“‘If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all people, of all kinds, to live together and work together
in the same world, at peace.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Children’s Project
“Our goal became to
to get the book to as many adults
as possible who influence children.”
— Dr. Newmark
Emotional health provides the foundation for success at school and in life. One of the most serious and under-recognized problems facing our nation is the failure to meet the emotional needs of our children. These needs are neglected at home and at school. This neglect, which I call “the missing agenda,” jeopardizes the future of the children and our society. How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children was written to raise public consciousness regarding the problem and to provide a practical resource to enable parents, teachers and childcare providers to do something about it.
Following its publication, we spoke to hundreds of people and realized that there was a hunger for the information in the book. Inspired by this enthusiasm from people of widely different backgrounds, our goal became to get the book to as many adults as possible who influence children—that’s how we came to initiate The Children’s Project.
I founded this nonprofit organization with my wife, Deborah Newmark, who brings a wealth of experience to the project. After many successful years working with non-profit organizations, Deborah started her own promotional business, worked with Fortune 500 companies and became an Award Winner for her ideas and the results produced on her projects. She gave up her business to devote all her efforts to The Children’s Project.
We decided to focus first on schools because that’s where parents, teachers and children come together. Soon after beginning with schools, we received requests for speaking engagements and for book purchases from many different organizations concerned with the well-being of children. The popularity of the book continues to grow across ethnic, religious, cultural, socio-economic and age groups. The book is available in English and Spanish in the United States.
Our vision is a school where parents and teachers work individually and together to meet the emotional needs of children at home and at school—where adults interact with children, and with each other, in emotionally healthy ways. The book provides a common language—that of emotional needs—to bring home and school, parent and teacher, closer together—reinforcing each others efforts and facilitating the work of both in preparing children to succeed.
Just imagine—if all the teachers in a school (K-12 and pre-school), year after year, were meeting the same emotional needs of children that the parents were satisfying at home—what an impact this could have on the children’s emotional, intellectual, and social learning.
To accomplish our vision we established a nonprofit organization to provide How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children to parents, schools, childcare providers, child advocates, and parent education programs. Further, the Children's Project offers speaking engagements, consulting, workshops and additional learning/teaching materials which can be downloaded. (See Free Resources.)
The following are the basic elements of the teaching/learning program recommended for using the book in schools. (It also can be adapted by any organization or group for different Parent Education Programs.
Each parent and teacher receives a free copy of How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children from the sponsoring school. They are encouraged to engage in the following activities:
(1) Learn by Doing—Read the book and immediately begin to implement the concepts in the daily interactions with their children.
(2) Conscious Parenting—Keeping a Daily Journal/Becoming A Student of Your Own Behavior
At the end of each day, they take about 15 minutes to complete a brief questionnaire about their effectiveness in satisfying any of the children’s five critical needs and what they learned about their own behavior. These learning's are a guide for future interactions.
(3) Mutual Support—Parent Support Group
Parents meet for 6-weekly sessions in a small group to share information, ask questions, present problems, give and receive feedback, and exchange ideas—those who wish can continue in successive sessions throughout the year. Sometimes a trained facilitator guides the group; other times it may be a teacher, a non-professional leader or a leaderless group. (We provide a Facilitator’s Guide at no cost.)
Read the book, implement the concepts in their classrooms, recommend to parents participation in support groups, conduct parent orientations, keep a journal, confer with individual parents as necessary.
The sale of more than 400,000 books has been accomplished without any publicity—strictly through word-of-mouth. About 50% of the books have been purchased by schools (pre-school, K-12, and colleges) for free distribution to parents and/or teachers. One high school with 3,000 students bought 5,000 books and is in the process of distributing the book to all parents, teachers, counselors, school employees and some third and fourth year students. Dr. Newmark has conducted seminars with these students on Parent/Child Relations. The students read the book, write book reports, discuss the material in class and are encouraged to discuss the topic with their parents.
The same activity has been conducted with university students who have been very positive about receiving this information. As with the high school students, they have felt that the information will be valuable to them when they get married and have their own children—also in present relations with their parents and significant others. Both groups advocate offering seminars in parent/child relations as part of the school curriculum for high school and college students.
The other 50% of the books have been distributed to childcare provider and child advocate institutions, peri- and pre-natal departments of hospitals, prevent child abuse organizations and community parenting education programs. These groups provide the books to parents and professionals working with parents. One perinatal institution purchased 60,000 books and is distributing them to 19 hospitals where they are given to parents of newborn infants and used in parenting classes.
The book has been published in Mexico, Russia, Austria, Israel, Hungary, and Braille in the US, and is soon to be published in India and China.
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Continue to Raise National Consciousness
Reach large national audiences of parents, teachers, educators, policymakers, hospital parent education programs, and child welfare and advocate groups through mass media interviews, keynote speeches at annual meetings of national and state professional organizations and continued word-of-mouth.
Establish Emotional-Health-Friendly Cities/Schools
A city in which:
1. (Phase 1) The book is provided to all parents and teachers of children from pre-school through high school, at little or no cost to the city.
2. (Phase 2) At least one school district will establish a model emotional-health-friendly school at every level of education—pre-school, elementary school, middle school, and high school.
3. (Phase 3) The model school district will initiate a longitudinal, school research program measuring impact on student academic achievement, and also risk behavior—e.g., attendance, dropouts, violence, drugs—through a partnership with a University and/or private research institution.
Preparing the Next Generation of Parents
1. Assist high schools and colleges in providing students—our next generation of parents—with opportunities to attend seminars and courses on emotional health and parent/child relations. (We have conducted seminars with high school and college students which have included reading the book, writing book reports, and discussing the material in class. The reactions of students have been very positive about receiving this information. They have felt that the information would be valuable to them when they get married and have their own children—also in present relations with their parents and male and female peers.)
2. Encourage college teacher-education programs to require all students majoring in Education to receive some instruction regarding the emotional needs of children and parent-child relations.
© 2012 The Children’s Project, a nonprofit organization.
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