TKG KNOW: Why Parents Matter More Then Ever

The Missing Context For Parenting

One of the 5 tenets influencing the TKG environment is The Whole Child – to us, that means that the cognitive, social and emotional well-being of a child are connected and intertwined.  We also know that students’ parents or closest caregivers, are the first and most important teacher(s) and influence(s) in the development of each uniquely gifted student. The following is an excerpt from a book that inspires us to encourage our families to continue to nurture their very important relationships with their children and their students:

From Hold On To Your Kids – Chapter OneHoldOnToYourKids
by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Maté, M.D.

So what has changed? The problem, in a word, is context. No matter how well intentioned, skilled or compassionate we may be, parenting is not something we can engage in with just any child. Parenting requires a context to be effective. A child must be receptive if we are to succeed in nurturing, comforting, guiding and directing her. Children do not automatically grant us the authority to parent them just because we are adults, or just because we love them or know what is good for them or have their best interests at heart. Stepparents often are often confronted by this fact, as are others who have to look after children not their own, be they foster parents, baby sitters, nannies, daycare providers or teachers. Even with one’s own children the natural parenting authority can become lost if the context for it becomes eroded.

If parenting skills or even loving the child are not enough, what then is needed? There is an indispensable special kind of relationship without which parenting lacks a firm foundation. Developmentalists—psychologists or other scientists who study human development—call it anattachment relationship. For a child to be open to being parented by an adult, he must be actively attaching to that adult, be wanting contact and closeness with him. At the beginning of life this drive to attach is quite physical in nature—the infant literally clings to the parent and needs to be held. If everything unfolds according to design, the attachment will evolve into an emotional closeness and finally a sense of psychological intimacy. Children who lack this kind of connection with those responsible for them are very difficult to parent or, often, even to teach. Only the attachment relationship can provide the proper context for child rearing.

The secret of parenting is not in what a parent does but rather who the parent is to a child. READ MORE at

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