Parents and teenagers are asked to pick a quote from “Loving Every Child, Wisdom for Parents ” and write their reflections.

“What is small is mundane and of little interest.
This applies equally to small people, small joys as well as small sorrows.
Among the things which impress everyone are big cities, high mountains or a lofty tree.
We say: ‘A great deed’, ‘A great man.’
The child is small – there is just less of him.
We ought to stoop and come down to his level.”

­—Janusz Korczak



“We burden the child with the duties of men of tomorrow,
Without giving him any of the rights of men of today.”

—Janusz Korczak


Stopping and listening. (Reflection from one of the parents)

Paying attention to our child’s words and gestures. It takes a minute longer and yet sometimes we are too busy. Every minute counts, is what we are told.

The quality and depth of our interactions is what makes our lives meaningful. By ‘stooping’ down, we are acknowledging the importance of our child’s existence. We are hearing and seeing that individual for who s/he is. Is that not the most precious gift one could receive? The power of this seemingly small, insignificant gesture is that it has the power to change us, the parent. We are, in effect, healing our own, inner child that so wants to be seen, heard and understood. In one instant, we have the power to change so much. Bigness can captivate, but often there are treasures in small, hidden places. Our society is permeated with more and more stuff; it makes it harder to clear out and assess what is truly important. Often in the bustle, we lose sight of what we truly want to create. This moment of stooping down can be symbolic of the power of coming home to ourselves in moments of quiet contemplation. Commit to taking 3 minutes each day to just stop and listen to your child, just listen, or listen to the sounds around you, just listen.

Being in the Moment, Having Fun in the Present.

Sixteen years old Nina enjoyed reading Janusz Korczak’s thoughts and found that she could relate to the second quote on the left since it resonated strongly for her and her friends. She feels that today’s teenagers are pushed incessantly by the adults, both teachers and parents, to prepare, to get ready for the future. Every behavior, every word and mannerism is scrutinized with the lens of the future. What happened to the thought of being in the moment, having fun in the present. If not now, WHEN, she asks?!

used with permission from The Champion of Children, by Tomek Bogacki