The child is father of the man

Apologies to those who seek non sexist language, however, my basic research suggests this is William Wordsworth’s poetic insight circa 1802. Regardless, I just so love this profound and most instructive statement, which rings so true today. Especially among men, the male gender.

And so, before I discuss my excitement about this quote, first a timely segue. I trust this to be relevant. Steve Biddulph. Author and psychologist. Published in the Fairfax media, he writes that there is hope for masculinity, under the title of 2018 – the Year of the Babyman. How apt.  Nevertheless, while he serves up a few backhanders, he succinctly describes the common reasons why men’s emotional growth is stunted while boys. On one hand, poverty, violence and shame, on the other, affluence coupled with absent fathers and outrageous privilege.

Steve Biddulph’s work and publications are so informative. We need to care for, nurture and educate our young boys so much better. And when we do so, it is an investment in our future, that pays dividends in so many ways. I trust you can count those ways.

For several decades now, neuroscience has explained how the sequential development of a young human’s brain is so sensitive to environmental influences. This sensitivity starts with the embryo then foetus in utero, and extends to the first few years of life especially, for the baby from birth, then infant and toddler. While this environment includes factors vital for survival, and the avoidance of toxins, it also includes variables that shift emphasis from instrumental care to love and nurturance vital for optimisation of neurological potential. Simply put, children who are loved, respected, parented joyfully, playfully and mindfully, develop to their genetically predisposed potential, with respect to their cognitive, social and emotional intelligence.

The male becomes the man as a function of their psychological experiences as a child. We reap what we sow. And so on. Profound stuff indeed. It is why if we care about the future of humanity, and this planet, we must place substantial resources into caring for and educating kindly and effectively all children, across the whole planet, in all ways.

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