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This is one of the articles in Lesson 6
- learn how to parent effectively. The range and
scope of major
social problems suggests that U.S. parents are failing at
This brief YouTube clip previews some of what you'll read below:
research on maternal stress, bonding, and child
research on kids from "risky" (low nurturance) families
The purpose of this article is to alert family
adults and supporters to what their
dependent kids need informed adult help with as they grow. Each child depends on you all to know their web
needs and how and when to fill them well enough. A
family's nurturance level
measures how well the needs of all members are filled as their family
Many of these developmental needs are concurrent, which can overwhelm kids and caregivers alike. Some needs are more
primal and impactful than others. Kids' "acting out" is often an inarticulate cry for help with this heavy load,
for typical boys and girls lack the understanding and vocabulary to say what they
caregivers and family supporters (a) can't describe all these needs, (b)
when they're best filled as a child develops, or (c) how to best
fill them. This risks ineffective caregiving, and dependent kids' developing
this summary - see
if (a) you needed knowledgeable adult help to fill each of these developmental needs to
become an independent adult, and (b) whether you got enough competent
adult help filling them. Then picture each minor child you care about one at a
reflect on how you adults are progressing in filling each of these vital needs
for them, so far...
A primal need of all kids and teens is to have had two wholistically-healthy
parents wisely choose if and when to conceive
a baby. Many
("dysfunctional") childhoods can't do this, which promotes (re)creating low-nurturance environments for their
own kids and grandkids.
in this Web site is about making wise mate-selection
choices. Lesson 5
is about evolving a high-nurturance home and family.
Option: test yourself.Before reviewing this inventory,
down as many normal child-development needs as you can. Then compare your
list with the one below.
This need-checklist is not exhaustive or prioritized.
check each item if you feel you got this need filled well enough a
rank-ordering these by importance - to you, your kids (if any), and in
Typical Young Kids Need to...
_ 1) Evolve a harmonious
personality guided by their
true Self. The
alternative is surviving a low-nurturance environment and
adapting to the dominance of a short-sighted, reactive group of narrowly-skilled
subselves called (here) a
false self. Filling this keystone
need is unlikely if one or more caregivers are often
controlled by their own false selves.
Our unremarked US divorce epidemic suggests this
is com-mon in most families.
_ 2) Learn
how to think critically, objectively,
clearly and independently,
in order to make realistic sense out of the world and make effective daily
decisions. This includes many sub-needs, like mastering abstract
(non-concrete) thinking, sorting and synthesizing unrelated ideas, discerning
information patterns, and effective logical deduction. And average young kids need to...
how to be clearly
of - and
(prioritize) - their dynamic emotions, thoughts, hunches,
intuitions, and current
in order to react to life challenges in healthy, safe, and satisfying ways;
kids need to...
to monitor their
awareness" and to want toinclude selected others in their bubble in non-emergencies.
A related need is learning how to discern and balance short-term and
long-term needs. The ultimate phase of this developmental need is growing an empathic
awareness of the interdependence of all life forms on Earth.
And young kids need to...
identity to satisfy the
questions "Who am I?" and "How am I like and different from my parents, other people, and
other males and females?" Part of this developmental need is evolving a
stable, healthy way to
seperate themselves from
their caregivers' needs and
visions of who they
want the child to be. Filling this need includes each child
identifying and accepting his or her unique talents and personal limitations without undue guilt,
shame, and anxiety;
self-respect and self-trust as foundations for filling their daily and long-term needs
effectively. And growing kids also need to...
Evolve genuine non-egotistical
self-love (vs. shame), and acceptance of
their unique talents and limitations; and...
Learn how to _ feel, name, and express their emotions in
socially-acceptable ways; and to _
with other's feelings while keeping their boundaries.
Empathy is required for bonding with
_ 9) Learn
_ how to form healthy emotional attachments to
(bond with) selected people, ideas, visions, and principles;
and how to
grieve well when such (psychological - mental -
spiritual) bonds break; and
how to think and communicate
with other people in calm, intimate, and conflictual settings; and...
_ 11) Learn to understand, appreciate, and care effectively for their changing
body, to promote ongoing wholistic health and healing. This includes kids'
needs to understand, appreciate, and control their
sexuality.And they also need to...
to make balanced decisionsbetween...
pleasure vs. long-term satisfaction;
pleasing others vs.
inner and environmental realities vs. tempting
distortions, and to decide between
pessimism, idealism, and realistic optimism; and learn to balance...
work, play, and
And children need to do this while they...
and practice effective social and relationship
skills like tact, empathy, intimacy, authenticity, selective
assertion, cooperation, obedience, and respectful confrontation, to "get along well"
with other people - including a mate.
Growing kids also need to...
want to take full responsibility for the outcomes of their
decisions and behaviors without coaching. Popular alternatives are denial, projection,
repression, blaming, forgetting, explaining (justifying), "confusion,"...); and
respectfully grant other
able people full responsibility for their decisions, behaviors, feelings,
health, and welfare;
how to learn, evaluate, retain, sort and prioritize, and apply new information; and...
where to get needed information, and learn...
how to make their own minds up about
themselves and the world, rather than blindly accepting other people's
beliefs and "truths"; and learn...
how to unlearn old attitudes, beliefs, habits, and
values that no longer fit current life reality and goals;
meaningful answers to core life questions about
spirituality and religion, life and cosmic origins, destiny, fate, good and evil, and death;
and learn to revere, trust, and include the
spiritual part of themselves
in life decisions; and...
Learn how to
from - and adjust to - personal mistakes
and failures, and how to keep their wholistic (mental + spiritual +
psychological + physical) balance.
And growing kids
an authentic (vs. borrowed or rote) framework of
ethics and morals to
discern what's "right and wrong," and "good and bad" in any situation,
and learn how to apply those judgments effec-tively toward filling daily and long-range
needs; while they...
_ 18) Learn how to
(a) successfully earn, save, spend, and responsibly manage
money and debts,
and to (b) respect and care for what money buys, including power and freedoms;
_ 19) Learn to make responsible, healthy young-adult
sex and child conception, and learn fundamental ideas
about child, human, and
family development and
_ 20) Learn
how to understand, negotiate, and balance the responsibilities and limits
of key social
like child, grandchild; sibling; student;
friend; sexual partner; local, national, and global citizen; team and class
member; neighbor; employee; taxpayer; consumer;
spiritual being; debtor; and
eventually independent wo/man. And ideally, developing kids learn to...
_ 21) Acknowledge that they have a unique, worthy
life mission or purpose, and stay alert for "evidence"
(thoughts, feelings, hunches, outside feedback) about what it is, while
exploring as many "personalities" and
roles as possible. That can help them...
a meaningful plan about where they want their life to go in the next
several years and beyond. The alternative is living each day as a
random experience, with no plan or life purpose. This risks
David Campbell's wry observation fitting: "If you don't know where
you're going, you'll probably wind up somewhere else."
And minor kids need
_ 23) Learn how to promptly
ask for and accept
needed human and spiritual
help - without excessive
guilts, shame, and
anxieties, when life becomes chaotic and overwhelming; and...
Learn how to accurately discern who and what to
trust, and how to adapt to
people, ideas, and circumstances they don't
And before living on their own, kids need to...
Learn basic life skills like cooking, sanitation,
hygiene, checkbook balancing, understanding contracts and laws, and
(usually) operating a vehicle; while they learn about the physical
world, and how and why to nurture vs. deplete it.
over time, kids need to learn to live comfortably enough with
ambiguity and insecurity, and to forge credible-enough answers to the
eternal questions about conception and life, aging, death, origins, God,
evil, "senseless change," trauma, joy, hope, love, miracles, and
_ 27) Evolve autonomy
and self confidence from filling all these needs well enough over
many years, and use those to leave home without undue anxiety, guilt, and
confusions. This is a
decision and change, not an individual one.
28) (add other normal developmental needs you feel should be
Notice how you're feeling, now, and where your thoughts go. Have you ever
seen a summary like this? How likely is it that typical parents and
grandparents could spontaneously describe and monitor all these
child-developmental needs? Could your parents describe them? How does
this summary of needs compare with your own ideas?
Note that family systems
(like yours) have developmental challenges
and stages just like persons do. Family adults are challenged with
simultaneously managing personal + family + kids' + grandkids' developments.
Two keys to meeting this lifelong challenge are family members helping each
other develop personal
awareness and knowledge.
Are your family adults doing this?
Effective parenting requires adult caregivers to know what their
dependent kids need for healthy development.Thisarticle proposes 27 normal developmental needs
to stimulate thought and discussion. This summary is unique in that it
includes the common needs to adapt to wounded, unaware caregivers.
These child-development needs are common to all dependent kids in any setting. Kids in low-nurturance families
and/or kids in divorcing, foster, and step families - have up to four additional sets
of concurrent family-adjustment needs
Use this summary to help
your family adults and supporters assess
(a) what your dependent kids each need, and (b)
how they're progressing
with their mix of needs. For more
perspective, see this article on effective childcare.
Healing adult wounds and learning these topics are the most effective way to
provide high-nurturance homes and families and guard against this lethal
[wounds + unawareness]
Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article. Did you get
what you needed? If so, what do you need now? If not - what
do you need? Is there anyone you want to
discuss these ideas with?
Who's answering these
questions - your wise resident