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Maslow's Assumptions for Raising and Teaching Children


These assumptions are adapted from Abraham Maslow's list of assumptions for a more positive workplace. Adaptions by S. Hein, Feb 18, 2012

1. Assume every child can be trusted.

2. Assume every child is to be informed as completely as possible of as many facts and truths as possible, i.e., everything relevant to the situation.

3. Assume all children have the impulse to achieve...

4. Assume the competitive dominance-subordination hierarchy in the jungle sense can be balanced by development of the child's cooperative instincts.

5. Assume that every child will have similar objectives of making friends, learning, helping others, living peacefully, enjoying life.

6. Assume good will among all children rather than overwhelming natural rivalry or jealousy. 6a. Synergy is also assumed.

7. Assume the child's innate nature is healthy enough.

8. Assume that the environment can be made to be healthy enough, whatever this means.

9. Assume the "ability to admire"...

10. Assume that the children are not fixated at the safety-need level.

11. Assume an active trend to self-actualization--freedom to effectuate one's own ideas, to select one's own friends and one's own kind of people, to "grow," to try things out, to make experiments and mistakes, etc.

12. Assume that every child can enjoy good teamwork, friendship, good group spirit, good group homonomy, good belongingness, and group love.

13. Assume hostility to be primarily reactive rather than innate or character-based.

14. Assume that children can take it, that they are tough, stronger than most people give them credit for.

15. Assumes that children and all people are improvable.

16. Assume that every child and every person prefers to feel important, needed, useful, successful, proud, respected, rather than unimportant, interchangeable anonymous, wasted, unused, expendable, disrespected.

17. That every child prefers or perhaps even needs to love his parents or caretakers (rather than to hate them), and that every child prefers to respect his parents or caretakers (rather than to disrespect them).

18. Assume that every child dislikes fearing anyone (more than he likes fearing anyone), but that he prefers fearing the parents or caretakers to despising them.

19. Assume every child prefers to be a prime mover rather than a passive helper, a tool, a cork tossed about on the waves.

20. Assume a tendency to improve things, to straighten the crooked picture on the wall, to clean up the dirty mess, to put things right, make things better, to do things better.

21. Assume that growth occurs through delight and through boredom.

22. Assume a preference for being a whole person and not a part, not a thing or an implement, or tool, or "hand."

23. Assume the preference for playing or working rather than being idle.

24. Assume all human beings prefer meaningful work to meaningless work.

25. Assume the preference for personhood, uniqueness as a person, identity (in contrast to being anonymous or interchangeable).

26. Assume the children are courageous enough.

27. Assume the children are not psychopaths. In other words, they have a conscience, can feel shame, embarrassment, sadness, etc.

28. Assume the wisdom and the efficacy of self-choice.

29. Assume every child likes to be justly and fairly appreciated, preferably in public.

30. Assume the defense and growth dialectic for all these positive trends that we have already listed above.

31. Assume that every child, but especially those with some greater innate potental, prefer responsibility to dependency and passivity most of the time.

32. Assume every child will get more pleasure out of loving than they will out of hating.

33. Assume that children would rather create than destroy unless they have been abused or neglected in some way.

34. Assume that every child would rather be interested than be bored.

35. Assume, at the highest theoretical levels of thinking, each child's preference or a tendency to identify with more and more of the world.

36. Assume each child is similar but unique and as such has a similar but unique level of need for truth, beauty, justice, perfection, friendship, acceptance, freedom, responsibility, trust, understanding, caring, support, encouragement, privacy, and so on.


See also human emotional needs

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