21 Memos From Your Child


  1. Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all that I ask for. I’m only testing you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it, it makes me feel more secure.
  3. Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.
  4. Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly “big”.
  5. Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. It’ll take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private.
  6. Don’t make me feel my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.
  7. Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way, sometimes.
  8. Don’t be too upset when I say, “I hate you”. It isn’t you I hate but your power to thwart me.
  9. Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need.
  10. Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
  11. Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. This why I’m not always very accurate.
  12. Don’t make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken.
  13. Don’t tax my honesty too much. I am easily frightened into telling lies.
  14. Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
  15. Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.
  16. Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.
  17. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover you are neither.
  18. Don’t ever think it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm toward you.
  19. Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult to keep pace with me, but please do try.
  20. Don’t forget how I love experimenting. I couldn’t get on without it, so please put up with it.
  21. Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of understanding love, but I don’t need to tell you, do I?