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Teachers Say Unnurtured Kids Aren't Ready for School—We Say Unnurtured People Aren't Ready for Survival

an article by our site

Kid too insecure for school due to sparse nurturing at home
Kid too insecure for school due to sparse nurturing at home

Treating Kids Like They Are Empty Containers Needing Filling Helps De-Genius Them

Both Educational expert John Holt and futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler want a reversal of the process of de-geniusing our young. (Buckminster Fuller invented the de-geniusing term—he says kids are born geniuses but parents and teachers unintentionally de-genius them.) This de-geniusing is ongoing in the Second Wave assembly lines found in anachronistic smokestack-era educational institutions based on discredited theories of learning like kids are empty containers to fill with memorized facts. See How Children Fail, America Skips School, Beyond Discipline, and Montessori: A Modern Approach.

Many kids these days arrive at American schools smart and ready to learn, but by the time they exit high school they're traded smart for smart-assed and their educational accomplishments have been blunted by obsolete teaching methods and obsessive texting and social networking that too often replaced paying attention in class, learning to think and problem-solve, or even becoming literate. The end result is a country that doesn't measure up to the educational standards of many other advanced, high-tech countries. (We are 14th in the world in cognitive skills and educational attainment, 24th in literacy, 17th in educational performance, 54th in education expenditures, but 2nd in ignorance. Source: Ranking America)

According to the Programme for International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranked 31 of 74 in mathematics, 23 of 74 in science, 17 of 74 in reading. Out of 21 industrialized countries, U.S. 12th graders ranked 19th in math, 16th in science, and last in advanced physics. On the other hand, China is doing great.


Students Who Are Loved at Home Come to School to Learn, and Students Who Aren't Come to School to Be Loved

But this web page—instead of being about schools or teaching—is about kids who arrive at school unready to learn because they are needy or sick or hungry or anxious or afraid, or just generally unnurtured, so they're too insecure and unfocused and distracted to learn, needing care and love and understanding all of which are in short supply at home (or school). This web page is also about how inadequate nurturing in homes leads not only to lack of school readiness but our society's—and world's—lack of survival readiness.

"Students who are loved at home come to school to learn, and students who aren't come to school to be loved."—Nicholas Ferroni, activist, teacher

Anachronistic smokestack-era educational institutions based on discredited theories of learning
Anachronistic smokestack-era educational institutions based on discredited theories of learning

Learning For Tomorrow: The Role of the Future in Education points out that the old way of imparting knowledge and values by lecturing on them or pounding them into the young is ineffective. In the book Learning For Tomorrow, P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training is held up as not only one of many "exciting developments," but also as a model of humanistic education which attempts "to teach people the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills they will need to deal with value conflicts and decisions of the future." The authors also encourage teachers and parents to facilitate the development of autonomy and self-directed learning, as well as individual and community responsibility. See Learning For Tomorrow: The Role of the Future in Education.

Our kids' futures—burger flippers or warriors
Our kids' futures—burger flippers or warriors


Our kids are being raised to be warriors
Our kids are being raised to be warriors

Kids Don't Learn If They're Afraid, Hungry, or Insecure and Feeling Unloved

Kids need to come to school ready to learn which they cannot do if they are afraid, hungry, or insecure and feeling unloved. Starting the School Day Ready to Learn—if they are hungry, they cannot learn.

Parenting Crisis in America: 40% of US Children Have Insecure Attachment to their Parents which leads to poor educational outcomes. "In a study of 14,000 U.S. children, 40 percent lack strong emotional bonds—what psychologists call 'secure attachment'—with their parents that are crucial to success later in life, according to a new report. The researchers found that these children are more likely to face educational and behavioral problems."

"We have more needy children who aren’t getting adequate emotional support and need more guidance at school, and that takes time away from academics." (Source: Teachers deal with the prevalence of poverty)


Nurture Groups in Schools Help Kids Too Insecure to Be Ready to Learn

How nurture groups help children in schools—if the lack of home nurturing stops learning, then nurturing at school has proven to succeed. See also Nurture Groups in Schools: Principles and Practice .

Most teachers' view of education is that kids' brains are empty containers to fill
Most teachers' view of education is that kids' brains are empty containers to fill

"Nurture groups are an in-school, teacher-led psychosocial intervention of groups of less than 12 students that effectively replace missing or distorted early nurturing experiences for both children and young adults; they achieve this by immersing students in an accepting and warm environment which helps develop positive relationships with both teachers and peers. First and foremost Nurture groups focus on having the student form attachments to loving and caring adults at school, unconditional positive regard being the most powerful mechanism for change." (Source: Nurture Groups)

Bryan, J., and Henry, L., in Strength-based partnerships, a school-community partnership approach to empowering students, 2008, also emphasized a comprehensive developmental approach to promote childhood growth through collaboration between school, family, and community members. These community-wide acquired support systems encourage students to succeed in academics. Their proposed and created partnerships proved beneficial, largely due to students feeling supported, establishing support systems and relationships, and having more than one adult available to assist in their development.

Cooper, P, and Whitebread, D, Group techniques: How to use them more effectively, 2007, utilized nurture groups that emphasized collaborative efforts and academic success among students labeled "at risk." These groups focused on a nurturing environment in which psychological needs were met through social interaction. They suggest that nurture groups appear to be a natural fit for this age group because of the attachment and relationship foci.

In the United Kingdom, some schools are operated from the nurture group philosophy to help students become mainstreamed back into the regular education setting. They found that students who have difficulties developing trust and maintaining relationships benefit from nurture groups. The results of their longitudinal study (1999-2001) indicated that students with behavioral and emotional difficulties decreased their symptoms and were able to return to the traditional academic setting. Their results appear promising. From their British perspective, they see all the U.S. symptoms and realize that nurture groups could potentially be used in the United States to mainstream children from special education into regular education over the course of an academic year. (Source: The Oxford Handbook of Group Counseling, edited by Robert K. Conyne)

Early childhood intervention may be provided within a center-based program, such as Early Head Start in the United States, where some early intervention services to eligible children and families are federally mandated through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. If an evaluation team finds a child eligible for special education, they must then classify the child in one of 13 categories, such as Learning Disabilities which is the classification nearly half the time, Intellectually Disabled, Emotional disturbance, Autism, Developmental delay, Speech or Language impairment, etc.

The feds mandate that free special education will be given to students who demonstrate the need. Increasing special education enrollments in the U.S. is attributed to many factors, such as rising numbers of at-risk school-age children (poorly nurtured). When a kid has an emotional and/or behavioral disability (ED), effective services should focus on appropriate behavior, productive coping strategies and academic skills, and can mandate an educational assistant for support in regular education classes, access to a resource room for individualized instruction, medication management provided by a mental health professional, and individual counseling. Students with ED are often considered at-risk for dropping out of school, suicide and criminal activity, as well as also being diagnosed with a learning disability. Nonetheless, with the appropriate supports in place, students with ED have been shown to have enormous potential to succeed.

There is a real increase in the number of children suffering with severe emotional problems. Children with behavioral or emotional problems are being overmedicated by psychiatrists/psychologists too busy to provide therapy, at the request of parents too busy to provide a healthy home environment. Diane Ehrensaft, in Working Families, says that “the diagnosis of attention deficit disorder has spread like wildfire in this country over the past ten years—it is the one syndrome that takes parents off the hook by clearly attributing their child's behavioral problems to a neurological disorder rather than a parenting disaster.” Of course, this bold step by Big Pharma to get as many kids’ parents as possible buying expensive drugs to put even more wealth in the hands of drug companies is enough to make anyone cynical. No one seems willing to step up and confront the madness of drugging our children senseless. American children are taking four times as much psychiatric medications as any other country in the world, yet most of the time Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Thearpy are a better route to go. See Cultures of Healing: Correcting The Image Of American Mental Health Care, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, Handbook of Child Psychology, The Psych Approach, Family Dysfunction, What We Know About Childcare, and A Guide to Psychotherapy.


Too Many Children Are Coming to Kindergarten Feeling Mad, Bad, or Sad

Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., Pediatrician, Chair of the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development, says "The active ingredient in the environment that's having an influence on development is the quality of the relationships that children have with the important people in their lives. That's what it's all about. . . . a good deal of . . . knowledge is informing the way parents raise their children, and the way programs are set up, and the way our policies are established. But in spite of the good use of that knowledge, there's still a tremendous gap in many places between what we know and what we do. . . . one kindergarten teacher said to us, in response to a question about what are the important ingredients of school readiness, she said, 'From my perspective, my experience, the problem is we have too many children coming to kindergarten who are either mad, bad, or sad.' . . . a good deal of what the child learns is in the context of meaningful interactions with other people." (Source: Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff - The Neuroscience of Nurturing Neurons)

"I want all children to have the best possible start in life. Children, such as those who are in care or adopted from care, who have been neglected, or failed to form secure attachments with adults in their early years, exhibit a variety of behaviours at school and as teenagers. If not recognised, it can lead to exclusion, educational underachievement and wasted lives." (Source: An Introduction to Attachment and the implications for Learning and Behaviour)

Young kids begin life at a fork in the road, one fork toward the path of love and nurturing, which leads to a good future for the kid, and the other toward the path without love and nurturing, which leads to a bad future for the kid
Young kids begin life at a fork in the road, one fork toward the path of love and nurturing, which leads to a good future for the kid, and the other toward the path without love and nurturing, which leads to a bad future for the kid

"Evidence has suggested that the first two or three years of life is the most dominant period of the child’s life. This period may be associated with positive or negative experiences. If it is coupled with positive experiences, that is, from a healthy relationship with the mother (or caregiver), the child’s developmental trajectory is expected to be good. Conversely, if the mother-child relationship is negative, it might be a disaster for the child’s developmental pathway." (Source: EFFECTS OF ATTACHMENT ON EARLY AND LATER DEVELOPMENT)

If the first two or three years of life is coupled with positive experiences from a healthy relationship with the mother (or caregiver), the child’s developmental trajectory is expected to be good
If the first two or three years of life is coupled with positive experiences from a healthy relationship with the mother (or caregiver), the child’s developmental trajectory is expected to be good

"Assuring that all children experience safe, stable and nurturing environments is an important goal for public health. Adverse childhood experiences threaten healthy development in a child by undermining his or her sense of safety, security and being nurtured. A groundbreaking national public health study, the CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, found that trauma in childhood is associated with chronic diseases, depression and other mental illness in adulthood. The experiences that are associated with negative impacts on a person’s health include abuse, neglect and having a parent who is incarcerated, or who has mental health or substance abuse issues." (Source: The importance of safe, stable and nurturing environments for young children)

Children's basic emotional and social skills are dropping in over 40 indicators—they're more nervous, irritable, sulky, moody, depressed, lonely, impulsive and disobedient
Children's basic emotional and social skills are dropping in over 40 indicators—they're more nervous, irritable, sulky, moody, depressed, lonely, impulsive and disobedient; also, studies found that trauma in childhood is associated with chronic diseases, depression and other mental illness in adulthood

Some school readiness interventions target children directly and take place either in preschool settings (such as Head Start), or they target school readiness indirectly by targeting various aspects of parenting. Parent-focused programs often take place in the context of home visitation programs (such as the Nurse-Family Partnership program or the Early Start Program). While many interventions are designed to remediate the deficits of at-risk children, others are universal, targeting all children (such as the preschool PATHS program). (Source: Promoting Young Children’s School Readiness: What Parents Can Do, Janet Agnes Welsh, Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development)

Conservatives block program funding due to their fears that the more we feed bureaucracies, the more they grow like cancer cells, eating up resources like a bear raiding a picnic
Conservatives block program funding due to their fears that the more we feed bureaucracies, the more they grow like cancer cells, eating up resources like a bear raiding a picnic

The bottom line is, as mentioned above, that there is a huge gap between what we know and what we do. Most trained sociologists, counselors, and social workers chalk this up to insufficient funding for programs that are created on paper but never funded. But funding issues stem not only from a dearth of available funds and the U.S. being in deep debt, but also from conservatives blocking funding due to their fears that the more we feed bureaucracies, the more they grow like cancer cells, eating up resources like a bear raiding a picnic (who may decide picnickers are tastier than picnic food). Additionally, conservatives fear that social programs have been shown to create a dependent underclass that loses its work ethic.

"As 96 percent of all families are to some degree emotionally impaired, the unhealthy rules we're living by are handed down from one generation to another and ultimately to society at large. Our society is sick because our families are sick. And our families are sick because we are living by inherited rules we never wrote." (Source: Bradshaw, John, Bradshaw On: The Family, Deerfield Beach, FL, Health Communications, 1988)

Toxic parenting errors we keeping bestowing on generation after generation will not change because some politicians allocate social engineering funds to some social programs
Toxic parenting errors we keeping bestowing on generation after generation will not change because some politicians allocate social engineering funds to some social programs

Conservatives are right that more "programs"—more social engineering—is not the answer. The toxic parenting errors we keeping bestowing on generation after generation will not change because some politicians allocate social engineering funds to some social programs. Creating nurture groups in schools will put a somewhat effective bandage on the problem of insecure kids unready to learn, and even though it does little to create nurturing families, it is well worth doing. But, on the other hand, we need to see the bigger picture. The nurture scarcity creates a panoply of dysfunctionality in a wide array of life areas that ultimately infect society, politics, relationships, peace, the economy, conflicts, attitudes, understanding, social evolution, and knowledge and the evolution of wisdom. And human survival.


Inadequate Nurturing in Homes Leads Not Only to Lack of School Readiness But Our Society's—and World's—Lack of Survival Readiness

In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population
In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population

Inadequate nurturing in homes is the root cause of many of our society's and world's problems. Such as? The failure of schools to educate, our literacy problems, our society being very litigious, our huge crime problem in which we lock up more than any other country, divorce, the opioid epidemic, eating disorders, obesity, psychological dysfunction, U.S. clinical anxiety disorder is worse than any other nation, suicide, runaways, poverty, child abuse, spouse abuse, illegitimate children, etc.

It costs less to pay for education than it does to pay for incarceration, and yet we keep choosing the more expensive of the two options—incarceration. Why is that? Could it be that all these criminals are what adults turn into when—as kids—they were raised badly without much nurturing or undertanding so they do not learn compassion but instead learn how to hate, hurt, and act out their childhood traumas on society at large? Further, do we not lock them away out of sight and out of mind because we are ashamed we cannot learn to raise kids decently and we do not wish to face the consequences of our messed-up actions? Note that we need to be seeing the bigger picture of dysfunctional families and the nurturing dearth as a call to action in which we widely disseminate to everyone in the world the exactly correct wisdom about how to raise kids so we can begin raising our young correctly. That wisdom is here: The Forest Through The Trees and here The Big Answer.

We need to be seeing the bigger picture of dysfunctional families and the nurturing dearth as a call to action in which we widely disseminate to everyone in the world the exactly correct wisdom about how to raise kids
We need to be seeing the bigger picture of dysfunctional families and the nurturing dearth as a call to action in which we widely disseminate to everyone in the world the exactly correct wisdom about how to raise kids

All of this social dysfunctionality originates with inadequate nurturing. But it creates young people who are uneducated to the degree they cannot get jobs so they join the military. But it also creates young people who are angry and full of hate and violence—perfect candidates for the military, which will empower them to act out these feelings by slaughtering mostly innocent Islamics who are angry their country has been wrecked by neocon "infidel" warmongers from the United States who believe they can wreck whatever they want and kill whoever they want with impunity.

So the military can avoid starting up the draft by the strategy of making sure millions of our citizens are uneducated, angry, hateful, violent, and looking for work (because the Corporatocracy has sent most jobs overseas where labor is cheap). The fact that the young watch lots of movies full of violence and play lots of video games full of violence puts the frosting on the cake. In short, the U.S. is raising WARRIORS to staff its armies so they can act out the neocon wet dreams of conquest and Crusades that will empower the new American Empire.

The troops' willingness to torture Abu Ghraib prisoners symptomized the hate, anger, and violence lying just beneath the surface of these made-in-the-U.S. warriors
The troops' willingness to torture Abu Ghraib prisoners symptomized the hate, anger, and violence lying just beneath the surface of these made-in-the-U.S. warriors


Parenting in which adults rule with Authoritarianism is why we are raising WARRIORS rather than PEACEMAKERS
Parenting in which adults rule with Authoritarianism is why we are raising WARRIORS rather than PEACEMAKERS


Dubya the Crusader thought he was creating an empire and he believed God was on his side when he got his warriors to murder Islamic people
Dubya the Crusader thought he was creating an empire and he believed God was on his side when he got his warriors to murder Islamic people


Drug-resistant weaponized doomsday bacteria or viruses may just take us all down
Drug-resistant weaponized doomsday bacteria or viruses may just take us all down

The problem with all this neocon-led warmongering is that it not only creates lots of terroristic responses—it also creates lots of wars. Eventually one of these countries whose citizens we slaughter with drones like it was a fun video game will get a hold of nukes or biological doomsday viruses and start playing a few "video games" of their own in the U.S. to get vengeance on the warmongering "infidels." Then as NYC goes up in a mushroom cloud we'll start realizing how incredibly stupid we were to allow Bush to invade Iraq to fulfill neocon wet dreams (and to allow OBomb'em to keep the killing going). The eternal War on Terror functions as our terrorist-creation machine. The more we kill terrorists the more Islamics join the terrorists, whether ISIS or another group. So 100 terrorists turns into 1000, then 1000 into 10,000, etc. What is our plan—our endgame? Our exit strategy? The phrase "the eternal War on Terror" which even military strategists use, tells us the ugly truth: THERE IS NO PLAN, NO ENDGAME, NO EXIT STRATEGY. There never was. There was never anything but neocon wet dreams acted out on the world stage.


A few of the terrorists groups that are sick of U.S. empire building (nearly everyone in the world besides U.S. neocons are sick of it, but only a few radicals are mad enough to become terrorists):


Eventually one of these countries whose citizens we slaughter with drones like it was a fun video game will get a hold of nukes or biological doomsday viruses and start playing a few
Eventually one of these countries whose citizens we slaughter with drones like it was a fun video game will get a hold of nukes or biological doomsday viruses and start playing a few "video games" of their own in the U.S.

Back to the main point: Inadequate nurturing in homes leads not only to lack of school readiness but our society's—and world's—lack of survival readiness, and the content of this website not only makes that case but proves it as well. Since it has been recognized that 40% of U.S. children have insecure attachment to their parents which leads to poor educational outcomes, we get clearer insight into why U.S. education is in big trouble.

To prevent such outcomes, nurture groups have been working successfully for more than 40 years in the U.K. and now in other countries including Canada, New Zealand and Romania, and they have been praised, supported and recommended by organizations such as Ofsted, Estyn and HMIE, and yet the U.S. is dragging its feet on this one, preferring to drug insecure, nonnurtured kids (who cannot focus due to emotional insecurity and immaturity) with dangerous drugs "to cure their defective brains"! Think about it: Canada and U.K. and other European countries have nurture groups and they work great, but we do not, in the U.S., so we use dangerous drugs and just make the rules stricter or label the kids as special needs and attend to all their needs except nurturing ("well, heck—that's the parents' job"), enforce zero-tolerance policies and use seclusion and restraint for students who do not or cannot comply with teachers' demands. These things don't make kids more ready to learn like nurture groups do—they just get noncompliant kids shuffled out of the way. American denialism.

This is your child's brain. This is your child's brain on Big Pharma's 'wonder drugs'—Any questions?
This is your child's brain. This is your child's brain on Big Pharma's 'wonder drugs'—Any questions?


Big Pharma spreading medical wonders across the land
Big Pharma spreading medical wonders across the land

Due to the influence of omnipresent authoritarian mindsets, most children in our world are being raised in win-lose ways (even “liberal” parents are doing this) utilizing rewards and punishments and bribes, and the main goal of such misguided parenting is obedience (a foolish, authoritarian-mindset goal appropriate for dogs, not children). All this produces at-effect kids who are not autonomous but obsessed with win-lose thinking and acting. They're also other-directed, insecure, and often unhappy. All this is improper, ineffective parenting, and the bad results it creates are not just inadequate nurturing but also totally avoidable.

There are way too many weapons and terrorists and hate groups in the world (the U.S. is the world's biggest arms dealer). It makes the world a dangerous place where people with little to lose will surely cause catastrophic devastation and kill many millions of innocent beings sooner, rather than later. The whole world is raising warriors—warriors that have lots of hate and violence in them. They're itching for a fight. This is tragic. Lets do the math:

We are the world's biggest arms dealer ever, making sure everyone is ass deep in weapons
We are the world's biggest arms dealer ever, making sure everyone is ass deep in weapons

First we raise everyone to be hateful, violent, win-lose-obsessed warriors and reinforce it with violent movies and video games. Then we become the world's biggest arms dealer ever, making sure everyone is ass deep in weapons. Then we and other countries keep doomsday weapons (nukes and biological and soon nanotech) all over the place and either we or others spread info about using and even making these WMDs on the internet. Then the U.S. builds bases (1000+) all over earth and attacks countries without provocation to please neocon nut jobs. We get real creative and have drones flying all over blasting a combination of innocent civilians and terrorist suspects with Hellfire missiles. (Even the terrorist suspects are merely suspects—not confirmed terrorists, and everyone else is just "collateral damage"—a polite way of saying OOPS that in no way mollifies the loved ones of the murdered citizens.)

All this gives many countries in the world a huge incentive to buy or steal or make nukes and other WMDs since this has shown itself to be the only way to prevent mad dog U.S. neocons from launching unprovoked attacks on various countries. We haven't ever attacked any nuke-possessing countries but have launched assaults on dozens of nonnuclear nations since WWII. So after all the insanely stupid actions above we find effective ways to convince all nonnuclear nations to get nukes ASAP so they don't end up as U.S. neocon victims too.

The world has seen the
U.S. acting like a bull in a china shop for half a century, and most
of the other countries have learned to either hate us or at least
distrust us
The world has seen the U.S. acting like a bull in a china shop for half a century, and most of the other countries have learned to either hate us or at least distrust us

So all nonnuclear nations will have secret crash nuke-creation programs for self defense and we'll have a world full of hateful, violent warriors threatening each other with nukes. In your wildest imagination can you imagine any sequence of actions that could possibly do as good a job as the above at insuring WWIII—which will involve everyone including U.S. citizens dying of either nuclear blasts or radiation or weaponized doomsday viruses or humanity-destroying nanotech?

ARE YOU ENTIRELY SURE YOU'RE HAPPY WITH THE WAY OUR LEADERS ARE "LEADING" US AND THE WAY OUR MILITARY IS PRETENDING TO PROTECT US BY ACTING LIKE A BULL IN A CHINA SHOP, KILLING EVERYTHING THAT MOVES? ARE YOU POSITIVE YOU'RE PLEASED ABOUT THE WWIII THESE BOZOS ARE SETTING US UP FOR? OUR CHANCES OF SURVIVAL ARE SLIM THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING. Would you like to help pull things back from the brink? See Good News and Bad News and Summary of Why MC Movement Is a Necessity and then read The Forest Through The Trees.

It isn't as though no one understands our dilemma or no one knows what to do about it or no one knows how we can start moving this country and the world in a very good direction that everyone will love. WE DO KNOW. And now SO DO YOU. Please spread the word! See We Found the Answer to How to Turn This Country Around, and Now We Need Your Help Figuring Out How to Get It to the Few People in a Position to Act on It.