A Thought

My husband just shared this thought with me, and I found it hit home in my heart in a poignant manner, so allow me to share it with you.

When an archer takes hold of his bow and arrow, the closer that he is able to draw his arrow inward, the further and straighter the arrow will go.ย  By pulling the arrow closer to him, the archer is enabling it to effectively and successfully reach its destination afar.

We parents are also archers.

The closer we pull our child towards ourselves, in a wholesome and healthy manner, the farther we allow our child to ultimately soar.ย  It is paradoxically by being emotionally close to your child that we give him/her the ability to mature into an effective adult.

All of the bonding, time, effort, and energy you are spending with your child today will yield tremendous results in his/her future.

Draw your child close now, and watch that child soar!

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  1. True, true… a wise person once said “baby your baby while s/he’s a baby and you won’t have to baby him all of his life.”

    Infantile unmet needs remain unmet and manifest themselves in many ways later on…

    One of the reasons it’s so important not to push our kids for early “independence” which is really just a defense mechanism our babies learn. “If noone does anything when I cry, I’ll just give up…”

    Keep doing what you’re doing Ellen ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great Thought Ellen. A wonderful graphic image of pulling your children closer so when you let them go they will fly straight (At least we hope so!) Onward!

  3. Davinder says:

    Dr. Gordon Neufield will agree with you 100%. His book “Hold on to Your Kids” relays this messsage very well. The attachment and bonding that we develope with our children early on works as a foundation for them to become healthy adults later in life.

  4. This flies right in the face of what so many “experts” have to say on the subject of independence, but goes right to the heart of what parents instictively feel from the moment their child is born. Its unfortunate parenting trends sometimes contradict this fundamental truth. Thanks for reminding us all how important it is to hold our children close.

  5. Aardvarkwillow says:

    Oh what a beautiful analogy Ellen! That will stick in my conscious mind perfectly well because it just makes so much sense. I do hope you will write sometime about the difference between giving emotionally to our children but at the same time not binding them so close emotionally that we take away their ability in be their own individual selves. I think the term might be ‘enmeshment’ which is the nasty side to emotionally overbonding with our children. I don’t know enough about this …. like where the line is. Thanks so much for all your effort here with our children!

  6. “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.




  8. catherine says:

    It is a luxury to get to the “soft place” of nurturing our little ones. I met a mom who is heading back to work because she wants to get a learning-support program set up just right. Her little one will join grandma with the three other young ones. She has a choice, even to stay home a few months with her 6 week old and the others, but she wants to get back to work.

    My concern is for the bonding process, which many are recognizing as taking some time, but we haven’t figured out “how much”. Now some politicians are noting that the US doesn’t advocate for moms to be with their babies as many other countries do. Some even give stipends, realizing the caregiving mothers contribute to the Gross National Product by doing work which would likely otherwise have to be hired out. The Welfare to Work programs esteem moms working after a few months at home to be a good role model for their children…Now the same economist who came up with that idea wrote In Our Hands which says everyone in the US could get 10K each year (instead of the administration pushing that much money around as they currently do) to give all an income stream, promote networking funds, and grease the wheels of options (including staying home to care for a child) for parents and others.

  9. Wonderful example of what we ALL should be doing! Keep up the good work1 ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Thanks for your last comment on “confession”
    I am a parent educator and I also have “moments” as we all do….we are human! I like to use my “moments” as “teachable moments” with my kids later after the dust has settled. It is a way to reconnect with them, and set a good example of how to right a wrong….”I wanted to take to you about what happened earlier today, is now a good time to talk? I’m sorry for the way I lost controlled and yelled at you. I was very upset but now that I’m calmed down I would like to think about solutions with you about our problem…”….etc. You get the idea. I have found this has really helped my kids and I have a closer relationship and for them to realize that being a parent is just as hard as being a kid!! But that we are all human and it is important to try and repair mistakes when they happen. Taking responsibility for your actions is a very important lesson…for children and adults alike. Thanks for listening! And happy parenting!

  11. Very true! I have just had the chance to watch my kid during a development meeting at school. She is in 3rd grade. I was amazed at her ability to concentrate. With about 150 people producing considerable noise I was challenged to produce decent video footage, she was immersed in her maths work. People were constantly grabbing books from her table, she didn’t care. She was like an archer: very focused. Many thanks for all your great advice.

  12. danny archer says:


    i tried it…

    at first the bow snapped

    second time, my child went flying into a passing moose and killed it.

    third time, after we cleaned my kid up, i shot him straight up and away he went, as high as the stars….i was really really happy.

    then, about 15 minutes later he re-entered the atmosphere and was burned upon re-entry…what do you suggest for a salve?

    and do you realize that you can only hold one bow at a time and once you let it go…the arrow never, ever comes back…

    and if you are a good shot it will kill something.

    and how do you attach those guidance feathers to the feet?

  13. Thank you for your comment on the need to hold children closer.It is so true.A desire to be secure and evidently loved should not be suppressed/repressed.When children have satiated this need to be secure,they are confident to spread their wings and face the real world on their own.Thank you once again for your valuable tips.

  14. For a more poetic take on the “…parents as archers and children as arrows…” theme, get a hold of a short book entitled “The Prophet”, by Khalil Gibran. Fast-forward to the inquiry about children. Not a new concept, but as true now as it was then…

  15. midanstan says:

    Food for thought! Excellent

  16. I am the mom of 5 boys, ages 22, 17, 14, 12 and 10. The oldest probably got to bond with me the most. We spent many many hours together,talking and playing, even after the next 4 were born. Library programs, every park in the county, trips to New York, lots of music,read books unti I couldn’t stand it. Well….while he is certainly not fully mature, he truly is Mr. Independent. He has no qualms about manuevering about in the big world. He has much confidence and loves people. I am confident in his ability to manage in this world. But I do miss him! It’s hard when those wonderful little people grow up and leave to be their own person with their own adventures. Enjoy those little ones!! It goes fast.

  17. I can’t wait to show this to my husband and my son, whose name is Archer John. My husband and I loved archery, and I spent hours waddling along trails in the woods while I was pregnant with Archer while my husband shot his target bow. We thought the name was appropriate when he was born, and after reading this and thinking of the challenges Archer presents me with everyday, I find it even more so. Thanks for giving me a little inspiration!

  18. One note which makes the metaphor more helpful to me: the arrow is pointed outward. I draw my son close to my heart, but pointed at, focused on, the world. I share with him my deepest (and God’s deepest) thought about its needs, its dangers, and his place out there. So nestled there at my heart, he’s heard me while observing the world from that refuge. When I release him, he’s ready, and he’s not taken by surprise, as he would be if he’d been burying his face in my shoulder. But then, only a fool would draw an arrow point-first against herself. Right?

  19. Oh, Ellen, you have once again shown and shared such wonderful profound understanding of the needs of our little ones (and not so little ones too). Thank you.

    Laurie, your additions are equally profound and insightful. Great thinking and thanks for sharing.

    One of my children is really struggling with a very difficult situation/behavior and this was just the reminder that I needed today. Thank you.

  20. I work as a counselor in a pre-trial diversion program and a large part of what we do is inner-chile therapy to help adults look objectively at their childhood to realize what parents failed to provide (usually because they just don’t know). The importance of complete, early guidance is magnified when you spend time with adults who failed to receive it.

  21. This is a very touching and thoughtful metaphor.

    when we think of drawing our children closer , are we refering to the emotional needs more than the physical?
    When we say we dont need to push them into independence early on are we refering to physical independence not as much emotional?

    I really like the bit where laurie says: drawing them closer to heart but pointed outward.

    I believe Independence is very important , but at a natural and comfortable pace for the child.
    The feeling of security and love is enough to encourage anyone to venture and soar high , knowing there is unconditional help and support whenever required.
    I can really relate this to my own parenting now when I look back to it. I was / am attached to my parents emtionally . It took me a while to soar , lol.. perhaps beacause of my own life exeriences ,peer situations coupled with my pesonality type then. I then went through a point where I really felt so comfortable about myelf and my values that I would not hesitate to stand by them. ( is that what we mean by soaring high .. eventually). Having confidence in what we believe in – of course justifiably not in a strong headed way, and following our own internals leads to strive for a feeling of satisfaction in life – like a direction. So that eventually we are happy internally (at most times at least )and not always feeling dissatisfied.

    Thank you for that Thought. I really love this website and everyone around me knows about it too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Truly an inspiring place to visit.

  22. Rebekah Osman says:

    How true. It is very sad today that many mothers have an option to stay home but refuse to sacrifice material things so they go to work almost as soon as the baby is born. I have heard mothers say, “but I’m so bored staying home”. I am not quite sure how that is possible. There is never a boring moment in my house. I have seen these same mothers constantly tell their children to go to their room and play, while they turn on the tv and sit. Yes, I guess that would be boring but where is the bonding. I know some mothers have to go back to work just to survive. Make sure your moments with your child are like what Ellen has shown in here metaphor. If there were more parents who acted like this then our society would be a better place such as fewer suicide, less divore, less crime and the list goes on and on.

  23. Ellen,
    I 100% agree with this analogy. However, my husband believes my son, who is now 7 years old, needs to be more independent and mature than what he is. How do I judge how much to hold him vs how much to let him fly?