From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
Little Johnny Stories III
Making mistakes is where it’s at. For some time now little Johnny is happy to have the increased freedom of movement that thumping and bumping around on the floor offers him. Then gradually it dawns on his pre-speech mind that he needs to pass on imitating the cat and the dog – his first experience with time-and-motion. After all, cats and dogs are natural four-leggers, and it’s becoming clear that he’s not. After all, mommy and daddy and every other person in his world gets around on their back two, so he needs to matriculate from four to two.
It’s not a smooth, easy transition, of course. Consider the day that the whole family is there, sitting in a circle for The First Few Steps: Mommy’s holding Johnny’s little hands, and Daddy, a few feet away, says dramatically, “Ok, Johnny, come to Daddy! Come to Daddy!”
Mommy lets go, cameras are poised, everyone’s tingling with excitement. Then Johnny wobbles on his bow-legs, and… FALLS!
Does Daddy pick him up and throw him into his crib and say, “Ok, Johnny, you’ve had your chance to walk – that’s you finished”? No! Loving the child means they'll encourage him even when he fails in his attempts - they'll keep encouraging the child in his efforts to walk until the child learns to walk.
Is there a lesson there for you and me, or what?