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Peter Haiman, Ph.D.

 

Thinking Outside the Box

Organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children, La Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, and the American Academy of Pediatrics can no longer remain politically inactive. These organizations have been primarily educational in purpose and isolated by nature. Yet, current child-rearing practices, influenced by changing values and the media, seriously damage child development.

In 1997 I wrote "Cooperation Will Make It Happen," published in the Journal of Psychohistory, which described the erosion of the extended family and consequences for children and adolescents. I announced a meeting of educational leaders to create The Alliance for Children. Although the meeting was held in Washington DC in 1997, and most in attendance viewed the alliance as critical for children and the future of our democracy, no subsequent meetings occurred.

In the intervening fifteen years, child rearing in this country has become more damaging to children. They are growing up less educated, more violent, with less humane values, and less thoughtful and caring of others. Our leaders behave more violently and cannot cooperate. It is time for the above organizations to join together and form an alliance that will improve social and cultural influences on child rearing so the next generation can continue to enjoy freedom in the United States.

More Thinking Outside the Box

Crying child
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CWRU produces new pamphlets on soul children

"Soul" is more than a catchy phrase when it comes to child-rearing, often called the hardest task any individual can undertake. To present the basic principles of raising children in a readable fashion, some local persons teamed up to produce the Child Care Pamphlet series, published by the Press of Case Western Reserve University.

The series was the brain­child of Peter Ernest Haiman, former director of the Hough Parent and Child center and an assistant professor at Lake Erie College. "I was very concerned that there is a whole segment of our population that has been deprived of child-rearing and health information.," said Haiman. He continued, "Such information has mainly been written in textbooks geared for a middle-class clientele. It is very important to get this information into a style that is relevant to parents in the inner city."

The first four books, written by Haiman and illustrated by Jennifer Myerberg, an art student, teach parents in a lively way, yet without preaching to them. For example, one - "Kids Copy Their Parents", warns "Careful what you're saying dude". It goes on, "sometimes kids can get their mother uptight...This mother feels uptight, but she tries to keep herself together and not hit her kid. She tries to keep her cool because she doesn't want her child to copy her behavior."

Another book, entitled "Soul Mother", gets to the heart -_ and soul -- of being a good parent. Soul is cuddling up your baby. Mothers get satisfaction from holding their children. Babies like a lot of loving", writes Haiman. The bright booklet also relates, "Soul is also playing with your child...Soul is singing or talking to your child...Soul is a baby smiling and cooing at the sound of his mother's voice."

The two other pamphlets are "When Kids Fight Over Toys",, which teaches cooperation and "brotherhood", and "Keep Babies Busy", which emphasizes the importance of a stimulating environment for babies. All of the books are available from neighborhood centers or from the CWRU press.

In addition, suggestions from inner-city persons for future booklets in the continuing series are being solicited. Others in preparation discuss health, nutrition, discipline and safety precautions. However, it is hoped that an inner-city person and a professional could work together in producing a relevant pamphlet for the community. After all, the "soul" of inner-city kids is at stake.

SOUL BABY

This drawing is one of many in an interesting and informative child care series, published to relate especially to inner-city parents.


This newspaper article appeared in the Cleveland, Ohio's THE CALL and POST, Saturday August 26, 1972, p. 8B



 
 
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