Child Development: Nurturing the Beautiful Light Within

“Maybe, instead of expecting children to be more like adults, it would benefit the world if we were more like them.”

Every child has this lovely light within them, and it is the job of us all to provide the conditions for that light to grow, to evolve, to flourish. There is nothing more beautiful than the smile of a child. Children are timeless. They live outside of customs, rules, schedules, and deadlines. Their silliness, gentleness, humility, joy, and openness to love is a model for us all. Every adult has a duty to nurture this beauty to full potential. Children must have fun. They need to play and learn and run and jump and glory in the wonder of the world. G.K. Chesterton said, “Playing as children means playing is the most serious thing in the world.” At Hearthfire Psychology, nothing is more important than helping your children achieve their potential by helping them tap into their natural movement toward exploration and love.

The easy task in nurturing children is that they are inclined to choose activities that fit with their desire. They gravitate on their own to what is on their heart. Cars, blocks, dolls, trains, cardboard boxes. Nothing is safe. As we sit back and marvel, they go forth and embrace their environment like some great adventurer on a worthy expedition. They see us. They know we are there to return to if needed, and when they do we open our arms to receive, but a child must be given the space to make their world their own. This is true for the 2-year-old, and it is true for 18-year-old. In her famous diary, a 13-year-old Anne Frank stated, “Every child has to raise itself.’ Parents can only advise their children or point them in the right direction.” It is our job to guide and direct toward that which is good and to steer our children away from what can harm.

The movie “Magnus” follows the life of Magnus Carlsen, the grandmaster chess champion and child prodigy, throughout his journey from childhood to champion. Although the documentary is worth watching on its own for the life of Magnus, the most striking piece of the movie for me is the role of Magnus’ father. Throughout, this man stands in the background observing quietly, understanding the talents of his son, noticing where Magnus is less able, and working to place him in areas that enhance his strengths and abilities. One day, he thought he would let Magnus try chess… What a marvelous testimony to positive parenting. As we stand next to our growing children we take note of their interests, talents, and strengths, and we help guide them to where those gifts will flourish.

Child development
Child development

Children embody joy. It is disheartening that some might view a child with anger, envy, or contempt. Yet, for those people, this might signify the neglect or suppression of their own inner lights. I truly believe that recognizing and valuing this inherent brightness in every child could prevent numerous sorrows in the world. At Hearthfire Psychology, we believe in the intrinsic worth and beauty of every unique child. We dedicate our time to helping your child experience the love they deserve in their little worlds. We help them discover their own child potential and desire, and we work to instill the conditions necessary for your children to blossom and smile. Our ethos revolves not around rewards and consequences but in finding the person within and treasuring that light most precious.

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We also provide online psychotherapy appointments, using your camera-equipped computer, tablet, or smartphone device. Virtual counseling allows the same access to our expert clinicians and has been determined to be just as effective as in-person treatment.

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HearthFire Psychology is looking for licensed mental health clinicians to join our team.