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water quoteWhere fire is personal strength as evidenced by passion and enthusiasm, water finds its strength in persistence. Water will find a way to seek its level, wearing down granite in the process if it must. With too much fire, a person can suffer burn-out. Where fire is impatient, hungry, water is patient, accepting but persistent. But these latter qualities can cause problems as well. As with other elements, anything in excess causes problems.

The Dark Side of Water

forest gladeThe qualities of water can have their excesses. With Water, a person accepts, accommodates. But without some heat, water freezes. Without the quality of Fire, acceptance and tolerance can become complacency, and possibly indifference. Understanding what must be confronted and what must be accepted in a child is a difficult, challenging task. Is the child's performance in math the result of lazy study habits or is the child having a difficult time because math is not something he can comprehend very well? He may never get As or Bs in math, regardless of how hard he works. The former circumstance should be confronted. The latter, accepted. Makes no sense to confront children over something they cannot change about themselves.

child sitting on ballThere are two mistakes that we can make. First, to believe something is wrong when it is not. Second, to believe something is not wrong when it is. The first mistake is that of Fire. The second, of Water. But distinguishing these two different circumstances and making effective judgment to avoid either error takes effort and alertness. If we become too accepting of the wrong behaviors, then we are not taking advantage of learning opportunities. Patience and acceptance have to have the capacity for confrontation if they are not to slip into complacency.

How is the experience of Water (metaphorically speaking) important in your life? In your relationships with children? Just visit the threaded message board to leave your comments and read those left by other parents.

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