This is an excerpt from the book A Piece of Mirror and Other Essays by Daisaku Ikeda. The essay title is Raising Children, pg. 32
The positive influence of skillful parents is shown in the life of Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb, the phonograph, and many hundreds of other items we use every day. As a child, Tom was curious about everything. Before he had fully grasped scientific principles, he wanted to create a human balloon. He asked one of his friends to drink a liquid mixture of tartaric acid and bicarbonate of soda thinking that his body would fill up with gas and he would float off like a balloon. Instead of course, his friend got sick. Pg. 32 (continued next week.)
Tom’s usually patient parents scolded him severely for testing his experiments on a human being. Edison later said that it was his parents’ disappointment at that time that made him decide to only things that would be genuinely useful to humanity. When she was sure he had learned his lesson, Tom’s mother bought him a science book so he could learn how to create experiments safely. She did not just scold him and leave it at that; she could see beyond his mistake to where his talent lay, and she warmly encouraged the development of that talent.
Later, after only three months at school, he was dismissed for being a slow learner. But his mother taught him every day at home and soon people were calling him a genius. His brilliant inventiveness was nurtured by his parents’ deep love.
If parents can raise their children in a way that discourages self-absorption and fosters open-mindedness; such openness of spirit will naturally develop into a warm heartedness directed towards others, towards nature and towards the universe. And with such young people in it, I am confident that the world will become a better place. Pg. 53
2013, Cynthia Klein, Certified Parent Educator, Cynthia speaks on building greater cooperation between parents and children. She also teaches effective skills privately and through her webinars.
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