Monday, July 03, 2006

Children

Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), The Prophet.

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

5 comments:

wolfgang said...

So your little ones are giving you a hard time?

steve said...

No, they're quite wonderful still :-)

However, their birth has gotten me thinking in general about children and parenthood.

I found that Gibran excerpt in one of Judith Rich Harris' books. She writes on recent research showing how little effect parental guidance has on kids. Genes and peer group environment (in that order) seem to dominate.

Anonymous said...

So save yourself alot of trouble and just send them to a good boarding school!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, "...genes and peer group (in that order)."

How far apart,i.e., what is the relative importance?

Your kids have the genes ;-)
So will you be sending the youngsters to a cush private K-12, or a rough and tumble public school system?

- Inquiring Mind.

steve said...

In some twins studies the environmental effect (at least within the working--upper class range, not including extreme poverty) on things like IQ or earnings seems to wash out completely by late adulthood (age 30-40). As Paulie says in the Pope of Greenwich Village "Chahlee, it's all in da gene" :-)

JRH discusses these things in detail, as does Pinker in the Blank Slate.

My kids will probably end up in the supposedly good public schools here in Eugene. Here, rough and tumble = interactions with kids of hippies and academics, I suppose :-)

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