The Cooperation of the Human Family

The Cooperation of the Human Family is the title of Chapter five of Caritas in Veritate, in which Pope Benedict the XVI quotes Pope John Paul II, Encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae. “The development of peoples depends, above all, on the recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply a group of subjects who happen to live side by side.”  Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate), page 111

Reprinted from Catholic Charities West Virginia’s Child Care Resource Center Newsletter – Issue 2 – Volume 2011

submitted by Wendy Miller, Infant/Toddler Specialist

What do you see?

OK, let’s be honest here. Nearly every year we have a child in our care that gets under our skin. We love her, but she challenges us. Perhaps he demands attention at the most inconvenient times. Maybe her temperament is in exact opposition to ours. It might be the fact that his home culture collides with our beliefs. Whatever the reason, we find ourselves sighing, rolling our eyes, or using sharp tones when we respond to that child.

I ask you to honestly answer the following question, ‘Where do you see that child in 20 years, who although as cute as a button, for one reason or another gets under your skin?’

If you said anything other than “healthy, happy, and personally successful” then we need to take a closer look at the situation that this child finds himself in.

Let us begin with the fact that caregiving is a very personal and powerful profession. We have the ability to touch a life in the most profound and long-lasting ways. We are helping to raise a child, to pour into her messages that she will refer to again and again—“ you are loved”, “you are worthy”, “you are capable”, “you are a joy to be around”. Sadly, we can also, unintentionally and subtly, send the opposite messages. Regardless of the messages we send through the myriad of ways we send them, children tend to believe us.

So I challenge you to take a moment and to again ask yourself a question, ‘What will a child be like in 20 years as a result of being in my care?’ Write it down. Post it. Refer to it daily. Then take a moment and think, are my actions in line with that vision? If not, you have the power to change and grow. The life in your care deserves it.

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