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#107 The Essence of Childhood

shutterstock_83687596In order for us to think of children as equals we must set aside for the moment their differences, their lack of development, even their helplessness.Then we must shift our focus to their core presence, that basic essence which defines the dignity and worth of every human being. It is that aspect that must be sought after, nurtured and validated from the moment of their births. It is the “living thing”, the energy which animates us, an aspect that some might call the soul. Without it we die, either physically or spiritually. My own mother died in my arms and when she left this world I felt energy in the form of intense heat leave her body. It is the spirit with all its unique characteristics that every person brings into the world. Parents must find and treasure it for it is the quality that makes us equals. We are souls on a journey through this physical world—entering at different times and places—but equal nonetheless. It is the basic core that all persons possess which demands equality.

If given the opportunity children are more than ready to cooperate with this concept—not as tyrants but as participants. Remember, participation is one of the three P’s in the United Nations Document on the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Children have many capabilities and it is our task as parents to understand and respect those capabilities as they evolve over the years. Common sense tells us that there are decisions that children cannot make for themselves. But the more we are in touch with them, the more we really know them, the more we find that they can think and do much more that we might expect. How many here have had a six-year-old show you something on a computer? A five-year old? A three-year old?

For example here are the thoughts of my nine-year-old grandson, Kaylor as he was going to bed. I guess he had been contemplating the 4th dimension. He gave me the approval to quote him in my blog.

God didn’t create time. Time created God.
God is the metaphor for the unification of life itself.
God is the greatest metaphor – a metaphor for moving reality along.
It’s the circle of life. A circle has no endpoint. It’s the same with time. It is infinite. That could bring both Christians and scientists together.
Time created the fourth dimension. God may just be the key to the 4th dimension.

It’s a whole lot better than I could do.

Children playing image available from Shutterstock.


#107 The Essence of Childhood

Ellen Toronto, Ph.D.

Dr. Ellen Toronto is a licensed clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst in the state of Michigan.

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APA Reference
Toronto, E. (2014). #107 The Essence of Childhood. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Jul 2014
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