The “basics” covered in this Section are not the technical, material basics covered in standard parenting books. There is nothing here about how to change a diaper or take a baby’s temperature. The basics considered here are as follows:

1. the basic responsiveness of a new human being to the sights, sounds, and movements around him;

2. the basic fact that little humans have a rich vocabulary of nonverbal signals that allow the parents to know what is going on with them;

3. the importance of responding to those signals in a caring way;

4. the importance of recognizing the uniqueness of each individual infant and of adjusting one’s responses appropriately;

5. the importance of Empowerment as a guiding principle in interacting with small humans;

6. the importance of the human rights of infants and young persons, including the rights
to have some control over their own bodies,
to have their preferences noticed and respected,
to be free from coercion and from threats to their personal security and their dignity;

7. the importance of recognizing the limitations of young humans especially in regard to impulse control;

8. the importance of fostering the inborn urge to explore the world, which underlies later success in education;

9. the importance of recognizing the need to regress as an integral part of the process of moving ahead;

10. the importance of limiting the intensity of sibling jealousy, which ranks with fear of abandonment and fear of direct physical abuse as one of the great threats in early life.



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