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The Basis of Human Development
Children are destined to grow up to be the most powerful, creative and intelligent of all God's creations on earth, but when they are little, their needs must be attended to realistically. Parents can adversely affect the psychological development of their children if they do not treat them appropriately, according to their developmental needs at the time.
Horme, or joy of life, must be allowed to become firmly established in the early days, months and years of a child's life. It is the foundation of his psychological development. Parents must abandon any preconceived notions they may have. Instead, they should watch and observe their child to facilitate the development of a healthy psyche.
The body has formed. The psyche is forming until the child is six years of age. Babies grow according to natural stages of development. The needs of the child must be known. If a baby does not get what he needs, he could become fixated at whatever stage he was when his needs were not met. Study the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. The Secret of Childhood and The Absorbent Mind are two excellent books. She covers the stages of development from 0-6 and the child's needs at each stage.
The psyche is being built. Deviations can occur and will cause psychological problems due to an interruption in the flow of Horme, a word which means "sense of joy," Montessori respected the "Inner Life" of the child. All people who work with children should respect the child. Nature is at work within the child. We can facilitate nature by allowing the child to work from within. We should not bombard the child's conscious mind with too much unnecessary stimulus. He is finding his own stimulus.
The following explanations are based on the teachings of Dr Maria Montessori: Please apply them to your own understanding according to your own observations and experiences:
* A baby needs peace and quiet at birth or he/she will have a low level of horme for the rest of his life. (Could it be the cause of cronic depression which some people must deal with their entire lives.) The child's sense of joy must be facilitated at birth and throughout the rest of his developing life.
*A baby derives deep comfort and joy while nursing. Cuddle and provide body warmth while feeding your baby. Its not only food the baby wants and craves at this time.
* If your baby does not get enough suckling time, he could develop a fixation for sucking his thumb or fingers. Some parents expect their babies to drink exclusively from a cup at six months. This is too early. I recommend letting them nurse or have their bottles until they are two years of age at least. Otherwise, he could be left with a lingering hankering for SOMETHING (an unconscious fixation to nurse?) for the rest of his life possibly resulting in alcoholism, drug addiction or over-eating.
* The use of screen technology will impede a child's interaction with the natural, real and concrete world. His time in front of any type of screen technology should be limited. Children can get addicted to iPhones, iPads, computers and TV. Children need to interact with the real world. Screen technologies and too much outer-stimulation only serve to bypass the child's connection to himself.The subconscious must be free to form itself during this period. Nature is forming the child from within and prompts the child to interact with the environment through the senses.
* Early childhood is the sensitive period when the child's mind is absorbing everything around him at a rapid-fire pace. Interacting with the environment helps the child build lifelong skills. Put him in front of screen technology, however, and he stops interacting with his environment in a meaningful and concrete way. Furthermore, he looses touch with the promptings of own vital inner life of the subconscious promptings as directed by nature. In other words, it is nature within the child which prompts the baby to interact and absorb what is around him. In conclusion, the child must be free to operate freely in the world, not in front of screens.
* At this stage, what the child absorbs is indelible. Everything becomes part of their sense of order, (or sense of how things are.)
* If a toddler is given too much freedom and stimulation, (as in too many children to play with too early and for too long a time,) he will never learn to self-regulate toward his own comfort level. He might be running for the rest of his life, subconsciously trying to keep up with the other kids. This sensation will exist as a lingering urge which developed when the psyche should have been calm and quiet.
So, parents, keep up the good work. You are building humanity and the future of the world. It is a huge job.