Children
From: allenbutcher (allenbutcherjuno.com)
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 17:56:39 -0700 (MST)
Regarding children in community, I assembled material from several
different sources for this item below.
Allen

VALUES to TEACH our CHILDREN


When adults hold agreements involving child care practices and
educational processes, the result is a stable environment conducive to
healthy and happy child development.  Such agreements represent a set of
values which may include the following:


Self-reliance and independence are encouraged through providing spaces
which are child scale, safe, comfortable and interesting for each age
group.  The child environment will have as few rules and limitations upon
the child as possible, while also teaching "daily living skills" such as
cleaning up and self-direction.  Self-reliance is encouraged in the child
when adults practice "active listening" to aid the child in recognizing
and communicating feelings, and in generally supporting the child's
articulation.  Children are taught to be able to recognize and avoid
dangerous situations, to say "no" to adults or other children who are
threatening them, to call for help when they need it, and to otherwise
preserve their own rights, and to respect other's rights to be safe,
strong & free.


Values of self-motivation, initiative and competence are encouraged
through the provision of a learning environment which maintains
individual interest in and pursuit of learning.  The "prepared
environment" is one which meets the child at their own level, which
permits development at their own speed, and which presents a
noncompetitive atmosphere.  Trying to do one's best, or better next time,
however, creates a valuable sense of competition with oneself, or of
self-motivation.  Persistence in the face of failure is encouraged when
additional effort is recognized as a means to overcome failure.  As
personal effort is understood as enhancing one's chances of success,
personal initiative becomes rewarded by pride in one's accomplishments.


Values of freedom, autonomy and inner discipline are taught as a child is
supported in being aware of, and in organizing one's environment in terms
of, one's own needs or desires, and in developing one's own unique
personality within a socially responsible context.  Children are given as
much autonomy as possible, invoking few rules, and expressing many
directives as preferences rather than as musts.  The child's opinions,
desires and rights are respected, giving them choices in what affects
them, and forewarning them of things over which they have no control.


The value of a positive self-concept or self-image is conveyed as the
child is shown respect by talking with them and explaining things to
them.  Children's questions are treated seriously, answered honestly and
completely to the degree which they are likely to understand. 
Appropriate expression of feelings (anger, sorrow, joy) is encouraged
rather than stifling emotions.  A child's self-assurance is nurtured by
stressing positive reinforcement whenever possible rather than only
giving negative attention when necessary.  Positive things about
individual children are appreciated when they are noticed, and laughing
at children's frustrations is avoided.  Children are not talked about in
their presence as though they can not understand.  Over usage of "no" and
"don't" is avoided through creating alternative means of telling a child
what is not wanted, then following up with reasons why (health, safety,
etc.), thus preserving the child's self-image.  By speaking of negative
behaviors as separate from the person, a child is encouraged to change
their behavior without conveying to them that they are bad.  Each child
is valued independent of comparisons with other children.


Values of cooperation, responsibility, caring and empathy for others are
taught by encouraging children to share, take turns, be polite, listen,
and to be considerate of others' person and property.  Children are asked
to consider how they would feel in an other's position, and to be aware
of their own and others' needs.  The concepts of exploitation and
oppression in relation to sexism, racism, ageism, etc. are explained when
appropriate.  Children's awareness of environmental and ecological
concerns is encouraged in relation to a lifestyle of responsible
consumerism and the sharing of material resources.  Children are
encouraged to take appropriate action to help themselves, each other and
other living things.

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