Levine states that the [child’s] self is born in the crucible of interaction between parent and child. Every time we encourage exploration, applaud independence, and require self-control we help our children grow into their best selves. She goes on to say that kids with a strong sense of self can come out of dismal economic circumstances and kids with an impaired sense of self can come out of the most fortunate economic circumstance.
Here are several other points Levine stresses in this part of the book:
- What I loved about this section is that Levine emphasizes that the goal of parenting should always be to help the child learn how to act on his own behalf and that kids with healthy selves are ready and able to “own” their lives.
- Affluent kids are often so protected from even the most minor disappointments and frustrations that they are unable to develop critical coping skills.
- She talks about attunement, a reciprocal form of communication, that is aided by the mother who is sensitive to both the internal and external feelings and experiences of her child.
- The child who is well loved and well schooled in the importance of empathy, is a child who can respect his own needs while being sensitive to the needs of others.
- The “stuff” we buy our kids, the “advantages” we insist on providing say more about our needs than our children’s.
- Make certain that you speak to your child firmly but respectfully and never bribe your children to learn.
- Be kind to your child; her beginning sense of self is still largely dependent on your opinion of her.
- Children need to see that we value their character first, their effort second, and then their grades.
- Children need to see that we value their character first, their effort second, and then their grades. (Such an important point, I am repeating it.)
The green highlights throughout the four posts represent comments made in the book that are akin to the Montessori philosophy and the red highlights are not akin to the Montessori philosophy.