Raising Children ~ The First Five Years

INVESTIGATE UNRAVELLING: Over the course of our lives, so much has continued to trigger the disconcerting unravellings of our times. We can honestly step back to consider events through a view expanded by bringing problems to light without blame or finding fault. Rather, investigating for what was missing. 

We have been missing the knowledge of ourselves, the teaching and mentoring of our families and the situations which create healthy families and motivated people.

Human Life is Relatable to These Seven Fundamental Truths:

  1. Love or Respect for Life – Harmlessness, Health, Good Stewardship, Nature, People, Home.
  2. Love or Respect for Relationships – Bonds with Family, Friends and Community.
  3. Love or Respect for Purpose – Abilities, Sparks, Competence, Creativity
  4. Love or Respect for Caring – Compassion, Kindness, Generosity.
  5. Love or Respect for Power – Being in Leadership and Achieving Collaborative  Projects, Finding Solutions.
  6. Love or Respect for Knowledge – Mission, Meaning, Making a Difference,  Ideas, Service, Creations, Inventions.
  7. Love or Respect for Integrity – Freedom, Growth, Advancement, Strength in Ordeals, Creativity, Spirituality, Questing.

SEVERE HARM? JUST PARENTS: “I still have your paper on Diagnosis and Treatment of Sexual Abuse of Perpetrators.” An unforgettable statement by my favorite (and toughest) professor, Dr. Margaret Pinder. More than two decades after I graduated, she remarked to me that my writing said something about me. I continue with the same view: we can best stop harm by understanding the root causes. Most of my fellow students and colleagues hated perpetrators and didn’t want anything to do with them. But, I believe that, if we investigate, the answer is there. This may be a long shot but, I can usually trace such tragic harm back to improper parenting based on out-dated traditions. And, our parents continued the behaviors their brains learned through their maturation process. What we have determined is that the earliest years are the foundation of growing up. If those first 5 years are neglected, it affects us for our lifespan. 

We are very clear about what little kids need. Let’s hear from today’s best experts:

Here are the links to learn from my two favorite Early Childhood Development Experts:

Gordon Neufeld, Making Sense of Preschoolers Preview 0:00 – 3:23.

12:16. Intro to 6-hour course.

Gordon Neufeld, How to Develop Good Attachment with your Child – Attachment Parenting. We cannot parent a child whose heart we do not have.

Bruce Perry, Early Childhood Brain Development 52 min. 4/23/14

Of our Gifts, 2 are essential:

  1. We Form Relationships – We don’t live the way we used to.
  2. The Brain is most malleable early in life.

4:14 – 7:47
1. Relational Poverty 7 min

Small family multi-generational groups – most of the time on this planet. 40 to 50 people.
There were 20 plus people in continual interaction.
Now, compartmentalized. Digital. 11 hr daily. Child 6 hrs/day.
Under the age of 6 there were four care givers. Now, daycare is relational poverty.
Brain develops in a use-dependent way via repetition.
Now only 1/20 of the interactions we naturally had.
As a society, we value cognition. But we aren’t culturally matching social emotional enrichment. We have a poverty of relationships. These soft skills are the best predictors of corporate success.

11:18 – 12:20 1 min.
2. Brain is most malleable is early in life.
Compassionate human being.
Improvement would save billions.


Here is my overview of what each of us needs to live a good life. And, below, I change the model to illustrate the costs we see when we or our kids don’t get these basic needs and experiences in order to grow up. You can see in the OuchRage Coping how our kids are angry, opposed to their parents rather than bonded to them and the beginnings of different kinds of harmful habits and addiction.

Today, I focus on the foundation (the red triangle, 1. Health). Little kids need to be cared for all day long by bonded adults. And, as Dr. Bruce Perry observes, it used to be at least 20 people in our family system. Now, he says, with our ‘nuclear family,’ we have “relational poverty.”

True tragedy.

Building Blocks of a Healthy Life








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