I understand Isaiah’s struggle. He’s trying hard to become his own person, and we thwart him for doing so. We’ll never know, to any extent, how our words and actions may impact him. Sadly, we will not be able to measure the fading of his horizons.
Isaiah is often an unhappy child, lacking in confidence and self-esteem. And I have to wonder whether we caused that. I have to wonder what prior negative experience he holds onto.
That is why this quote moves me to near fits of emotional pain and has helped me to reinvent the way I discipline.
“… children who are unhappy, each frustrated in the attempt to achieve a self-hood he could claim with dignity – children not understood, but striving again and again to become persons in their own right.” – Dibbs