WHY Register for MC Search and Match?
The reason is simple. All the great quantum leaps upward in the quality of lifestyle, childcare, elder care, relationships, connectedness, and economic security are only going to happen for those that sign up (free), find compatible groups, families, couples, and individuals, and form MCs (microcommunities). If you don't know anyone you'd like to be in an MC with, sign up alone and communicate with other people or groups you find in the MC database. Whatever you do, don't look to make sure there are plenty of people/groups in the database (there aren't, yet) before joining! If everyone does this, absolutely NO ONE will sign up! See MC FAQs and Good News and Bad News to grasp this more deeply.
It is obvious and inevitable that the database of MC aspirants will be very small at first—how could it not?! But every great journey begins with but a single step. Will YOU take that step? Don't bother to look for others in the database in 2015—and maybe even 2016. The database will grow slowly at first. Simply sign up, read whichever ones of the books below that seem best for your situation, learn to practice good childraising and relationship methods as you wait for a couple of years, so you'll be ready when the time comes. If you don’t have children of your own, or don’t live around or relate to young people regularly, you can learn to use the communication and problem solving and active listening skills in the book P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training in your daily life with adults. They apply to both adult relationships and childcare situations.
We mentioned economic security, above. Why would this be so? Easy. Two of the biggest items in most families' budgets are childcare and elder care. "Employed families with small children may spend as much as 10 percent to 20 percent of the family take-home pay for childcare. Elder care is a big portion of other family budgets." So economic security is definitely more possible for families whose childcare and elder care are free than for families which have to cough up that extra 10 percent to 20 percent of the family take-home pay for childcare and elder care. As you look at what normal families are doing to avoid some of these costs, you cannot help but wince. Many families are economically on the edge—saving nothing for the future. They often have elders or kids to care for, but do not have the extra funds needed to purchase decent childcare and/or elder care. So here are the options they are stuck with to make up for their lack of funds—gritting their teeth all the while:
- Letting a neighbor take the children in exchange for caring for the neighbor's kids sometimes. This is helpful, but finding out they simply stick them in front of a TV all day is where the wincing comes in. The parents love their kids and know they deserve MUCH better than this, but they feel they have no other options.
- Letting a cheap, low-quality daycare take the children. This is helpful, but finding out they simply stick them in front of a TV all day is again where the wincing comes in. The parents love their kids and know they deserve MUCH better than this, but again they feel they have no other options.
- Letting a neighbor take the children and the parents slip these neighbors a few dollars now and then. This is helpful, but finding out they simply stick them in front of a TV all day is again where the wincing comes in. It makes it even worse when the children report that the neighbor's kid is sometimes mean to them. The parents love their kids and know they deserve MUCH better than this, but they feel they have no other options.
- Letting a grandparent take the children in exchange for letting them live in the parents' house. This is helpful, but finding out they simply stick them in front of a TV all day is where the wincing comes in. It makes it even worse that the grandparent's idea of handling kids is punishments and hollering at the children. The parents love their kids and know they deserve MUCH better than this, but they feel they have no other options.
- Letting a grandparent take the children even though s/he is too old and forgetful to responsibly watch children, so the parents worry a lot about the situation. This is helpful, but finding out they simply stick them in front of a TV all day is where yet more wincing comes in. The parents love their kids and know they deserve MUCH better than this, but they feel they have no other options.
- Letting a low-paid baby-sitter take the children. This is helpful, but finding out they simply stick them in front of a TV all day is where the wincing comes in. The parents love their kids and know they deserve MUCH better than this, but they feel they have no other options.
The truth is, even those who do not have economic issues that force kids into sub-optimal childcare situations usually—but not always—select childcare situations out of convenience more than out of the search for optimal childcare for their kids. Does a relative who is busy with other things and has the habit of using TV sets as baby-sitters often end up as a "caregiver"—thereby making the term not worthy of the name? YOU BET! This is common—the situations just outlined are what happens all too often no matter HOW much money the parents have to purchase top-notch childcare. Parents often choose new cars, boats, new houses, and endless other objects of conspicuous consumption that will "make their friends and neighbors envious" rather than investing in the best nannies, childcare centers, or Montessori Schools (where they practice: Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options).
It's not that they do not love their kids or they love things more than their own kids. It's just that—ignorant of the facts on this page due to educations that somehow left out the most important aspects of life, and suffering from normal childhood inadequacies that left them relationship challenged both in knowledge and practice—they went toward consumption, which all their friends were doing, to be "normal" and admired and to fit in, preferring to avoid as many aspects of relationship as they could since needy people make them feel uncomfortable. Because of normal childhood inadequacies, they feel a bit hollow and empty and like they still NEED, themselves, and therefore are not in a good position to either BE need fillers, or deal with how to find good need fillers for their kids. They're not even confident they would know such a thing if they saw it!
Check out childcare and Family Structure and Children's Living Arrangements. Half the time, working mom's kids are cared for by some relative—for better or for worse. A quarter of the kids are in day care, nursery school, preschool, or Head Start—for better or for worse. A seventh are with a family day care provider, nanny, babysitter, or au pair—for better or for worse. The kids that are home with nonworking moms are in situations where the mother is the only choice—for better or for worse. The more you study what actually happens in steep-gradient nurturing situations (which means "where only mother or some other individual is there"), the more you see that it is often not qualitatively different from the other alternatives (relatives, centers, family day cares). In the back of everyone's mind is 1950s Leave It To Beaver illusions of doting mothers giving semi-perfect care, or modern-day 21st century TV ads showing happy moms with delighted kids and both are enjoying the benefits of some wonderful product we should all run to the store and purchase. Neither the illusions—pushed frantically by Family Values advocates—nor the ads showing American family bliss come very close to the actual truth of the matter.
Mom-only steep-gradient nurturing situations often look like this—with mom feeling exasperated; how good will her childcare be?
That is not a slam or put-down. Mothers are doing what we all are doing—trying to get by, to survive, to somehow make things work when they're often stuck with childcare and working a job or two and doing the housework and economically keeping their heads above water, and trying to SOMEHOW FIND TIME BETWEEN ALL THE REST OF THESE THINGS TO BE GREAT MOMS TO THEIR KIDS. (Is this even possible?) Anyway, these normal catch-as-catch-can existances are not only far from ideal for dear old Mom. They are highly sub-optimal for the children.
Are we mere dreamers to be talking about such things as OPTIMAL upbringings for children when reality "forces" people to simply do the best that they can? Do we need to get out of our ivory towers and face facts? "Facts" such as "families are simply forced to give their children catch-as-catch-can care since the realities of the 21st century are often harsh, economically challenging, with few good employment opportunities for fathers that allow mothers to stay home, especially since most women want careers and to have, not just a brood, but a life."
Do we need to get out of our ivory towers and face facts? Or do YOU need to realize that the situation used to be nearly hopeless but IT ISN'T NOW?
Let's take our best scientific, logical minds out of storage for a minute and actually think this through. DO WE OR DON'T WE KNOW WHAT THE BEST, HEALTHIST, MOST NURTURING TYPE OF PARENTING AND UPBRINGINGS ARE LIKE? The answer is an emphatic, resounding: YES! The author of this website has studied this for decades. See the listings below. Okay, DO WE OR DON'T WE HAVE THE BRAINS TO STRATEGICALLY FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN SET UP SITUATIONS IN WHICH WE ACTUALLY HAVE THE TIME AND THE CONTEXT TO BE ABLE TO FULLY NURTURE OUR KIDS USING SUCH PARENTING METHODS? The answer is another emphatic, resounding: YES! The author of this website has studied this for decades, too.
The Left tends to say "it takes a village" (partially correct, but implying lots of social programs to pay for). The Right tends to say "no, it takes a family, not a village" (partially correct, and implying dislike of paying for social programs for things that families ought to be dealing with). MC members tend to say "we have all the advantages of both the Left's compassionate village and the Right's family-centered values and none of the disadvantages of either of these worldviews!" See what an MC "village" would be like.
What is it like to be able to give kids caregiver CHOICES? And why does this matter? Isn't it true that WE know what's best for them and they are just dumb little know-nothings? The answer is easy, for this last question. Kids know their own feelings more than anyone else on Earth. They feel who they want to care for them most, and even preverbal kids will let us know—but only if we listen. If kids are used to choices, they will learn to follow their feelings on this matter and actually be with the caregiver they desire to be with, from moment to moment.
Kids being ignored invariably feel like they must be bad: they must deserve this mistreatment and/or apathy
Try to think about this from the child's point of view for a second. How does a child feel who is given such incredible respect that s/he's allowed to be with whom s/he wants to be with? Incredibly respected. Okay, now, how does a child feel who is STUCK WITH someone who is "too tired" or "too busy" or "depressed" or parks the child in front of the TV to do the baby-sitting for whatever reason? Even more, how does a child feel who is stuck with someone who mistreats or ignores him or her—especially since there is no one else to "care" for him or her, and there isn't even anyone interested in hearing about this unhealthy situation? It makes no difference if the negativity is coming from a parent, relative, center or a baby-sitter. The main issue is the choicelessness—the feeling of hopelessness. Such a feeling has a devastating impact on a child's personality and psychological health. Kids invariably feel like they must be bad: they must deserve this mistreatment and/or apathy.
A kid feeling STUCK cries at first, but later will simply blame himself and become numb to feelings
Anyway, the one basic answer to the one basic question (How does a kid who is stuck in a negative situation feel?) posed above is simple: STUCK! The kid feels sadly, hopelessly, devastatingly STUCK. And guilty. S/he does not know for what, just that s/he must be a bad person to deserve the mistreatment or ignoring, so s/he feels bad, evil, sad, guilty, and, above all: STUCK. A kid feeling STUCK cries at first, but later will simply blame himself and become numb to feelings.
An MC instantly takes the STUCK out of kids' lives. They choose. They are NOT stuck. They do not blame someone if they are not liking the situation they are in or the person they are with—they change it. Again now: How does a child feel who is given such incredible respect that s/he's allowed to be with whom s/he wants to be with? Incredibly respected. And happy and healthy and creative and lively. The kid feels at cause, not at effect. At cause means s/he is allowed to be the captain of his/her own ship. At effect means s/he is at the mercy of others' feelings, actions, decisions, mistreatment, bad moods, depressions, mental/emotional problems. At effect means a kid feels—in a word—STUCK. If you cannot see by now the incredible implications for mental/emotional/ontological health, then you are simply not MC material. The wildly successful Montessori teaching approach understands all this and “Montessori teachers function as a team, with two teachers per class, usually an experienced teacher and an assistant. This team approach gives the child an option as to which adult he prefers to relate to at any given time . . .”
'At cause' means she is allowed to be the captain of her own ship—note the happy smile
There are two types of people existentially/ontologically: choosers and losers. The latter were not BORN "losers." They were forced to be losers when no one allowed them to define who they were by their own choices and actions—choices were made for them as if they had no minds of their own, no ability to know who they were or what they wanted, no feelings worth caring about or paying attention to. Ontology is the science of being. In the best type of existential thought, choices are what allow a person's being to come into existence. All creatures choose being over non-being if given the chance to choose it. "I think, therefore I am" is a famous statement in philosophy that is made impotent if the thoughts lead to choices that one is not allowed to follow through on.
Abraham Maslow was one of the best psychologists who ever lived, and his book Toward a Psychology of Being is not one of the best classics of human thought in all of history for no reason. It nailed down the real truths about being, choices, human development, and psychological health in a way no one ever had—or has since. MCs are not just a product of the compassionate wisdom from that book, but from countless others as well. The author of The Big Answer website did the research, the thinking, got the needed insights, using the best sources that have ever existed. Everyone has to ask themselves the question: Do I want my kids to, in Maslow's terms, "come into being," or join the army of normal neurotics acting out various childhood issues but in their souls wishing they could leave that stuff behind and instead have creative, happy, inspired and inspiring lives—MC lives?
Consciousness is a special type of awareness. It's the at-cause type of awareness of people who choose their lives, actions, relationships, etc. It's not part of the existences of those whose lives are something that just "happens to them." These "sleepwalkers" are conscious only in the sense of being technically awake—but not ontologically so. Characteristics of the conscious are that they are usually:
- at cause, not at effect
- active, not passive
- proactive, not reactive
- aware, not unaware
- choosers, not losers
- being, not needing
- running their lives, not having their lives run them
- captains of their ships, not allowing others to be captains of their ships
- making things happen, not having things happen to them
- intentional, not unintentional
- self-actualized, not unactualized
- *thinking clarified by being-cognition, not clouded by deficiency-cognition
- **autonomous, not inner-directed or other-directed or tradition-directed
*Explanation: Abraham Maslow's book Toward a Psychology of Being says that being-cognition is when a person perceives from a context of being, not neediness, not clouded by deficiency-cognition. And deficiency-cognition is when a person perceives from a context of neediness, not being. Maslow says that if a kid gets really secure, he'll be ripe to take the risks of exploring and learning, and he'll want to "find out for himself" (i.e., adventuring). If a kid is insecure, he'll stay right there with his caregiver, shy and afraid, as the risk of exploration would be too scary. Maslovian deficiency-cognition has people seeing according to their needs until their needs are filled, at which point there can be seeing from their beings rather than their needs—at which point they can see what is: truth. Self-actualization depends upon growth and maturity, which in turn depends upon security, which in turn depends upon needs being met, which in turn depends upon a combination of parenting strategy viability, adequate human resources, adequate choices being given to our young, and the availability of good examples to emulate.
**Explanation: David Riesman’s classic The Lonely Crowd defines three types of "adjusted" conformists: tradition-directed, inner-directed and other-directed people. The first mostly relates, in America, to immigrants from peasant societies. The second relates to people who are guided and controlled by their superegos, which use guilt to enforce the person acting according to parental expectations. Sometimes such a person is run by the pressures from authoritarian father figures, sometimes from the built-in father figure in their superego, and sometimes from simply following what a nonpressuring father (or mother, of course) figure seems to want. But guilt and fear keep this person in check. Inner-directed doesn’t mean a person is directed by his inner self—some people get confused about this. It means that when he chooses, the superego forces instilled by parents are what actually controls the decision. Other-directed and tradition-directed people are similarly “adjusted” conformists, run by external-to-self forces. The latter is run by “that’s what we’ve always done.” The former is run by “that’s what my peers expect of me.” All three types are obeying extrinsic pressures. All three are at effect.
Now think about what a democracy is. For a high quality democracy, we need autonomous, self-directed people impervious to manipulations of candidates blurting carefully crafted sound bytes, exaggerations, misinformation, and worse. Since there are relatively few autonomous people in the world, politics quickly became a public relations war full of manipulation of the unwary. Politicians take full advantage of the fact that most of their listeners are inner-directed or other-directed, which are both easy to manipulate and fool. Politicians act as lackies for the corporate interests, only pretending to be interested in what their constituents want and need, which makes our actual political reality a LOW-class democracy that's closer to an oligarchy than a democracy. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.) (The vast majority of citizens currently disapproving of Congress and our political leaders is a good sign—at least we perceive what's going on.) Interestingly, most of the authors that write about The Lonely Crowd get it wrong, mostly because they repeat what others have written and don't bother to actually read the book. As a result, many believe that inner-directed means autonomous and self-directed, which is totally false. It means controlled by the superego—a form of conformity.
Conforming to decent legal and moral standards in a community is what all of us should do—including the autonomous (and they do). The difference is WHY people conform. The autonomous conform to all the things that fit with their personally developed moral sense. The normal, "adjusted" conformists in the other three groups conform from fear, guilt, or to be like others—they're conforming for acceptance from peers or parents.
Most of us are already engaged in either resisting or creating the new civilization, says Alvin Toffler, author of The Third Wave. (MCs are obviously part of creating the new civilization he is prescribing.) Change can produce fear of the new and unfamiliar, and the conservative impulse to protect what you’ve managed to get can produce resistance to the new and unfamiliar—which can bring new threats to what one has or plans to get.
Part of Second Wave (industrialism) thinking is reductionism in which understanding is attempted via the study of the parts rather than the whole or the system. Another part of Second Wave thought is what could be called social reductionism, wherein isolated nuclear (or single-parent or step) families reduced to few social resources within and few social networking resources without try to cope with spousal, sibling and parental relationships in a comparatively resourceless condition, attempting to use Second Wave isolated nuclear (or single-parent or step) family set-ups in a world that’s rapidly becoming Third Wave (knowledge-centered), with poor results.
Their error is obvious. They realized they're in the knowledge-based Information Age, but figured the information aspect was about computers, search engines, social networks, cell phones, texting, and technology. But they forgot that the most important knowledge in the Information Age is the knowledge regarding their lives, relationships, families, environment, and parenting. They transformed their Second Wave beliefs relating to computers, search engines, social networks, cell phones, texting, and technology to Third Wave, but their beliefs about lives, relationships, families, environment, and parenting stayed exactly the same as they were in the Second Wave.
Third Wave expanded families—in the electronic cottage
Toffler sees Third Wave expanded families of the future in which the personnel numbers go up and the networking with other families increases as well, and social isolation, which he sees as very negative, decreases significantly. He sees this as a good thing and a resurrection of the expanded and extended families that were a lot more prevalent in the First Wave (agrarian living) and the earlier part of the Second Wave. "For community life, for patterns of love and marriage, for the reconstitution of friendship networks, for the economy and the consumer marketplace, as well as for our psyches and personality structure, the rise of the electronic expanded family would be momentous." Think MCs with PSBs.
The most insidious Second Wave social reductionism force, mostly left unexamined and invisible due to its omnipresence (in the U.S.) and unwitting social acceptance, is steep-gradient nurturance in which mothers (or fathers or a grandparent or nanny) are faced with exclusive nurturing of a child or two, and children are faced with being exclusively nurtured by one person—usually their mother, unconnected to any other social resources or networks.
Because of all the authoritarian, patriarchal, and conservative brainwashing on this subject (which usually totally ignores the fact that flat-gradient nurturance has been the historical norm for thousands of years and steep-gradient nurturance is merely a recent historical anomaly and failed experiment), many people actually see nothing amiss with the bizarre idea of sticking mother and child in a situation where each is the other’s sole resource for weeks, months, or years at a time! Unless the mother is well-networked with other mothers and shares childcare with them, and/or the father gets into the picture and does a significant portion of the childcare, this situation—of isolated, resourceless attempts at nurturing with little respite and few or no alternative caregivers—is a recipe for dysfunctionality, as hordes of U.S. statistics (of cultural symptoms) have shown us for decades. Cross-cultural studies, especially ones done on societies that have recently adopted steep-gradient nurturance after centuries of flat-gradient nurturance, totally confirm and verify all we’ve said here. Abuse of people and substances, depression, psychological problems, stress, and later serious social dysfunctionality for many of the young so raised—these are the well-demonstrated legacy of steep-gradient nurturance.
One of the most benevolent and significant side effects of Toffler’s expanded family idea, above, is that it empowers all concerned to have more flat-gradient-nurturance relationships, which is a godsend for a situation that has been silently and not-so-silently screaming for help for many years. And its addressing of social needs with a system of individuals rather than a single designated individual is part of Third Wave and ecological-holistic paradigm thinking (see The Turning Point by Fritjof Capra), replacing the outmoded Second Wave reductionism wherein a single person is the ruggedly heroically individualistic total answer to another person’s full array of needs (which works as badly for childcare as it does for marriages).
Childcare centers have been some help in these matters, but are staffed with people who don’t really love and often even care about the kids who are placed there. Also, there’s high turnover because of low pay, so centers get quite a few individuals with inadequate or questionable credentials, and even some with questionable intentions, so most parents are very hesitant to leave their precious children in the care of centers. Centers are no long-term solution to childcare dilemmas, that’s for sure. Toffler’s expanded family idea is much closer to the creative answer such a problem demands.
Childcare is often the outmoded Second Wave reductionism wherein a single person is the ruggedly heroically individualistic total answer to another person’s full array of needs, which is insanely unrealistic
Perhaps you are starting to notice how the various topics discussed above are all pointing in the same direction. Letting kids make caregiver choices is all about flat-gradient-nurturance relationships, although there's no problem with a child choosing one certain person most of the time. (And of course, infants need to bond with their mothers or some other primary caregiver for at least a few months after birth.) Once a baby is old enough to indicate a preference, this preference needs to be respected—whatever it is. As long as it's a choice, it is a nurturing action. There's no being STUCK. There's the promotion of growth, insight, consciousness, autonomy, and becoming a chooser, not a loser, in flat-gradient-nurturance relationships in MCs, supplemented with electronic support like PSBs and like the ideas prescribed in Toffler's expanded electronic families.
Adults all get plenty of time to be caregivers, as well as plenty of time NOT to be—so they can enjoy careers without guilt or leaving kids in questionable hands.
Scenarios: If a 1-year-old chooses to be with a 6-year-old, but the 6-year-old is not currently open to it, the child is nicely told "sorry, not now" and the child goes elsewhere. If the same situation happens and the 6-year-old is open to it, that's fine but the designated caregiver the child is currently choosing still has to watch over the child. If the same thing happens and the child has chosen a 12-year-old, the designated caregiver the child is currently choosing has to notice whether the 12-year-old chosen has been designated in MC meetings as an acceptable person to be a responsible caregiver. Not all 12-year-olds are ready for that. It depends on the individual. If he has been designated in meetings as acceptable, then the current caregiver is done caregiving that child for now. If he has not been designated in meetings as acceptable, then the designated caregiver the child is currently choosing still has to watch over the child.
If a 3-year-old chooses to be with a 6-year-old and the 6-year-old is open to it, that's fine but the designated caregivers for each child are still responsible to watch over each child
Children should have 3 designated caregivers at a time. The chosen one will be the one watching the kid and the others need to be in the MC somewhere doing whatever they wish. If the kid chooses a different one of the designated caregivers, that caregiver is now responsible for the kid, and the caregiver that was just replaced can go do what he wants in the MC but stay available somewhere in the MC. He needs to update his PSB status so anyone can see where he is, so that when the 1-year-old wants to switch caregivers to Joan rather than Joe, his current caregiver, Joe can tell the child where to go to find her. Or he can take him there if the child isn't ready for the steps he'd have to climb, or the below zero temperatures or the rainstorm outside, or darkness. Or the child can get Joan to come to his house. Better yet, there is a central caregiving area in the MC (see MC with Japanese Style) that any of the caregivers use for caregiving. This is by far the best way for a caregiving person to be able to watch several children at a time—but not more than 3 except for emergencies.
There are schedules of caregiving responsibilities with each child who needs caregiving having 3 scheduled caregivers when not eating meals or sleeping. Designated means on the schedule. There's a 33% chance of being needed by that child. If a child has been taken shopping or to a friend's house or to a movie then the taker is temporarily the only caregiver. Among the various software programs available, only the MC Scheduler will be useful for childcare scheduling in an MC to mitigate most of the scheduling complexities of organized flat-gradient nurturing.
If a child is with a designated caregiver but chooses to attempt to be with a non-designated (no current caregiving responsibilities) MC member, that is called adventuring—a Maslow concept although he did not call it that. If the non-designated MC member is not currently open to it, the child is nicely told "sorry, not now" and the child goes elsewhere. Suppose the non-designated MC member is his father, who has to finish his taxes by tomorrow. The "sorry, not now" is a perfect way for the child to learn about life, since he has 3 other good caregiver choices and he knows it.
In a non-MC situation the father is likely to be the only adult available, so he parks the kid in front of the TV so he's not disturbed. But the kid is full of feelings and needs to express them so the fact that the father is keeping the kid "safe" and "watching" him is seen by the father as an unfortunate situational pragmatic necessity since his Mom is at work. But the feelings-filled kid does not see it that way and has a tantrum and the father gets mad and there's hollering or, worse yet, punishment. Even though the kid sometimes gets a caregiver who will pay attention to him, it's not usually the one he currently desires. For adult convenience, it's a parent, a center caregiver, an older sister, a baby-sitter, or an elderly neighbor lady who has nothing else to do but knows little about childcare (which is also true about the sister and the baby-sitter). So the kid cries a lot. His feelings do not matter. His feelings seem to be simply an inconvenience to the adults. One to be endured. Sometimes. Other times, they're an annoyance to get punished for. Occasionally the kid's caregiver is the one he currently desires and the caregiver is in a good mood. The kid is happy. But what about the other 90% of the time? Oops . . .
Meanwhile, the same kid in an MC has just heard "sorry, not now" but his little adventuring experiment allowed him to learn that other people's feelings and desires (not just his own) are also worth respecting. The reason it is a learning experience and not something to scream and cry about is that his adventuring is backed by full emotional security. He will quickly develop thinking clarified by being-cognition, not clouded by deficiency-cognition, in an MC, as in Toward a Psychology of Being. He is not really needing the person he adventured to. It was an experiment. There are 3 caring people there for him in the MC if he needs to express feelings about his adventure.
He very early in life sees the difference between rejection (like the non-MC kid with the taxes-doing father who really was too "busy" when he was needed) and someone not being open to being with him (but this someone knows the child is in great hands so he is not concerned about it). The child sees that others choose things, just like he does. He chooses a toy, a crayon, a caregiver. Others all seem to care a lot about him but sometimes the non-designated people choose to say no, although the designated caregivers never do, no matter which of them he selects. All of this quickly makes great sense to the child—it's in harmony with his needs, his feelings, his desires, and his choices. The world is a GOOD place! And by the time he gets old enough for school and he experiences the difference between his MC world and the non-MC world, he will be fully strong enough psychologically and ontologically to handle it. He'll even understand it, because his MC caregivers will have informed him about these differences many times and answered his questions about them as well. He'll feel compassion for those with less happy lives, and try to see if he can be a good enough friend to some of them to make them feel better. He'll tell them that they might try getting their parents to check out http://www.thebiganswer.info.
We cannot make your choices for you—only you can create the MCs needed to give your kids the wonderful life opportunities you never had. But there is some additional great news about the wonderful MC life opportunities. YOU, parents, childless couples or childless singles will all benefit greatly from MCs. And from enhanced, optimized communication via Personal Status Boards (PSB™)—all types of which are FREE for the taking. And from being around the best friends you've ever known. And from enjoying enhanced communication skills such as are outlined in P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon. And from being around happy, creative children who don't act out because of being given no choices or ways to avoid treatment they do not like, but, instead, are a joy to be around and do caregiving for. And in an MC, you don't have to be a parent to know the joys of caregiving. You simply have to be chosen by a child as someone they wish to be with.
A couple that relates excellently and has kids whom they raise excellently
A happy, well-loved child will not NEED to be around adults a lot of the time, because his/her needs are filled and s/he is BEING, not NEEDING. (Which simplifies the childcare task, but in no way eliminates the need for MCs to always provide a few caregiver choices the child can make.) S/he will happily be alone, fantasizing, being creative, or just as happily be with other MC kids. S/he will still go through various psychological development stages, still cry to express feelings, still test adults in various ways. How could s/he ever learn if s/he didn't try things, test things and people, experiment? When needs are filled better and choices are allowed whenever possible, self-actualization is faster, happier, and much deeper.
Erich Fromm said in The Revolution of Hope that we need scientific facts, not just theories. We need—and Toffler would enthusiastically concur—the power of knowledge to be exercised more and the power of wealth and force to be exercised less. Fromm says (it was 1968) that we need less bureaucracy and more humanism, but, more importantly, we need to rely less on government programs and social engineering and political leaders, and rely instead on the power of movements (like MCs). He prescribes that such movements should be furthered from groups/subcommunities (MCs) of people who have character, deep convictions, are loving, are knowledgeable in relationship wisdom, and are great examples to emulate for the rest of society. These subcommunities would be connected to other subcommunities and, as a whole, would constitute the guts of the movement. These would be people who’ve attained the wisdom to live right and live happily, and others would learn from this and want the same for themselves. There would be no bureaucracies, government intervention, or social engineering to go woefully wrong (yet again).
Democracy, says Fromm, can hold such a movement happily enough, but democracy, as wonderful as it is, doesn’t automatically lead to transformative movements. The people must do this for themselves from the grassroots (MCs). Voting is an important civic duty, but it pales in comparison to the duty we all have to ourselves and our families to follow the advice of such great and brilliant thinkers as Toffler, Maslow, Fromm and Riesman to do lifestyle revamping, and the advice of the parenting experts listed below to raise kids in the healthiest possible manner!
Studying statistics for years—which the author of The Big Answer website has done—is not enough to give in-depth insights. But it can help:
Since more than 50 percent of husbands and wives in married families both work, it is important to see what effect being a two-income family will have on the children. If the jobs are low-paying, the kids will end up at one of the situations above. But even when the kids are being cared for by one or both parents, these parents often feel too tired to do much more than keep them safe and stick them in front of a TV all day. If the kids end up at a daycare place, the likelihood of it being a great one, or even a good or adequate one, is statistically not that good.
The typical American woman will spend 18 years of her life caring for an elder, the same amount of time she will spend caring for a child. Having the elder care be high quality is the main factor determining whether the elder is happy or depressed. Having the childcare be high quality is the main factor determining whether the kids are happy, playful, enthusiastic, creative, and inspired—or not. It is also the main factor determining how much psychological growth develops, how good they get at handling relationships, problem solving, self-discipline, and challenges. The better the childcare (regardless of whether the parents do it or not), the more the kids feel cared about and therefore will be refraining from acting out or being discipline problems.
And over 1 in 4 adults (26 percent) care for chronically ill, disabled or elder family members. One can usually predict how pleasant or unpleasant, happy or unhappy, easy or burdensome the situation is by looking at the resources involved versus the optimal resources. Having many people for the chronically ill, disabled or elder family members to relate to helps the situation greatly, and having several people involved in the care helps even more, so that the situation is pleasant and not burdensome.
Also, grandparents provide childcare for nearly a quarter (23 percent) of children under the age of 5. How often is this by choice? How often is it a manifestation of economic necessity? How often are the parents happy with the caregiving? How often are the parenting and discipline values and practices of the parents and the grandparents in harmony, rather than confusing the kids and creating reasons for acting out?
How often are the parenting and discipline values and practices of the parents and the grandparents in harmony, rather than confusing the kids and creating reasons for acting out?
From the 1970s to the 1990s good/excellent quality care went from 26% to 13% in centers; MCs' caregiving costs (free) and gas for transportation (minimal) represent minimized economic expenditures which will be particularly appreciated as childcare costs rise and yet childcare center quality decreases
Childcare centers should house friends, relatives, elders and kids—not strangers and high-turnover workers of questionable competence; if we want and need community, why opt for accumulation?
So how many current childcare and elder care situations are optimal, versus how many are manifestations of economic necessity or ignorance, and what will this do to how our relationships, parenting, families, communities, and culture evolves and grows, learns, and progresses toward wisdom, psychological health, and positive cultural evolution?
If you wonder why there are always wars, hate, torture, suffering, misinformation, unhappiness, dysfunctional relationships, family strife and disharmony, misunderstanding—the list is endless—wonder no more. Inadequate childcare, bad parenting, loveless relationships, ignorant childraising, punishment-centered and guilt-centered discipline, and neglect are the major precursors of these maladies, and nothing short of replacing them with wise, fully functional practices will turn things around.
Studies have shown that punishment creates kids who are at effect rather than at cause, and prone to develop a locus of control outside themselves, hindering the development of autonomy and self-actualization. This is on top of the psychological damage, guilt, suffering, resentment, distorted personality characterized by acting out and a tendency toward passive aggressiveness, or even active negative aggression.
All over the world—including the United States—we are raising hateful, resentful, win-lose warriors who react with violence if things are not to their liking
Authoritarianism is the main factor behind most inadequate childraising, and punishment, guilt trips, scolding and emotional and physical abuse are a logical outcome of this type of thinking and parenting. It is why all over the world—including the United States—we are raising hateful, resentful, win-lose warriors who react with violence if things are not to their liking. We need to be raising win-win, cooperative, compassionate citizens, who are thoughtful, self-actualized, autonomous, insightful, wise, creative and capable problem solvers who do not resort to violence to solve problems. We need to cease raising neurotic, other-directed, needful, uncooperative, shallow conformists who follow the crowd because they're not good at thinking for themselves. How can we support true democracy with this latter type of citizen when true democracy only evolves from the influence and wisdom of the former type of citizen?
This brings up the question: How can we do such a thing as create optimal care for kids and elders? That's where MCs come in. They are not just strategically designed to help optimize childcare and elder care, they physically and psychologically help optimize it as well. They do not settle for ignorant childcare practices ("but it's what my parents did and I turned out okay"). Since when is "okay" going to help turn things around and help solve cultural problems?
We do not care what cultural values, religions, nations, or belief systems you subscribe to—the science is in. The jury has spoken. Regardless of how many distorted ideas come from your parents, churches, holy books, or any other sources, the only parenting styles that can lead to progress toward wisdom, psychological health, and positive cultural evolution are listed below. (Please do yourself the favor of realizing that no "holy book" is a childcare manual. They are for spiritual guidance—they do not contain the complex knowledge and wisdom specific to the area of optimal childcare. If you cannot let go of the belief that they have all the answers, you are not MC material, and it will be funny to watch you use them as computer repair manuals the next time your hard drive crashes!)
The books listed below are not in and of themselves sufficient to empower positive cultural evolution. They need MCs to provide the actual situation needed for such positive cultural evolution. Together, MCs and such optimal parenting styles are the optimal combination needed to create the wisdom, psychological health, and positive cultural evolution that will turn things around. And to optimize the communication, the Personal Status Board (PSB™) was invented. This completes the picture.
Earlier we posed the question: "Are we mere dreamers to be talking about such things as OPTIMAL upbringings for children when reality 'forces' people to simply do the best that they can?" And here is the real, honest answer: IF you keep doing exactly what you have been doing and don't even bother to sign up and try to get an MC going, then OPTIMAL lifestyles really are just the stuff of dreams. But IF you sign up and get an MC going, you will see that OPTIMAL upbringings for children have been possible all along—it's just that no one TOLD you about MCs. Well, that is no longer the case. You know, now. You HAVE been told. And we wish you the very best of luck in any MC you start! Keep checking back to this website for more articles and info, and to see if the database has people you'd be a good fit with in an MC. (Note: After reading Good News and Bad News you'll realize that an MC media blitz is required in order to get people to sign up. But if anyone reading this has so many close friends that they can create an MC with no media blitz, do so, help yourselves to (free) PSBs, and then let us know how things are going, please.)
• P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon
• Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
• Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall
• Connection Parenting by Pam Leo
• Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn
• Helping Young Children Flourish by Aletha J. Solter, Ph.D.
• The Power of Loving Discipline by Karen Miles
• Positive Discipline A-Z by Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, and H. Stephen Glenn
• Redirecting Children's Behavior by Kathryn J. Kvols, Bill Riedler, and Parenting Press
• Liberated Parents, Liberated Children by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
• The Winning Family by Louise Hart
• Parenting Young Children: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) of Children Under Six by Don Dinkmeyer Sr., Gary D. McKay, James S. Dinkmeyer, Don Dinkmeyer Jr., and Joyce L. McKay
• Active Parenting Now Parent's Guide by Michael H. Popkin
• Happy Children by Rudolf Dreikurs
• Breakthrough Parenting , by Jayne A. Major
• The Baby Book by William Sears, M.D
• Kids Are Worth It! : Giving Your Child The Gift Of Inner Discipline, by Barbara Coloroso