In this section we explore the importance of becoming a UM Guide. These ideas can be helpful, parent, teacher, friend, partner or anyone interested in making this world a better place.
Psychologists echo the importance of motherly love. As with the Jungian archetype of the psyche has an innate yearning for unconditional love. Attachment theory, developed by psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, claims secure attachment refers to an ideal style of caring for a young child where the infant has a mother or primary caregiver who provides a consistent, dependable safe haven of unconditional love. If a child has this initial early bonding with another person, they are much more likely to survive, thrive and enjoy a more balanced and happy life. Research shows that only about 55 % of children in the western world have secure attachment. (van IJzendoorn, 1995)
TIPOS DE ESTILOS DE APEGO: TYPES OF ATTACHMENT STYLES
Whether we accept it or not, as a parent or simply being an adult human being, we naturally acquire the responsibility to guide our children and also be the best friend, partner and world citizen. In order to develop ourselves as the best ‘guide’ we can be, we need to become more aware and intentional about what it is we wish to develop. It is helpful to ask ourselves what qualities are the most important qualities to develop as a guide. We can get a good idea of the qualities that we believe are most impactful by reflecting on the qualities of those heroes or role models in our life. Who was an inspiration and why? Who had a positive impact on you? Who informed the view you hold of yourself; your view of the world; and who played a role in you being part of this work today.
UM holds the view that every being with mind, consciousness has innate goodness. We call this the ‘Namaste Attitude’. ‘Namaste’ is a Sanskrit word that basically means, “I acknowledge the purity, or sacredness in another, from that pure, sacred place in me.” This may not sound too scientific, but research is now finding humans, and in fact mammals have a natural empathy, a compassionate tendency that appears to be an innate quality of goodness. It is that innate goodness that we practice relating too and focusing on rather than our projections of more superficial behaviours. Many behaviours develop due to all the habitual patterns and training children have absorbed from their families, caregivers, cultures and societies. As previously mentioned, these behaviours develop based on narratives and experiences. If those influences are threatening or create a feeling of lack of safety and mistrust, then the Flight, Fright or Freeze survival instinct automatically reacts and so begins unhelpful patterns of response. Research now supports the ability for children to understand their inner world of thoughts and feelings from a young age. Children develop metacognition as young as 2.5 years old. This is the ability to think about thought. If children have this cognitive ability, then they are able to understand such inner workings as the actions that trigger emotion. So, it seems that training for children to develop their inner regulatory skills through understanding their own and other’s thoughts, emotions and potential is not unrealistic!
The Namaste Attitude requires the parent or ‘guide’ follows a practice of mindfulness and introspection, strengthening and developing that quality in oneself. Really, we cannot hope to awaken those qualities in others if we haven’t first developed them in ourselves. We then have a good, experiential base to relate to that innate quality or ‘universal’ goodness in those children and people in our care and communities. This is the quality that allows us to resonate deeply with others, to connect on a non-judgmental basis of kindness, caring and acceptance. What a great gift for all who we meet! This is the reliable source of stability, security, safety that creates a sanctuary, or our communities!
Certainly this approach and the development of the Namaste Attitude equips us to be able to meet each child’s needs with empathy, patience and skillful means. A warm heart and skillful methodology empowers us to nurture the very best qualities in oneself and others in order to facilitate the development of knowledge strength and compassion. However, if we reflect on the fact that everything is teaching, leaving an imprint, creating and strengthening neuro- pathways, we who are the guides, have an enormous responsibility as the people who, especially in early years, have the greatest influence on the child’s development. Therefore, it becomes even more important that we are very clear on what we wish to teach.
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READ “6 FAUCETS OF UNDERSTANDING” (Click here for PDF).Please begin to observe evidence of understanding every where you go! Take note of the different kinds of evidence (see 6 facets) of understanding. This exercise helps us begin to think like "researchers" tuning our observation skills and uncovering evidence of understanding in its natural context. Please share your comments in the Forum...