What matters in raising children

Published on Current Concerns, by Dr Anita Schächter, April 10, 2012.

… Social nature:

  • Seeing the child means recognizing him or her in his social nature, to realize that he is capable of a feeling of empathy. That his personality will grow, if he experiences a sense of importance for other people.
  • If cooperation and helpfulness of the child develops from the feeling for his own value, then they are embodied in the child’s mind. The child has a feeling for his own importance and knows: “My contribution is important. I am wanted.”   
  • “It depends on me!” – Becoming a fellow human being
  • An example: The 5-year-old, who was asked by his mother to help her in cutting the carrots, is happy to give his mother a hand. He wants to see that his contribution is important for the successful outcome. The genuine appreciation of the mother – not an exuberant one – provides the child with the feeling of being perceived in his actions and being appreciated.
  • The desire to help is tied to the social nature of human beings. Human beings are related to others due to their senses and the ability to acquire language.
  • Human beings are not capable of surviving alone in their first years of life.
  • Human beings could not survive without the care and selfless help of others.
  • The ability to love is inherent in human nature. It unfolds through the experience of empathy, which is not subject to any conditions.
  • Selfless pleasure in shared actions unfolds where human beings experience mutual care and concern. Anyone who does something for a fellow human being and experiences a gesture of gratitude knows that it was good to help. He proceeds with his day knowing that “it was right to do so”. Man feels this certainty in small or large inter-personal processes.

Learn to see with your heart – the development of empathy: … //

…Transferring responsibility:

  • Parents must also transfer responsibility onto the child, and ask him or her to behave in such a way that he or she does something good for someone else (“Ask daddy whether he’d like a cup of coffee.”)
  • Diana Baumrind found out that children, who had to take over tasks and duties in the household were friendlier and more sociable than children who did not have to take over any duties. The same was true for children who were responsible for a pet. The more a child contributes help within the family (especially shown by cross-cultural comparative studies), the more caring he developed. Children who had to guard the cattle or to provide for siblings developed more compassion than children who had no chance of growing up having some responsibility. This was the case when the only duty of children was to tidy up their room. Cleaning up his room cannot awaken the feeling of contributing to the welfare of the family. And this is exactly what counts so that the feeling of importance and responsibility can increase.

Dealing with the needs of children: … (full text).


Françoise D. Alsaker: Courageously against bullying in kindergarten and school;

AVAAZ.org.de: Startseite, Keine Gefängnisstrafe für Verhütung; AVAAZ in many languages, as in english.

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