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  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

First teachers

Our parents are our first teachers. It's true of any species whose offspring aren't born knowing how and able to take care of themselves. It's so easy to see in my horses........a good mother produces a foal who is easy to handle and a joy to be around.

Her foal learns to respect another's space, not to be aggressive over food, to pay attention to the surroundings and to stand up for itself or flee quickly when threatened. This foal will pay attention to others around him or her, read their body language and, in general, fit into the herd easily and form bonds with other foals. He/she will also relate their understanding of personal space to the human who handles them. Ultimately, with reinforcement from mom , the youngster will find his/her position in the herd and hopefully live a long, healthy life.

On the other hand, the mare who spoils her foal...who allows it to be disrespectful of her space or to paw or kick at her, will end up with a foal that may be difficult to handle and possibly aggressive towards humans. The foal may bully other foals, or even adults, until he or she is ultimately ostracized from the group. Being cast out can lead to a lonesome and often dangerous life in the wild without the protection of the herd.

It still amazes me that some human parents can't seem to grasp that their job is to protect and teach their children. The indigenous people of America understood this well. They taught their children to survive.......sometimes going so far as to pinch their noses closed until they stopped crying in order to teach them to remain quiet in times of danger. They also honored the important milestones in their children's lives which not only built up the child's feeling of well being, but also encouraged each to take on new responsibilities as they moved through life. Individuals respected the rights of others and appreciated the talents and gifts of others.

Too many children today have missed these lessons.

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