Children Are Not Corn … May 26, 2012


English: A display of six ears of field corn w...

English: A display of six ears of field corn with dented yellow kernels (Zea mays var. indentata) which won ribbons for “best of show” at the Steele County Fair in Owatonna, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


No, children are not corn. Good soil, seed, water, sunshine and care do not guarantee a plentiful harvest. Unlike corn they rarely take “stalk” of themselves and certainly are not “all ears.”

 Good corn  comes from good seed. But bad kids can come from good parents. We all know this, right? You can read books, study habits or even develop a life of piety–it will not ensure the results you desire.

I thought about this last night because my son and daughter-in-law are about to have a baby.They are excited. They will get over this and when they do, what will they need to know about fostering the growth of another human being instead of thinking that they are merely raising corn? Here is  short list I put together based on my experience with raising six sons:

1. Instruct following a failure. Don’t critique mediocre effort, but do use the moment to enhance results.

2. Encourage progress. Spend twice as much time exhorting brilliance as you spend fussing about “dimness.”

3. Praise success. Yes, celebrate. Don’t assume the benefits of the experience are sufficient without your words of acknowledgment.

4. And finally, in their presence, always believe the best. In their absence, always prepare for the worst. There is no benefit in being an optimistic parent. The only thing that will make you useless to your child is if their behavior surprises you, producing shock, which greatly resembles disappointment. And disappointment is poison to the spirit of a young human. Always have a contingency plan for what you will do if your children end up being … crazy.

So to my fine son and his wife, let me say that being the adult means standing firm in your support but being wise enough to never be  caught off guard, which can lead to accidentally becoming abusive because you were not rehearsed for any possibility.

Children aren’t  corn. You can’t butter them up and they don’t always en up lining up with all their little, golden nuggets in perfect rows.They are unpredictable. So make sure you have taken the time to predict what they’re able to do. 


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