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Is Love Enough ? - Toughest Job in the World

Updated on March 16, 2013

At this age every experience is new

What we tell them they will believe, so be carefull and care full, of what you place in such innocent minds
What we tell them they will believe, so be carefull and care full, of what you place in such innocent minds

Is Loving Them Enough?

Most parents love their children. But is loving them enough for the world’s most responsible job – bringing them up; raising them to become fine,well-adjusted adults? You might argue, “This, the most responsible job? I think it is. And in most cases it’s not referred to as a job at all. It’s called parenthood and one is expected to know how to go about it. No wonder we have such a variety of grown ups, people ranging from saints to sinners. Because babies learn by the role modelling provided by their parents, or those closest by. There’s no other way. And these role models learned from their role models, and they from theirs, and in the majority of cases those role models were their mothers and fathers. Yet nobody taught them, nobody said to them: “Son (or daughter) you have the most responsible job in the world. You are molding the character, the behaviour patterns of a human being who’s actions will have its effect on the world for the next seventy, eight or ninety years. You have the most responsible job in the world!”

Brother and sister along with a canine friend, enjoying their own private swimming pool

Writer's elder son and daugher back in1960s.  Yes, they grew up fine.
Writer's elder son and daugher back in1960s. Yes, they grew up fine.

It's at home that most of the learning is done

Things have changed a bit. Young mothers – and the brunt of this falls to mothers in most instances – have in what we call ‘the civilized, Western world,” access to help. But it usually comes in the form of being able to drop off the kids to be minded by someone else for a few hours a day. Here those tiny tots might be taught something from how the world works, what they should do to become well-adjusted adults and, of course, have fun and enjoyment whilst learning these things. I speak of child-minding centres. However, the hours little kids spend in such places, unless the parent works full time and the child spends most of its waking hours in that environment, are generally minimal compared with their experiences in their own homes. It is at home, that most of the learning is done. Here is the crucible of learning.

Mum showing how it's done

My darling wife in the 1960s showing the children that feeding dolphins is safe
My darling wife in the 1960s showing the children that feeding dolphins is safe

The first five years of life are so important to molding character

It is said that the first five years of a child's life are critical in the molding of that child’s character. It is in those years before conscious recall, that is, being able to recall with a certain amount of detail, that the main interpretations of what is valued and what is not, are laid down. Qualities, values, the things which really matter in our lives, are set into patterns in our minds long before we are able to determine for ourselves whether they are helpful or harmful. A baby does not have the sort of analytical mind to be able to determine whether it has been fed a lot of mental balderdash, blarney and bullshit. It takes what has been given. Its virgin mind sucks it up like data being fed into a computer. This includes not only the words the baby has heard and interpreted – and remember, a baby can understand what is being said to it a long time before it can answer back – but how it has been treated, and how it has watched others being treated. It is able to pick up the vibes. It begins to fathom sincerity from falsity. It has yet, of course, to understand that grown ups often indulge in sarcasm.

Showing by example. If Daddy's not scared, neither am I

The writer encouraging his daughter to feed the porpoises.  Coolangatta, Queesland, Aust 1960s
The writer encouraging his daughter to feed the porpoises. Coolangatta, Queesland, Aust 1960s

Is love enough - the toughest job in the world for getting it absolutely right

By the time a child is able to hold a reasonable conversation with an adult it has usually been ‘put down’ and told not to do this, and not to do that, so many times that most of its natural confidence has been whittled away. By the time it has adjusted to peer pressure, teacher pressure, and pressure from the world at large, most kids have taken one of two paths, it seems to me. Either they become rebels – if they have plenty of spirit – or shy introverts who almost bend over backwards not to be noticed. It then takes them the rest of their lives to work their way out their mindsets to something they can comfortably live with. All of this, I think, is mainly a reflection of how a youngster has been treated in those very important first five years.

We take our role models seriously, so seriously we model ourselve after them. Every little nuance is noted, everything emulated

We pick up an enormous amount of absolutely incorrect information in these formative years. For example, I was born in England in 1936, three years or so before Adolf Hitler decided to send his Luftwaffe aircraft to bomb London. I was a Londoner, and like countless thousands of others was sent away to a number of foster homes away from danger. Come war’s end I had no idea I had a hidden fear of Germans. Whilst in the navy I’d drunk beer and sung marshal songs with German ex-U-Boat sailors and thoroughly enjoyed doing so. But in a ‘rebirthing’ session some thirty years later I’d let out gasps of terror that “The Germans are coming and they’re going to eat me!” Who the hell had put that into my mind? Who, in their naiveté, or perhaps to threaten or cajole, had maybe said: “If you don’t eat your spinach up the Germans will come and eat you?” A child of three or four believes these things! The horror of such an idea is immediately repressed. And it can then stay and influence a person’s behaviour for the rest of their lives.

Our three children feeding the ducks in a Nelson NZ park in 1972

How blest we were to have three wonderful children, all of whom have grown up into fine adults
How blest we were to have three wonderful children, all of whom have grown up into fine adults

Loving your children is natural...but is love enough?

So you can see the need for education of all parents as to the importance of what to do and what not to do in the bringing up of small children. For it is the most responsible job in the world. If we were taught by educated example the way we should relate to the world in those very important formative years, we’d mostly turn out to be good citizens, free of unconscious trauma, hatreds, and phobias which play so much havoc with so many of us in later life. The world needs to ensure that every parent, or prospective parent, and that means everyone, really, be versed in how important those first years in all of our lives are.

I hope you enjoyed and got something out of little bit of information on The Toughest  Job in the World.

Keep smiling.



Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Tusitala Tom 

    8 years ago

    Thanks GmaGoldie. I appreciate the feedback

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 

    8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Oh, the joys and sorrows of children. And the learning we must do as parents. All too often our words and our voices are not heard. Keep plugging away, it may take 2 years, it may take 20 but they will recall those words.

    Family dynamics is what we make it. Sa'ge is right, we need a class. I remain dismayed that the schools do nothing with philosophy and communication. I know they are trying to hit the basics but parenting is all about philosophy and communication.

    Articles such as this are an education - for many around the world. This is a must read with a memorable story and great photos.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Sa`ge profile image


    8 years ago from Barefoot Island

    g'day Tusitala; great hub, this morning arcross theway was not even 8AM, the neighbors were yelling and cussing at each other, and I mean some serious cussing and name calling, I could hear little ones in the back ground. These same people I hear daily ding the same serious cussing and swearing to their kids each day. There is so much negativity being thrown out that is heard by the whole neighborhood now days that it is no wonder there is so much crime and addiction. There needs to be a class in parenting in every high school and university in the world. I help kids understand parents when I can not help the parent. You could say it sort of like the child learning to be them self and the parent at the same time. ~aloha~

  • profile image

    Tusitala Tom 

    8 years ago

    What can I say! Wonderfully warm comments from both of you, my new-found Hubpages friend, Lynda, and my son, Marty. I wasn't particularly thinking of either of you when I wrote the Hub. But there must have been a sublimininal link, for here you are, responding.

    Yes, it is disconcerting to see the way some parents tread their littlies. And it is hard to agree - at times - with some of our sages that the world is exactly the way it is meant to be, moment to moment, or it would not happen (be as it is) yet it is also right for us to want to change things.

    The older I get the more inclined I am to embrace the concept of Reincarnation; there being 'old souls' who have learned how to behave, and 'young souls' who have yet to learn that :As we give so shall we receive."

  • MartyWare profile image


    8 years ago from New South Wales Australia

    Hi Guys& Gals

    Marty Ware here! Toms son,,,no photos of me, boo hoo.

    No it's cool. Really great to my brother and sister up there in olden days.

    Not many know about me, but I am a single father full time and run a successful online SEO and Online Management consultancy business.

    I agree that its tough, but its a real blessing!

    If you want to see a video of me and my daughter Karin come and visit me at

    Marty Ware The SEO DAD

    PS: I got Tom going on Hubpages, did I create a monster he loves it here! Good crowd.

    Anyway please leave comments below and if you liked this article why not share it on Twitter?

  • lmmartin profile image


    8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

    An excellent article, Tom. How I wish more cared enough to let go of their own mis-handled childhoods and use rationale and intellect to do better with their children. Do I sound as though I have jaded view of parents? I do. Thirty years in child protection can do that, though my view outside of the work is hardly brighter.

    I've just had my morning coffee while listening to my neighbor screaming at her kids. In the last ten minutes I've heard her tell her thirteen year old son and eleven year old daughter they were: 1. stupid, 2. morons, 3. idiots, 4. her greatest burden in life, 5. sneaks and liars, 6. "full of the devil", 7. making her miserable, and then, to her daughter 8. "clean yourself up -- why do you always look such a slob -- an embarrassment to me." All of this took place in a screen room, in full hearing of the neighborhood and in front of a small group of their friends. After thirteen and eleven years of this, respectively, one wonders what kind of self-esteem these children may have left. When the loud-mouthed harridan walked out into the garden, wearing her 'Jesus is Love' tee-shirt, her face still screwed up in rage (a common sight) it took all my self-control not to go out there and shake her till her teeth rattled.

    The boy is already secretive and angry -- mean to other kids; and the girl is a 'people-pleaser' which does not bode well for her in the world we live in.

    The most responsible job in the world? You bet. But taking on that job means letting go of your own baggage and making rational choices -- not using your children as receptacles for your own rage and disappointments.

    Your article is very timely. I'm tempted to print it out and nail it to her back door. Lynda


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