Simple commandments of Janusz Korczak

Simple commandments of Janusz Korczak Janusz Korczak (Janusz Korczak; autonym – Hersh Henryk Goldszmit; 22 July 1878 –, Warsaw — 6 August 1942, Treblinka).

Poland gave to the world Janusz Korczak – the talented educator, writer and medical doctor.
This man lived in accordance with his pedagogical principles and died without breaking them although the fate gave him three times a chance for salvation.

First, Korczak did not leave the territory of Poland on the eve of the country's occupation by Nazi troops, unwilling to turn adrift the inmates of the "House of orphans." In 1940 Korczak with the children of foster home was caught in a ghetto at Warsaw. Then fans of Korczak’s talent wanted to arrange his escape, but he rejected such proposals. The third time, fate gave him a chance at salvation before sending the train to the extermination camp. When the train was ready to depart a Nazi officer entered to the train. He approached to Korczak and asked:
— Are you Janusz Korczak? In my childhood I liked to read your book – King Matt the First. The train may go without you.
— What will become of the children?
—They will be taken to the camp. And you are free. You may get out of the car.
—No, I will not do it. Do not look on all the people as scoundrels.

A few days later the educator was killed in Treblinka together with all the children of the foster home. He passed his final journey to the gas chambers holding by the ears two smallest inmates. Korczak told them stories in order that kids do not have time to be frightened.

You may read the pedagogical writings of Korczak, in order to get yourself familiar with his views on childrearing. But you also may simply follow his simple 10 commandments:

1. Do not expect your child to fulfill your ambitions. Help him to become what he is, not what you are.

2. Do not expect your child to return everything you invested in him. You gave him his life, how he can repay you? He will give life to another, the third, and this is an irreversible act of gratitude.

3. Do not vent your resentments on the child in order to avoid disappointment later on in life. For what you sow, so shall rise.

4. Do not look down on your child’s problems. Everything in life is given according to what one can handle. Be sure, child’s life is just as challenging, it might be even more challenging than yours, since he does not have an experience.

5. Do not disgrace!

6. Do not forget that the most important encounters in life – are encounters with children. Pay more attention to them – we can never know whom we encounter in the face of the child.

7. Do not beat yourself up, if you cannot do something for your child. Simply remember, it never done enough until everything possible has been done.

8. The child – this is not a tyrant, who takes over your life. He is not only your flesh and your blood. He is a precious Holy Grail given to you by Life so you could light up their creative fire. The child is a liberated love by mother and father who will not grow “our” or “their” kid, but they will grow a soul given to them to care for.

9. Learn to love someone else’s child. Never do to someone else’ child what you would not do to yours.

10. Love your child no matter what they are – not talented, unsuccessful, or an adult. When communicating with him – rejoice, because the child – is a celebration that is still with you.

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