One should teach children to dance
on a tightrope without a safety net,
to sleep at night alone under the sky,
to row a boat out on the open sea.
One should teach them to imagine castles in the sky
instead of houses on the ground,
to be nowhere at home but in life itself
and to find security within themselves.
It was shared by my friend and sometime collaborator Hattie Coppard of play design company Snug and Outdoor.
On the topic of poetry, here are the opening lines of one of my favourites: First Lesson, by Philip Booth:
Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
I came across it not long after my own daughter was born, and still find it deeply moving.
If you have any special poems on the topic of childhood, feel free to share them here. Sources and links would be great too. And if you do not know how to add links to comments, head here. It is a tiny bit fiddly (cutting and pasting helps!) but it is a useful trick.