Childhood is one of the most critical periods of human existence. It is during childhood that we are able to determine what is important, the quality of which we want in life and how much value we place on those things. If you have a childhood filled with neglect, abuse and lack of understanding, you will probably develop some of the attitudes we consider bad, such as hostility towards other people, a need for constant approval and an insatiable appetite for revenge. It is not surprising that childhood is marked by poverty, illiteracy and a host of other conditions, most notably mental illness and violence.
It is therefore a real surprise that Norman Ebenstein has been able to discover what happens to children through childhood. He argues that, by observing the behavior of normal children and their surroundings, it is possible to determine if the child’s environment is providing him or her with an environment that satisfies his or her needs and allows him or her to reach his or her full potential.
Norman “Norm” Ebenstein – Childhood is no stranger to child psychology. He was responsible for developing many of the psychological principles that would later be used to treat children, most notably the notion that children respond to parental treatment as well as parental expectations. In fact, much of what we know about children’s minds comes from observations of children through the lens of Norman Ebenstein. As an anthropologist, he has spent considerable time working with children who live in poor communities and who are under a great deal of stress, making it very difficult to observe children’s behavior at home and in school without an outside perspective. His conclusions have a very strong resemblance to those of many psychologists who are also based in poor communities.
Norman Ebenstein’s research into child psychology has led him to conclude that the quality of a child’s environment determines the quality of his or her lives and this applies not only to the physical realm but also to the emotional and intellectual realms. To illustrate his point, he compares the quality of a child’s home life with that of a “fancy dress doll” and his research suggests that the quality of a child’s home environment is directly related to his or her development. “A child in a loving home develops at the same rate as a doll that is being painted and cared for,” says Ebenstein. “If you paint a doll in your doll house, she will become a doll that will be happy and cheerful, kind and kindhearted, and self-reliant. if you paint her a doll house, she will be self-reliant, kindhearted and cheerful.”
He goes on to point out that children in orphanages often do worse than children in foster homes because they are not provided with a loving environment. He suggests that the reason is because they are not exposed to a loving and caring community in which they can develop and grow in healthy ways. They are also subjected to many negative influences, such as neglect, which is a contributing factor to low self-esteem and anger. Children in foster care suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-esteem, low self-esteem, a need for constant reassurance and anger.
As Norman Ebenstein demonstrates, a positive change in the child’s life is not just possible but it is something that is possible. “A child’s life, in the form of a happy childhood, has the potential to make him or her a fully developed person.”