—By Father DavidMODFO No.7158/78
© Aug. 1978‚ by the Family of Love, CP 748, 00100 Roma, Italia.
1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY A LOT OF RIDICULOUS MECHANICAL TOYS FOR FARM CHILDREN because they've got so many animals, real live toys to play with and to learn about. It's so much fun to play with and watch a little baby goat and baby lambs, ducks, chickens and all kinds of things.
2. (MARIA: WHAT IF YOU DON'T LIVE ON A FARM and you have your choice between a cat and a dog?) On a farm there's lots of room for a dog, a dog is more of an outside animal. As a child grows bigger and as they get a little older a dog is fine.
3. FOR VERY YOUNG CHILDREN I THINK CATS ARE GREAT, because they're smaller and they're more gentle. They're much much cleaner and quieter. Two little kittens are so much fun to watch, they are a scream! There's just no end of enjoyment to watching two little kittens playing. They'll play for hours while you sit there watching them.
4. CATS ARE REAL LIVE TOYS YOU DON'T HAVE TO WIND UP—warm, breathing, pet-able. And they're very good for catching bugs and mice and all kinds of things you don't want little children to get ahold of like scorpions!
5. I THINK IN SOME CASES IT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO TEACH YOUR CHILD ENGLISH FIRST. He could learn both languages at once right now from scratch—just start teaching him two words for everything. But I felt that it might confuse him and make it a little difficult for him and take him longer to get a grip on either language.
6. PERHAPS IT'D BE BETTER TO JUST TEACH HIM ONE LANGUAGE AT A TIME. You know we've been undecided about this, because it's important for him to learn both languages, the family language and the language of the country he lives in. But I think actually it may retard his learning to talk.
7. IT MIGHT BE A LITTLE DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO LEARN THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. It's apt to retard his learning to talk, and if it's going to retard his learning to talk at all, it would be better for him to learn one language quickly and easily first.
8. THEN AFTER HE GETS THE POINT THAT THAT IS THE LANGUAGE HE NORMALLY SPEAKS, his natural tongue so to speak, then begin to teach him the other words for things. I think he'd pick it up very quickly. He'd understand that this is the word that we usually use, but here's another word for it in this other language.
9. SOMETIMES IF YOU GIVE A CHILD TOO MUCH TO TRY AND LEARN‚ AND YOU PUT TOO BIG A BURDEN ON THEM‚ IT'S APT TO CONFUSE AND RETARD THEM and scare them out of the responsibility‚ if you push them too hard to learn too much too fast. So I think it would be better just to speak English to him first, as it's international.
10. SOMETIMES WE SLIP BECAUSE IT COMES SO NATURAL TO WANT TO TALK SPANISH TO HIM because he looks so Spanish. That's what I always do, but I think it might be better to give him a better grip on English first.
11. HE'D LEARN TO TALK FASTER IF YOU'LL SPEAK IN ONLY ONE LANGUAGE TO HIM and call objects by their English names for now, until he gets a fairly good grip on the language, on the common ordinary words that he uses. They learn a lot of nouns, names of things‚ and it's amazing how many verbs they learn.
12. KIDS CAN LEARN PRACTICAL LANGUAGE USAGE BY ASSOCIATING WITH OTHER KIDS and other people in their play, without all the complicated grammar and all this stuff. They learn just to use the language, to speak it‚ by hearing.
13. THEY MAY NOT KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING or how they're doing it or what is right or wrong, but they speak it. They'll speak it better than their parents who spend years studying grammar and syntaxes and all kinds of junk in language school, just by plain usage.
14. IT'S JUST LIKE WE LEARN A LOT MORE SPANISH FROM JUST TALKING TO PEOPLE and listening and trying to express ourselves, letting them help us, than in the same amount of time that we were spending studying out of books. We probably wouldn't have learned near as much practical usage.
15. IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE RIGHT, IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT, it may not be accurate, it may not be perfect‚ but it's the way the people talk. What is language?—It's a means of expression, communication.
16. AS LONG AS THEY CAN UNDERSTAND YOU THAT'S WHAT COUNTS. That's what's important. Because you can communicate, they can understand what you're saying. We understand them and they understand us.
17. KIDS LEARN TO SPEAK THEIR NATIVE TONGUE BEFORE THEY EVER GO TO SCHOOL. They learn it at home with their parents and relatives and friends and playmates, they don't learn it from books, from going to school, right?
18. THAT'S THE BEST WAY TO LEARN A LANGUAGE‚ let's face it, not all this claptrap from books and stuff. That's find, you can learn some things, but not as much or as fast or as practically as you do when you learn right from actual usage, associating with the people.
19. PLAYING WITH THEIR PLAYMATES THEY REALLY WANT TO LEARN it's the incentive. Play is a great incentive, and they really learn that way because they want to learn, they want to understand.
20. IT'S BEEN PROVEN MANY TIMES THAT KIDS LEARN MUCH MORE FROM THEIR PEERS and their playmates than they do from their parents or their professors and teachers, some good and some bad, but they learn and learn fast because they want to learn.
21. (MARIA: JUST THINK, IN A CHILD'S FIRST FOUR OR FIVE YEARS THEY GAIN 80% OF THEIR KNOWLEDGE‚ AND IT'S NEARLY ALL THROUGH PLAY, through play! Think how important play is! Before they even start to go to school or anything, so much through play!)
22. THEY LEARN MORE IN THE FIRST FIVE YEARS THAN ALL THE REST OF THEIR LIFE! You can call it play, but it's all experimentation, exploration, discovery. They're trying all the things to see what they do, and how they feel, how they act, it's a constant discovery and exploration, reaction, research!
23. TRAINING A CHILD IS LIKE PAINTING A MASTERPIECE or contriving an invention, building something. You're building a life, you're training a child and you're making something out of a child. In other words it's like your artistry, your masterpiece, your painting, your invention.
24. WHY EVERYBODY WOULDN'T BE FASCINATED WITH THIS KIND OF WORK I DON'T KNOW! I wish I had time to be a parent, I just loved it when I did. I spent a lot of time at it, hours and hours everyday. (Maria: The compensations are so great, for all the sacrifices.)
25. I USED TO FIX A BOTTLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT and feed them breakfast in the morning. I used to teach them how to eat and all kinds of things, how to dress themselves.
26. I USED TO TAKE FULL CARE OF HOSEA. I taught him to feed himself, dress himself, go to the bathroom, all those kinds of things. Faithie was still a baby, so her mother took care of her, and the elder two could take care of themselves pretty much. But she just sort of turned Hosea over to me when he was about one.
27. I THINK I DID A PRETTY GOOD JOB, IT WAS VERY INTERESTING. I got a lot of satisfaction out of it and a feeling of accomplishment‚ a real feeling of reward, that I really taught him how to talk and walk and eat and dress and all that sort of thing.
28. (MARIA: IT MAY BE ONE OF THE HARDEST JOBS, BUT IT'S ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING, so it really evens out,) You have made a human being. you taught a little computer how to compute‚ I mean you've made a living walking talking machine out of a little dummy. It's thrilling!
29. IT WOULD BE A FULL-TIME TOTALLY ABSORBING JOB if you had time to do it like you should, and like most mothers really should with the help of fathers.
30. KIDS SENSE WEIRD THINGS‚ SPIRITUAL THINGS, THE DARKNESS. They're even much more sensitive than most adults. Some adults are sensitive to some things.
31. I'M CONVINCED IT'S A SPIRITUAL THING.—It's not just because the light's out, except the darkness also seems to encourage that sort of thing.
32. SO I ALWAYS BELIEVE IN HAVING A LITTLE LIGHT OF SOME KIND, a little night light from somewhere so when you open your eyes it's not pitch black, it's not pitch dark, because believe it or not, evil spirits do not like light. They do not like the light.
33. I DON'T EVER LIKE DAVID TO SLEEP IN A ROOM ALONE‚ I don't like it. (Maria: Especially when he's been used to having somebody with him every night of his whole life.) I just really don't believe in it. I don't even believe in sleeping alone myself!—Never!
34. THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT OF TWO PEOPLE. God's dynamics of the Spirit really operate amazingly. The Lord says, "When one can only chase a thousand, two can put ten thousand to flight." (Deut.32:30.) In other words it doesn't just double your power, but quintuples it! I believe it, especially with a child.
35. I DO NOT LIKE DAVIDITO LEFT ALONE TOO MUCH when he's sleeping. Now when you're up and around working and you've got to be in the kitchen or something‚ and you want to leave a monitor on so you can hear him and rush up in case he whimpers or anything, that's fine. But I don't believe in the adults going sound to sleep in another room with nothing but the monitor on.
36. FRANKLY‚ IT'S ALWAYS BEEN MY POLICY, DON'T LEAVE ANYONE HOME ALONE, just like we always send them out two-by-two. There should always be two people at home so in the case of emergency or anything you've got two people. You've got a helper or you've got a witness or whatever you may need.
37. I THINK I WAS AS FASCINATED BY ENGINES AS DAVIDITO IS. It was the thrill of my life when I could go down to the railroad track and watch the trains go by. Or the railroad station, better yet, oh my! And get up close to those big wheels and look at them and watch the oiler go along and open the boxes and oil the wheels, those were great days! Life was a lot simpler and happier then.
38. BELOVED‚ IT'S ALWAYS TRUE, ACCIDENTS DO NOT HAPPEN, THEY ARE CAUSED—usually by people's carelessness, absolute carelessness. So far, every serious accident that has happened to him has been due to someone's neglect or carelessness. Lord Jesus, help these people to be more careful, help them to be more cautious, more watchful‚ Lord.
39. HELP THEM TO PRAY MORE LORD, if they are too dumb to see things themselves, at least Your Spirit could show them. Forgive me for not minding Thy check to go in there—we got busy and we forgot about it and then it seemed too late.
40. LORD IN JESUS NAME FORGIVE ME FOR FORGETTING AND FORGIVE THESE PEOPLE FOR BEING SO CARELESS as to allow a situation like that to exist. We hope, Lord, this will be a lesson to them all.—The suffering that they have seen Davidito go through and me to have to go through too, all of us.
41. WE JUST ASK THEE, LORD, TO HAVE MERCY AND HEAL IT well and quick in Jesus' name, if possible without a scar. Help this to teach a terrific lesson, Lord to these people of being more observant and being more cautious and just make it impossible for accidents to happen, by being so careful and so safe and so secure they're impossible.
42. (TO DAVIDITO:) SWEET BOY, POOR LITTLE BOY! Daddy's so sorry you burned your face Honey. I'm so sorry. But you mustn't rub your chin—don't rub your chin on your shirt—keep your chin up!
43. IT'S SO MUCH BETTER IF YOU CAN LEAVE THE BURN OPEN exposed to the light and air, it's so much better—if you can keep him from touching it or injuring it. It's amazing to me what a good humour he's in in spite of all that. He has really been a good boy. (Lamp fell on him.)
44. THANK YOU LORD FOR KEEPING LITTLE DAVID AND THAT IT WASN'T SOMETHING WORSE. Thank You Jesus that it didn't hurt him much worse, it could have hit his eye or something, Lord. Thank You Lord. Amen, thank You Jesus! In Jesus' name completely heal it for Thy glory and help these people to be more cautious and more prayerful, all of us, in Jesus' name.
45. THERE'S NO USE IN TEACHING A TODDLER "NO. NO. DON'T TOUCH, that's fragile!" Just put everything out of their reach. At about 1 1/2 years you can begin to teach them by explanation, but not younger.
46. THE FEWER RULES YOU HAVE THE BETTER. Don't make rules so hard that the child can't keep them. Remember their age. If what he's doing is not dangerous or destructive, regardless of how silly and useless it may be, then it's okay, why not? If you make the rules too hard, then they get rebellious and throw it all to the wind! You're impossible!
47. WHEN BABIES SNEEZE IT USUALLY MEANS THEY'RE TOO COLD OR TOO HOT. Be very careful of the weather changes. The wind here is cold and in the shadows it's cold even when the sun is blazing hot. It's very easy to catch a cold that way.—Use sweaters!
48. IT'S NOT GOOD FOR A CHILD TO GET USED TO HAVING HIS EARS COVERED too much of the time outside. Their ears will become too sensitive to the outside air. Only cover their ears in very cold weather and wind.
49. EVERY CHILD HAS GOT TO HAVE A FATHER—even if it's not his own!
50. WE ARE REVOLUTIONARY! WE TRY NOT TO TEACH OUR KIDS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE TEACH THEIRS. It's easy to knock things down and bang toys and be destructive, but the children should learn how to build things up and be creative and constructive.
51. ONCE YOU APPROVE OF DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR, THAT'S IT! They'll continue doing it by following your example. Davidito does not tear paper because he's never been taught that it's okay to tear paper.
52. IT'S GOOD TO CONSTRUCT AND BUILD AND MAKE THINGS WITH CHILDREN teach them not to be destructive and knock down their towers and toys and blocks and make a game out of destruction. They don't really want to knock things over, but we teach it to them and encourage it.
53. CHILDREN ACTUALLY LEARN TO BE DESTRUCTIVE FROM BIG PEOPLE. It's not in their innate behaviour to tear down and destroy things that are built up, but they just see us do it. Big people get a bigger kick out of knocking down blocks and towers and toys than little people, then the children continue to knock things down rather than to build up and learn to progress in a positive way.
54. THESE ARE JUST A FEW LITTLE TIMELY TIPS and helpful hints that can save you a lot of unnecessary trouble if you'll follow them. Here's to your normal, healthy baby and a long happy life together! GBY! WLY!