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See our guest post at the New America Foundation: Equality and Justice for All Families.


Making Human Beings Human

on January 20th, 2012 at 3:22:37 PM

The great Urie Bronfenbrenner, professor of human development, wrote in a 1988 essay:

"In order to develop normally, a child needs the enduring, irrational involvement of one or more adults in care of and in joint activity with that child. In short, somebody has to be crazy about that kid. ...Of all the settings that help make us human, the family provides the most important developmental conditions: the love and care that a child needs to thrive. A healthy child and future adult is one who has such devoted people actively engaged in its life--those who love it, spend time with it, challenge it, and are interested in what it does and wants to do, in what it accomplishes from day to day. Other settings, such as school, church, or day care, are important to a child's development, but nothing can replace this basic unit of our social system: the family is the most humane, the most powerful, and by far the most economical system known for making and keeping human beings human."

Urie Bronfenbrenner, “Strengthening Family Systems,” in Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development, 1st ed. (Sage Publications, Inc, 2004).