parts that leave blind spots, vulnerability, or fragility. May you choose to differentiate the impact of these experiences and have no unlived parts lingering in your life, so that you can be fully alive and available to life.

My commitment to remembering my childhood to better support my adulthood is ...

(The above is an excerpt from Welcome Home to Yourself: A therapist and photographer explore the meaning of life through individual lenses—a mother and son’s journey published in 2008 by Relationships Matter Publishing Inc.) www.suzannekyra.com

Author's Bio: 

Suzanne Kyra is a Registered Clinical Counselor, self-empowerment specialist, workshop leader, international speaker, consultant, and clinical supervisor at the Psychology Clinic with Simon Fraser University, B.C., Canada. She is the author of the award winning book, Welcome Home to Yourself, which is about living authentically in harmony with self and nature. Kyra has over three decades experience in all areas of human development, and is an expert in developmental stages, parenting, intimate relationships, and abundant living.