In 2018, motivational speaker Les Brown told a crowd of faithful listeners that we can learn valuable life lessons from the Chinese Bamboo tree. The plant, which grows in far East Asia does not break through the ground for the first four years of its life and then, in its fifth year can grow to ninety feet tall within five weeks.
Those first four years however are spent watering and fertilising the ground where it is everyday, not one single day can go by where the plant is not tended to, otherwise it will die in the ground. The real question, Les proclaimed, was does the bamboo tree grow in five weeks or five years? He replied, ‘the answer is obvious. It grows ninety feet tall in five years.’
Call me crazy but I liken my children to the bamboo tree because when it comes to development the first five years of a child’s life are the most important . During this time a child needs love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security that turns into confidence as they grow. A child will learn appropriate behaviour, boundaries and empathy as well as many other important social skills that will remain with them for life. This is when a child becomes the person they are going to be.
Like the bamboo tree, our children enter the big wide world after their first five years of life by starting school. All the nurturing, the principles and values that were shown to them provide them with a support system to help them flourish in a new environment. Similar, the bamboo tree can grow in new conditions too because of the vitality it had developed beforehand.
The development of our children does not happen overnight, it takes time and effort to teach them right from wrong, show encouragement and remain consistent and intentional as possible along the way. Like the bamboo tree, patience and persistence is key even if you don’t see results right away. With this in mind, we must still move forward by responding and interacting with our children all the time to help them grow into the wonderful human beings they deserve to be.
Lastly, faith- we must have confidence in the things we create.