Children are tropistic – they grow in the direction of the light and attention.

August 22, 2012 · 13 comments

I wish I could remember where I read this so I could give them full credit, but alas I’m a chronic sufferer of mummy brain and the cells are struggling right now.   (If you know maybe you could drop me a line :))   Children are tropistic.  They grow in the direction of the light and attention – and those things that are ignored in childhood don’t develop.     In case,  like me, you didn’t automatically twig onto what tropistic means here is the  definition of tropism from the Oxford Dictionary Online. Tropism:  the turning of all or part of an organism in a particular direction in response to an external stimulus. (Heat, gravity or light). Obviously it usually refers to plants – but it’s pretty easy to see how it could relate to our kids.

These words have been playing around in my brain a bit over the past few weeks – on a couple of different fronts.   But  what has really got me thinking is the  notion that things which are ignored in childhood don’t develop.  That could be a good thing when it comes to  some forms of attention seeking behaviour, but what about when our kids have to turn and change their natural form or shape to reach for the love they need to grow?  What things within them don’t develop when they’re not showered with love,  patience and other good child rearing techniques?  How does this change the person they’re growing to be?    And then there is a deeper level.  What things inside ourselves have not grown or developed because of our upbringing?   Deep concept I know – with much room for pondering.

But on a positive and comforting note what a beautiful image to hold in your heart as a parent.  To think of your child growing straight and  tall,  secure in the  knowledge that they are fully loved and blooming as they grow.   Even though we don’t get it right every single time, we can  provide what they need in the right balance  to fully develop and flourish.  And if we have missed the mark in the past it’s never to late to start pouring the attention on (or off).    All this pondering on tropism has made to re-think my parental role a little and I like where it has led me and the imagery it has put in my brain.   I think it helps me be a better and more aware parent.   And that can’t be bad.

(Beautiful image from here)



{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joni May 20, 2016 at 5:35 am

The quote is from “Women Food and God” by Geneen Roth. The rest of the quote is “That which is ignore in childhood does not develop. If ia child is valued for her accomplishments, she will learn to value what she does more than who she is….and The Voice will step in when she is not fulfiling its accomplishment quota. If your parents were unaware of that which couldn’t be accomplished or seen or proved, you grew up ignoring those dimensions of yourself. And The Voice will step in as a cynicism and doubt when you veer in the world beyond appearances.”


2 Dorothy August 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Now you’ve made me think. I don’t like thinking about my parenting. I may have to pretend I didn’t read this ;-P
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3 Caz August 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

That’s okay. I give you my permission pretent that 🙂


4 Becky from August 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Love this post Caz. It’s certainly something to think about and to give us a different perspective as we go through our daily parenting lives.
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5 shelly August 23, 2012 at 6:18 am

So interesting Caz, thanks for sharing this -you have made me think.


6 Caz August 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

Hey Shell – miss your comment because it landed on a reply. (Hey Becky). Thanks lovely for dropping by again 🙂


7 Caz August 23, 2012 at 6:29 am

Thanks Becky 🙂 It did for me – and that’s good. How are things with you? Must catch up and see where things are at. You were thinking of moving again. Hope all is well 🙂 xx


8 Lisa wood August 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Life is interesting ~ my parenting skills have changed so very much from our oldest son to our youngest son.
I have seen where I went wrong and I now parent differently. If only I had my time over once more. But I do know that I am trying to be a Mum that supports, encourage and love them for who they are in their own ways. it makes life easier to listen to there voices 🙂
I really like the saying!
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9 Caz August 23, 2012 at 6:27 am

I had a friend who told me you had to have 3 – so you could get the last one right. She was tongue in cheek – but I can see you would understand more. Support and love though – is a big part of what they need!


10 Naturally Carol August 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hi Caz..they’ve proved that ‘mummy brain’ doesn’t exist..well I can’t remember who ‘they’ was on the it must be right..hehe! I am sure your beautiful kids will grow ‘straight & tall’ despite having a mum with ‘mummy brain’!
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11 Caz August 23, 2012 at 6:23 am

I think they should come live with me for a while, then they mind change there findings!! I think it’s one of those things like teething. troubles in babies. All mums know it real -the scientist obviously don’t have kids!!! Love your sense of humour Carol 🙂


12 Donna-lee August 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

It really is hard to be sure you nourishing all aspects of a child. Our 3 year old is excellent at reading and writing and you’d think this would be applauded. Instead i’ve been told to be careful that he isn’t bored once school starts and to encourage learning through play. The moment our babies are born they literally have books thrown at them and you are encouraged to help them develop a love of books (just not too much?)bSo my theory – praise and encourage all great things your kids do from reading a sentence to pretending to be a lion.


13 Caz August 23, 2012 at 6:21 am

I like that approach a lot Donna-Lee. Makes good sense to me. Like everything in life, I guess it’s all about balance.


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