The Sue Atkins Wednesday Story To Ponder

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Here’s today’s story from my never ending notebook and everlasting coloured pencil

In your hands


Once upon a time there was a mother. She was a very good and conscientious mother and she did her very best to look after her two little boys and feed them, clothe them, clean them and answer all their many questions.

Perhaps you’re wondering what happened to the father. Unfortunately, nobody told the storyteller what became of him. He just isn’t part of this story.

Anyway, as the boys grew older and got bigger they became more and more difficult to handle. They were boisterous and demanding, as was quite natural, and above all they had many questions.

As they grew older and more streetwise they asked more and more difficult questions.

The mother did her best to answer them all with suitable, explanations, but the time inevitably cam when she realised that she didn’t know all the answers.

So she decided to send them, because that’s what people did in those days, to the Wise One Who Lives on the Hill.

So on the appointed day, clutching her tearstained handkerchief, she sadly waved goodbye to her little ones as they set off, clutching their tear-stained little hankies, hand in hand with Wise One Who Lives on the Hill.

Of course, she wasn’t too sad because she knew they’d come back for their half-term holidays.

Anyway, things went very well for the boys and the Wise One Who Lives on the Hill. The boys had many detailed and intricate questions and they were impressed and fascinated by the answers the Wise One gave them.

But as time passed they began to become a little irritated by the apparent omniscience of their mentor. They became frustrated as they began to feel that there was no space for them to think, to question, to predict or hypothesise answers. Or even to learn through honest “misteak” – making.

So they decided to hatch a plot. They racked their brains for many weeks searching for a foolproof way to undermine and challenge the Wise One’s wisdom.

They rejected many possibilities and they learned many things in the process. As they did so a strong bond of friendship as well as brotherhood formed between them.

Finally, an idea formed in the mind of the elder little boy. He said to his younger brother, “Listen, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we catch a little bird? I’ll hold it carefully inside my hands so no one can see it. Then we’ll go to the Wise One Who Lives on the Hill and say, “O Wise One, tell us, tell us, tell us do, is the little bird in my hands alive or is it dead?”

“And if the Wise One says, “It’s dead; I’ll open my hands and let it fly away. And if the Wise One says, “It’s alive” I’ll squish it to death like this!” he said pushing his hands together sharply.

The boys were so excited. They made a trap to catch a little bird and waited patiently for days until their little bird was caught. And then, with barely concealed enthusiasm, they went to find the Wise One.

The elder boy said to the Wise One, “O Wise One, tell us, tell us, tell us do, is the little bird in my hands alive or dead?”

The Wise One looked deep into their eyes for a long time before speaking.

Finally, he replied, weighing his words with great care and compassion, “The answer to your question, my young friends, lies entirely…….. entirely…….. in your hands.”

So, what is this story saying to you?

How do you manage your child’s questions?

How do you allow your children to make mistakes, get things wrong and “have a go?”

How do you encourage your children to test things out for themselves?

Do you rush in to rescue your kids?

How does that make them feel?
What message does that send out to them?

How flexible are you in your parenting leadership giving your children space to work things out for themselves at times?

How do you encourage your children to take personal responsibility for their actions?

How do you teach your children about the consequences to their actions?

How do adapt your teaching style to meet the differing needs of each of your children?

How do to adapt to the growing maturity and need for independence of each of your children?

If your children can’t learn in the way you teach them – how can to adapt and change your style to meet their needs?

What have you learnt from this story and what are the changes you can make today?

 Feel free to pass this story on on to all your friends.

You can get all these stories and more sent directly to your iPhone – just download my Parenting Made Easy App

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