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Children Learn What They Live


Question: Recently, my relationship ended after several years. We have a child and my ex-partner is preventing our 2-year-old child from communicating with me because of anger and hate towards me. My child loves me and cries for me. With this lifestyle that my child is going through, what are the effects? Please, I would like to be anonymous.

I think the environmental effects on children are fairly obvious. One method by which children is observation. In other words, children learn what they live. There is a poem by Dorothy Law Nolte that says it well:

“Children Learn What They Live”

If a child lives with Criticism—

He learns to Condemn

If a child lives with Hostility

He learns to Fight

If a child lives with Ridicule

He learns to be Shy

If a child lives with Jealousy

He learns to feel Guilty

If a child lives with Tolerance

He learns to be Patient

If a child lives with Encouragement

He learns Confidence

If a child lives with Praise

He learns to Appreciate

If a child lives with Fairness

He learns Justice

If a child lives with Security

He learns to have Faith

If a child lives with Approval

He learns to like himself

If a child lives with Acceptance and Friendship

He learns to find Love in the world.

Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to

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