Thursday, September 23, 2010
June & Laurie
RATING THE QUALITY OF LIFE? (BANANAS, 2010)
Thinking about child care is a necessary, crucial part of our job. We are passionate about keeping the family's point of view in the forefront of any debate. For over 37 years we have gathered powerful evidence of parents' strong instincts to nurture their children and to want the best for them. Just so, we have come to trust the inborn developmental processes of children. Compelling scientific evidence supports the notion that children are natural learners. They are born programmed to interact with their world and the people they meet each day so that they can develop the skills they need to grow into healthy adults. We don't teach children how to do this. Rather, our job as parents and providers is to surround them with the nurturing adults and environments they need to become healthy, happy and whole.
What do parents want for their children?
Most parents talk about two wishes: they want their children to be happy and to be good, contributing members of a community. How does that happen? What are the qualities that make up the "good life"? These are qualities that cannot be quantified or bureaucratized in any meaningful way. Our staff came up with the following responses:
We should try to help our children be
• giving and generous
• open-minded, non-judgmental
• and, "to do no harm."
What we want for our children
• success in whatever they choose to do in life, taking advantage of opportunities and following their interests.
• relationships with trusting and loving people as part of a community of family and friends
• life long learning, not just in the formal academic way, but through experiences in life that expand their minds
• respect for diversity and the knowledge that the world is made up of people of different cultures, life-styles, economic realities and perspectives
• safety, not sheltered, but the ability to judge risks and make good choices
• contentment, to have self respect and find inner peace
• independence, autonomy and self-reliance
• ability to communicate well with others
• acceptance by their peers