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August 10 2016

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Up-dates and index

This site and the - next - book do NOT be a fount of notices but an ENCYCLOPEDIC gather of different subjects: one another to be read time by time, or better to be CONSULTED even for learning. And so this Web site will always be maintained under speedy and diligently revised construction: 
In fact people had to lament hindrances on looking through this site, and asked to be better orientated. To favour this need the site's map changed: as first sight one can begin from a simplified page opening wide the whole indexed files, both the Italian and the English and plurilingual ones, eventually before to look at the file prefacing the English pages, future first chapter of the English book. Any way the site is continually up-graded: to be carefully informed also on the past more significant ones it is suitable to go to the dedicated file Novelties on the site.
To read a book - a real book on paper, sewn and bound - is easier than reading long files on-line: in a little while the English pages of this site - as has already been done for the Italian ones - will be PUBLISHED, PRINTED and SOLD in book-stores - as a NORMAL BOOK as is already the Italian book from this site Bambini di ieri = adulti di oggi. Adulti di oggi -> adulti di domani
Then, to make this possible for English readers, all English pages  will next become a second book: From children of YESTERDAY to adults of TOMORROW
From children of  YESTERDAY to adults of  TOMORROW: print-ready in the BookSurge system and available for purchase on,, and also on Kindle.


The ”spoilt “ child? - give to these words the sense that you prefer.
It is the product of a sick society. It is in a society like this that a child becomes rooted with a fear of life. Licence is given to them not freedom, which means to love life.
The spoilt child is a continual sufferance for himself and for society.
 He can be observed by treading on passengers feet ,and shouting in corridors, ignoring the unhappy parents that plead with him to calm down and be quiet, pleading that he has long ago learnt to ignore.
Later in life,  as a spoilt brat  grows up, experiences get even worse, for those who have grown up under a too rigid discipline.
The spoilt child is terribly self-centred, when he is older he will leave his clothes scattered around his room, expecting someone to pick up after him. And naturally when he is grown he will have a collection of mortifications.
Often a spoilt child is an only child, not having anyone of his age to play with or with whom to measure against. He is driven to identify with his parents, naturally he wants to do exactly what they do. As his parents consider him to be a living phenomena they encourage his apparent precocity, thinking that they will lose his love if they slightly contradict. Sometimes, I find a similar attitude in  teachers who pamper their students.
These teachers are continually afraid of losing the popularity of their students. A similar apprehension is the teachers way of  spoiling the children.
A good parent and a good teacher must keep their external complexes apart, from their relations with the students. It is not an easy task, I guarantee, because we are all, very often blind in facing up to our complexes. An unhappy mother for example, easily runs the risk of bringing up a spoilt child, because the love that is given to this child is always continually distorted.
At Summerhill a spoilt child is always a heavy burden. Dead tired, my wife plays the role of the maternal substitute, she is tormented by constant questioning such as:
 - When does the term finish?
 - What time is it ?
 - Can you give me some money ?
 Underneath this behaviour lies hate for the mother. These questions  are used to provoke her. So a spoilt child keeps trying to provoke me because I am the paternal substitute. Usually the reaction that  the child wants to evoke is not that of love but of hate. As soon as a spoilt child arrives here, she hides my pen or says to another child:
 - Neill wants to see you
 manifesting in reality the desire that Neill wants to see her.
Spoilt boys and girls have often kicked my door or stolen my possessions only in order to constrain some kind of reaction. 
When spoilt children come into a large family environment, they feel immediate resentment. They expect to be treated by my staff and myself as they were treated by their soft parents. A spoilt child is often used to having too much money in his pocket. when I see a parent sending their children money. It really aggreviates me, especially when these parents are on a low income, this means  they pay reduced charges or are exempt from payment.
Generally speaking, you should never give a child everything he asks for, children nowadays have to much money, so much that they no longer appreciate a gift. 
Parents that shower their children with gifts are often trying to compensate for their lack of love and affection. they think they can buy their love with costly gifts their only means of motherly and fatherly love. Just like a husband who, after being unfaithful to his wife, buys her an excessively expensive fur coat. my daughter has learnt not to expect a gift when I come back from London or other trips and this is my gift to her.
It is rare for a spoilt child to value anything they have. If they received a chrome bike with gears ,it would be left outside in the rain after the third week of possession.
A spoilt child often represents a second chance in life, for his parents,
 - I didn’t get ahead in life because I was trod on by too many people. but he’ll have all the possibilities in succeeding , where I failed
. and for the same reasons, a father will make his son take piano lessons because he never got an education in music. Or a mother who left her carrier to get married, will send her daughter to dance class, even if she has flat feet. Not in their wildest dreams would these children undertake,
the activities, studies or interests their parents impose on them. These parents can’t possibly compromise their own ambition. For a father who has a blooming textile company, it is extremely difficult to find out his son who wants to become an actor or musician. but this is exactly what happens. Then there are the mothers, of spoilt children who refuse to let their children grow up.
The role of a mother is hard work, but it should not last a life time. Lots of women realise this, although you can often hear mothers complaining,
 - My daughter is growing up too fast.
A child should never be permitted to violate the rights of an other. That is parents who do not want to spoil their children.

 Quoted from: Summerhill  by A.S. Neill

Ten Reasons to Respond to a Crying Child By Jan Hunt, M.Sc.

1. A baby's first attempts to communicate cannot be in words, but can only be nonverbal. She cannot put happy feelings into words, but she can smile. She cannot put sad or angry feelings into words, but she can cry. If her smiles receive a response, but crying is ignored, she can receive the harmful message that she is loved and cared for only when she is happy. Children who continue to get this message through the years cannot feel truly loved and accepted.
2. If a child's attempts to communicate sadness or anger are routinely ignored, he cannot learn how to express those feelings in words. Crying must receive an appropriate and positive response so that the child sees that all of his feelings are accepted. If his feelings are not accepted, and crying is ignored or punished, he receives the message that sadness and anger are unacceptable, no matter how they are expressed. It is impossible for a child to understand that expression of sadness or anger might be accepted in appropriate words once he is older and able to use those words. A child can only communicate in ways available to him at a given time; a child can only accomplish what he has had a chance to learn. Every child is doing his best, according to his age, experience, and present circumstances. It is surely unfair to punish a child for not doing more than he can do.
3. A child who has been given the message that her parents will only respond to her when she is "good" will begin to hide "bad" behavior and "bad" feelings from others, and even from herself. She may become an adult who submerges "bad" emotions and is unable to communicate the full range of human feelings. Indeed, there are many adults who find it difficult to express anger, sadness, or other "bad" feelings in an appropriate way.
4. Anger that cannot be expressed in early childhood does not simply disappear. It becomes repressed and builds up over the years, until the child is unable to contain it any longer, and is old enough to have lost his fear of physical punishment. When this container of anger is finally thrown open, the parents can be shocked and perplexed. They have forgotten the hundreds or thousands of moments of frustration which have been filling this container over the years. The psychological principle that "frustration leads to aggression" is never more clearly seen than in the final rebellion of a teenager. Parents should be helped to understand how frustrating it can be for a child to feel "invisible" when crying is ignored, or to feel helpless and discouraged when his attempts to express his needs and feelings are ignored or punished.
5. We are all born knowing that each and every feeling we have is legitimate. We gradually lose that belief if only our "good" side brings a positive response. This is a tragedy, because it is only when we fully accept ourselves and others, regardless of mistakes, that we can have truly loving relationships. If we are not fully loved and accepted in childhood, we may never learn how that feels or how to communicate that acceptance to others, no matter how much therapy or reading or thinking we may do. How much easier our lives would be if we had simply received unconditional love throughout our early years!
6. Parents wondering whether to respond to crying might give some thought to their own responses in similar situations. Parents may consider it appropriate to ignore a child's cries, yet feel intensely angry if their partner ignores attempts to have a conversation. Many in our society seem to believe that a person must be a certain age before he has the right to be heard. Yet what age would that be? Infants and children are not any less a person just because they are small and helpless. If anything, the more helpless someone is, the more they deserve to have our compassion. attention, and assistance.
7. If children are taught by example that helpless persons deserve to be ignored, they can lose the compassion for others that all humans are born with. If, as helpless infants, their cries are ignored, they begin to believe that this is the appropriateresponse to those who are weaker than themselves, and that "might makes right". Without compassion, the stage is set for later violence. Those who wonder why a violent criminal had no compassion for his victims need to consider where he lost that compassion. Compassion does not disappear overnight. It is stolen, through unresponsive or punitive parenting, drop by drop, until it is gone. Loss of compassion is the greatest tragedy that can befall a child.
8. When a child learns by her parents' example that it is appropriate to ignore a child's cries, she will naturally treat her own child the same way, unless there is some intervention from others. Inadequate parenting continues through the generations until fortunate circumstances come about to change this pattern. How much easier it is for a parent to have learned in childhood how to treat his or her own child! Perhaps the cycle of inadequate parenting can begin to change when bystanders no longer walk past an anguished child without stopping to help. his may be the first time the child has been given the message that her feelings are legitimate and important, and this critical message may be remembered later when she herself has a child.
9. Crying is a signal provided by nature that is meant to disturb the parents so that the child's needs will be met. Ignoring a child's cries is like ignoring the warning signal of a smoke detector because we find it disturbing. This signal is meant to disturb us so that we can attend to an important matter. Only a deaf person would ignore a smoke detector, yet many parents turn a deaf ear to a child's cries. Crying, like the detector signal, is meant to capture our attention so that we can attend to the important needs of the child. It just makes no sense to think that nature would have provided all children with a routinely used signal that serves no good purpose.
10. Parents who respond only to "good" behavior may believe they are training the child to behave "better". Yet they themselves feel most like cooperating with those who treat them with kindness. It is as though children are seen as a different species, operating on different principles of behavior. This makes no sense, because it would be impossible to identify a moment when the child suddenly changes to "adult" operating principles. The truth is much simpler: children are human beings who behave on the same principles as all other human beings. Like the rest of us, they respond best to kindness, patience and understanding. Parents wondering why a child is "misbehaving" might stop and ask themselves this question: Do I feel like cooperating when someone treats me well, or when someone treats me the way I have just treated my child?

Natural child project

The Con of Controlled Crying by Pinky McKay

Controlled crying is not consistent with what infants need. Crying infants experience an increase in heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. Secure attachments in infancy are the foundation for good adult mental health.

When controlled crying (graduated extinction) was first advocated around twenty years ago, it was recommended for infants over six months old, not newborns. While there are still professionals who feel comfortable with variations of controlled crying for older babies, many of these people would see any such methods as inappropriate for younger babies. However, popular advice by various authors and even some baby sleep centers now commonly includes leaving babies as young as a couple of weeks old to cry in order to teach them to sleep, much like advice offered in the 1850s. Sometimes modern sleep-training methods are couched in euphemistic labels like “controlled comforting” or even “controlled soothing” and within each definition there can be different recommendations about how long to leave babies to cry and how often or how long to "comfort". Others simply advise leaving the baby to cry until he falls asleep.
Although many baby sleep trainers claim there is no evidence of harm from practices such as controlled crying, it is worth noting that there is a vast difference between "no evidence of harm" and "evidence of no harm". In fact, a growing number of health professionals are now claiming that training infants to sleep too deeply, too soon, is not in babies’ best psychological or physiological interests.
Is Four Months (almost Five) Too Early To Cio? - Circle of Moms:
 A policy statement on controlled crying issued by the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (AAIMHI) advises, "Controlled crying is not consistent with what infants need for their optimal emotional and psychological health, and may have unintended negative consequences." According to AAIMHI, "There have been no studies, such as sleep laboratory studies, to our knowledge, that assess the physiological stress levels of infants who undergo controlled crying, or its emotional or psychological impact on the developing child."
Despite the popularity of controlled crying, it is not an evidence-based practice. Professor James McKenna, director of the Mother–Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame and acclaimed SIDS expert, described controlled crying as "social ideology masquerading as science". What this means is that despite a plethora of opinions on how long you should leave your baby to cry in order to train her to sleep, nobody has studied exactly how long it is safe to leave a baby to cry, if at all. Babies who are forced to sleep alone (or cry, because many do not sleep) for hours may miss out on both adequate nutrition and sensory stimulation such as touch, which is as important as food for infant development. Leaving a baby to "cry it out" in order to enforce a strict routine when the baby may, in fact, be hungry, is similar to expecting an adult to adopt a strenuous exercise program accompanied by a reduced food intake. The result of expending energy through crying while being deprived of food is likely to be weight loss and failure to thrive. Pediatrician William Sears has claimed that "babies who are 'trained' not to express their needs may appear to be docile, compliant or "good" babies. Yet, these babies could be depressed babies who are shutting down the expression of their needs."Leaving a baby to cry evokes physiological responses that increase stress hormones. Crying infants experience an increase in heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. These reactions are likely to result in overheating and, along with vomiting due to extreme distress, could pose a potential risk of SIDS in vulnerable infants. There may also be longer-term emotional effects. There is compelling evidence that increased levels of stress hormones may cause permanent changes in the stress responses of the infant’s developing brain. These changes then affect memory, attention, and emotion, and can trigger an elevated response to stress throughout life, including a predisposition to later anxiety and depressive disorders. English psychotherapist, Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain, explains that when a baby is upset,
the hypothalamus produces cortisol. In normal amounts cortisol is fine, but if a baby is exposed for too long or too often to stressful situations (such as being left to cry) its brain becomes flooded with cortisol and it will then either over- or under-produce cortisol whenever the child is exposed to stress. Too much cortisol is linked to depression and fearfulness; too little to emotional detachment and aggression.
One of the arguments for using controlled crying is that it "works", but perhaps the definition of success needs to be examined more closely. A recent Australian baby magazine survey revealed that although 57 per cent of mothers who responded to the survey had tried controlled crying, 27 per cent reported no success, 27 per cent found it worked for one or two nights, and only 8 per cent found that controlled crying worked for longer than a week. To me, this suggests that even if harsher regimes work initially, babies are likely to start waking again as they reach new developmental stages or conversely, they may become more settled and sleep (without any intervention) as they reach appropriate developmental levels.

I am so glad that I didn’t cave and do controlled crying. My baby is now fifteen months old and even my husband has thanked me for standing my ground on this one. Learning to listen to what is in my heart when it comes to parenting has been the greatest gift. I know myself better now and I think it has helped me in every area of my life. Just knowing that my instinctive responses are the right ones give me so much confidence as a mother.  - Michelle

Controlled crying and other similar regimes may indeed work to produce a self-soothing, solitary sleeping infant. However, the trade-off could be an anxious, clingy or hyper-vigilant child or even worse, a child whose trust is broken. Unfortunately, we can’t measure attributes such as trust and empathy which are the basic skills for forming all relationships. We can’t, for instance, give a child a trust quotient like we can give him an intelligence quotient. One of the saddest emails I have received was from a mother who did controlled crying with her one-year-old toddler.

After a week of controlled crying he slept, but he stopped talking (he was saying single words). For the past year, he has refused all physical contact from me. If he hurts himself, he goes to his older brother (a preschooler) for comfort. I feel devastated that I have betrayed my child.  - Sonia

It is the very principle that makes controlled crying “work” that is of greatest concern: when controlled crying “succeeds” in teaching a baby to fall asleep alone, it is due to a process that neurobiologist Bruce Perry calls the “defeat response”. Normally, when humans feel threatened, our bodies flood with stress hormones and we go into “fight” or “flight”. However, babies can’t fight and they can’t flee, so they communicate their distress by crying. When infant cries are ignored, this trauma elicits a “freeze” or “defeat” response. Babies eventually abandon their crying as the nervous system shuts down the emotional pain and the striving to reach out. Whether sleep "success" is due to behavioral principles (that is, a lack of "rewards" when baby wakes) or whether the baby is overwhelmed by a stress reaction, the saddest risk of all is that as he tries to communicate in the only way available to him, the baby who is left to cry in order to teach him to sleep will learn a much crueler  lesson – that he cannot make a difference, so what is the point of reaching out. This is learned helplessness.
Neuroscientists and clinicians have documented that loving interactions that are sensitive to a child’s needs influence the way the brain grows and can increase the number of connections between nerve cells. The Australian Association of Infant Mental Health advises: “Infants are more likely to form secure attachments when their distress is responded to promptly, consistently and appropriately. Secure attachments in infancy are the foundation for good adult mental health.” So, when you adopt the  perspective that your baby’s night howls are the expression of a need, and she is not trying to “manipulate” you, and you respond appropriately (this will vary depending on your baby’s age and needs), you are not only making her smarter, but you will be hardwiring her brain for future mental health.

Excerpted with permission of the author from Sleeping Like a Baby. Pinky McKay is the mother of five, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a Certified Infant Massage Instructor based in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to Sleeping Like a Baby, she is the author of Parenting By Heart, 100 Ways to Calm the Crying, and How do we Tell the Kids?. For more information, visit the author's website at Pinky My Child

To coil/embroil reflects to involve: and so to develop is its contrary.
But "to develop" indicates a mutable journey, delicate buds to thrive.
Unfortunately this implies either precision or frailty at a constant risk to be re-involved: educational faulty and narrow methods - even if official and "bona fide" - then become stumbling blocks not only damaging the present but moreover DEFRAUDING childhood of its values, organization and powers.
In fact synonyms of to involve are to embroil/mislead meaning also to cheat, to DEFRAUD.

Let Children be Children

In the June 6, 2007, issue of Education Week, James Crawford, president of the Institute for Language and Education Policy, aruges No Child Left Behind represents a "diminished vision of civil rights" and is actually creating a growing divide in educational equity. The vision of a child's most basic rights to an equal education has been lost and forgotten in an era of accountability and test scores. In fact, in this article, he builds a solid case against NCLB by explaining how the consequences of the legislation are antithetical to the original purpose of ESEA. Achievement gap is all about measurable “outputs” — standardized-test scores — and not about equalizing resources, addressing poverty, combating segregation, or guaranteeing children an opportunity to learn. The No Child Left Behind Act is silent on such matters. Dropping equal educational opportunity, which highlights the role of inputs, has a subtle but powerful effect on how we think about accountability. It shifts the entire burden of reform from legislators and policymakers to teachers and kids and schools.
By implication, educators are the obstacle to change. Every mandate of No Child Left Behind — and there are hundreds — is designed to force the people who run our schools to shape up, work harder, raise expectations, and stop “making excuses” for low test scores, or face the consequences. Despite the law’s oft-stated reverence for scientifically based research, this narrow approach is contradicted by numerous studies documenting the importance of social and economic factors in children’s academic progress. Yet it has the advantage of enabling politicians to ignore the difficult issues and avoid costly remedies. In other words, despite its stated goals, the No Child Left Behind law represents a diminished vision of civil rights. Educational equity is reduced to equalizing test scores. The effect has been to impoverish the educational experience of minority students

Let children be children Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected?
Penelope H. Bevan Sunday, June 3, 2007

The mad frenzy of testing infects everyone from second grade through high school. Because of the rigors and threats of No Child Left Behind, schools are desperate to increase their scores. As the requirements become more stringent, we have completely lost sight of the children taking these tests.
And As any fool can see that the spread between what is developmentally appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on these tests is widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten. Is your 5-year-old stressed out? Perhaps this is why. Primary-grade children have only the most tenuous grasp on how the world works. Having been alive only few years they reasonably conclude, based on their limited experience with words, that a thesaurus must be a dinosaur. When asked to name some of the planets after he heard the word Earth, one of my boys confidently replied, Mars, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter and Canada! to which a girl replied, No, no, no, you gotta go way far outer than that. Teachers spend inordinate amounts of time trying to teach the children to be careful of the quirky tricks of the tests when they should be simply teaching how to get on in the world.
The present emphasis on testing and test scores is sucking the soul out of the primary school experience for both teachers and children. So much time is spent on testing and measuring reading speed that the children are losing the joy that comes but once in their lifetime, the happy messiness of paint, clay, Tinkertoys and jumping rope, the quiet discovery of a shiny new book of interest to them, the wonders of a magnifying glass. The teachers around them, under constant pressure to raise those test scores, radiate urgency and pressure. Their smiles are grim. They are not enjoying their jobs. Any fool can see.

Links related to childhood

Sorry only in Italian, these PDF books and their files/chapters can be downloaded to complete the references of the related printed books
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Natural child project
A very interesting Italian site unfortunately no more active: Le esperienze

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