The Child Honoring Movement: A Grand Idea in Search of Substance

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Child Honoring: How to Turn This World Around, edited by Raffi Cavoukian and Sharna Olfman (see record 2006-08288-000). Raffi Cavoukian is known to millions simply as Raffi: a renowned Canadian troubadour, record producer, systems thinker, author, entrepreneur and ecology advocate, and children's entertainer. In the past few years, Cavoukian has created a new movement that he calls child honoring, and he has now edited a book, with Sharna Olfman, of the same name. The movement, which he describes as “a vision, an organizing principle, and a way of life–a revolution in values that calls for a profound redesign of every sphere of society” (p. xviii), aims to address “a civilization and planet in systems failure” (p. xvi), particularly issues in the first stages of life, planetary degradation, and detoxification of the environment. The volume has 26 contributing authors, including a number of academics, writers, heads of corporations, activists, and child advocates. The authors of the first two chapters, scholarly discussions of the research and literature on early infancy, children's emotional development, and attachment, are Stanley Greenspan, Stuart Shanker, and Penelope Leach, distinguished specialists in child development. The third chapter, contributed by Olfman, the second editor, outlines Erikson's stages of human development. Unfortunately, the remainder of the book, in spite of the contributions of some distinguished authors and the importance of the issues it presents, fails to persuade. No person seriously interested in the welfare of children could fail to agree with the nine principles of the movement contained in Cavoukian's Covenant for Honoring Children: respectful love, diversity, caring community, conscious parenting, emotional intelligence, nonviolence, safe environments, sustainability, and ethical commerce (pp. xxii-xxiii). The relevant issue, however, revolves around how to analyze and define the problem and how to devise constructive solutions that encourage others to participate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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