children learn what they live

children learn what they live


If you are looking for the poem Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte then you have come to the right place.


I cannot think of a poem that more eloquently explains the power that adults have over their children’s lives than the one written by Dorothy Nolte titled Children Learn What They Live.


The following poem is simple yet powerful.


In fact, it is brutally honest to the point it almost hurts.

If you are a parent, please note what I am about to say.

Even better, engrave these words on the inside of your head.




Are you aware of the impact you have having on your child’s life?

Are you encouraging them to become confident and happy young humans?

Or are you saddling them with more than their fair share of baggage that they will need to carry with them forever through life?

Remember this: as Frederick Douglass once said:


It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.


Without further ado, here is the poem Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte


Children Learn What They Live By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.


If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.


If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.


If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.


If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.


If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.


If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.


If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.


If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.


If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.


If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

1 comment on “Children Learn What They Live – Powerful Poem By Dorothy Law Nolte”

  1. I have saved this from my childhood. It was on a placard my mom had; now I have. I felt that I would not let my child grow up with shame like I had. Now I feel ashamed because despite my best efforts, I see the results of all my failures & mistakes as a parent. This is truly the hardest job in the world. I love my son with all my being. It takes Christ living through me to raise my child. I truly have to set my own brokenness aside & allow Jesus to be everything my son needs in a mom. It’s amazing to see God’s grace coming from my child to see him grow into a responsible, caring gentleman. Please continue to mold me Lord. This poem sits next to my toothbrush to remind me everyday. Thanks for posting.

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