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Sensitivity: The Core of it ALL

This page last revised
November 19, 2006.


The concept of "Sensitivity" is indispensable when working with children. An infant / toddler educarer recognizes that Sensitivity is a vital ingredient that must be thoroughly interwoven into every interaction with the babies. Doing so does not always come easily, but when this concept is felt deeply within one's being, the task becomes easier. In our commentary here we hope you will absorb this "frame of reference" so to speak.   Sensitivity is an attitude and a behavior.

On this page we present the following ideas:

      . . . . We hope you will quietly reflect upon what you read on this page.

"Sensitizing  yourself" to the experiences of others is a   FORM OF RESPECT.

There is so much potential "goodness" stored up in this concept.


Before beginning we would like to make one important point. . . . . We don't feel that "Our Higher Power" considers us a "finished product" - NO WAY! Nor is Sensitivity an "either you have it or you don't talent". . . We do not have "all the answers". We are only addressing this subject matter as one of great importance to the children and adults of this world. That said, then let's begin.

What is Sensitivity???

Sensitivity is of two types and they are bi-directional, having an "Incoming" component and an "Outgoing" component.

Sensitivity TO your environment:

This may be how most people relate to this word when they hear that a person is "sensitive". Incoming sensitivity TO your environment pertains to your knowledge-experience of the world around you. The world is our "training ground" within which we become who we already are, hence the importance of Quality Care within which children can "unfold". Much of this website concerns itself with the Educarer being responsible in every respect for this aspect of the child's environment.

Sensitivity TOWARDS your environment:

Outgoing sensitivity is towards your environment and is the subject of this page. The answer to the question, "What is Sensitivity (towards others)?", describes an attitude as well as a behavior. Answering this question is difficult. Consulting a thesaurus (Roget's International Thesaurus) really helped us in our attempt to paint the picture we're trying to convey to you. (You may want to do the same, it can be helpful.) Synonyms for the words sensitivity, sensitiveness and sensitivity to, provided numerous "viewpoints". For those of you without a thesaurus close by, you may CLICK HERE for a small Pop-UP window of some of the synonyms we found.

The process of Sensitization can have a two-fold influence on a person. The longer you are making a conscientious effort to be (Sensitively) aware, the more your understanding of it increases. The more your understanding increases, the greater the number of "affairs of daily life" you see "hungering" to be embraced by a person of Sensitivity. Let's face it,

The ratio, "supply of" / "necessity for" Sensitized People appears to be decreasing and continuing a downward trend.


The Caregiver's World vs. Today's World

There is a major contrast in the "modus operandi" for Infant / Toddler Caregivers (and all Caregivers) when they have to transition ("bridge the gap", if you will) between exercising appropriate Sensitivity with infants and toddlers, and then have to re-enter the outside world of NON-Sensitized people. For the Caregivers (and eventually for these children raised with Sensitivity) this presents a major conflict in values. This transition, or "crossover" on a daily basis can be quite difficult. For Caregivers to personally "LIVE" and "RELATE WITH SENSITIVITY" as we are proposing here, and, at the same time, reside in a world of "AMBIVALENCE" or "INDIFFERENCE" concerning Sensitivity is a stretch! How long can the duality, the DOUBLE STANDARD, the incongruity of it all sanely coexist? Surely children deserve more than this hyprocrisy from Society! There are no easy answers.

In contrast, as you go through your day's activities, make a personal observation of the interactions between people in the world around you . . . . as you drive on the road . . . . in your workplace . . . . when you shop. In general, do you find your life-interactions with others to be life-giving and of a personally respectful nature? Would you like the way people interact with you to be better? Of course, we all do!

Because today's world contains so many examples of

"Mankind's   INhumanity   to Man"

We felt it was necessary to expand upon this concept of Sensitivity as we see it relating to all of life.

Personal  "Sensitivity towards others"  is not something NEW, it is a "life-enhancing value" that has been around for a long time. Unfortunately, it is experiencing a lot of competition from the rest of life. Because it is not instinctive, it must be passed on from one generation to the next. When our little ones (0-3 and older) develop relationships with "Sensitized" caregivers at home or in their daycare world, they will be well on their way to a more psychosocially healthful life. We feel it is SO important to the future of human lives on this planet. There "literally" is no worthwhile future for mankind on planet Earth if the emergent "WINNER" from this competitive duality is the detrimental and increasingly blatant, epidemic known as "Man's INhumanity to Man". As individuals, we have become SO self-centered, seeing so many aspects of life as "inconveniences to ME personally", that "Sensitivity to Others" is, just about, all but forgotten in the lives of too many people.

The value of "Sensitivity" is no different than the value of "Community".
Communities (true Communities) of people aren't usually comprised of "INsensitive" people. If we can cultivate "Sensitivity" within people, then, perhaps our World will become a stronger and More True "Community"!

How we see the  IDEAL  "Sensitized  Person":

A person who:

This person projects LOVE!

"Perceptions" and their interpretations are important to the development of Sensitivity.

"Habitats for Sensitivity": ( i.e., within which it can abide gracefully )

Sensitizing Yourself, at least initially until you get the hang of it, requires concentration. You will be concentrating, perhaps, rather more intensely than you have in the past. It is our hope to instill a greater level of (outgoing) Sensitivity   "B E T W E E N"   ALL ADULTS IN THEIR DAILY INTERACTIONS WITH ONE ANOTHER. These are valuable qualities for Daycare Directors to expect in their employees, for parents to demand of their daycare, and for children to experience in all their childhood and adult lives. No child should be just "lucky" to receive this degree of care --- it should be universal. This is vitally important, and is just one of the reasons for Teacher/Child ratios being established for daycare.

Once integrated into your lifestyle, Sensitivity can seemingly (and happily) take on a life of its own. Why shouldn't this level of respect by a Caregiver for infants / toddlers extend beyond the world of children and apply equally as well to adult relationships? Sensitivity towards others, we are happy to say, can be as rewarding for YOU as for others.

Please bear with us in our analogy that follows:
If we all live on the surface of this "POND" called Society, and we don't like the ripples we are receiving, then "the cure for the POND" (i.e., the truest solution) is for each of us, ... individually, ... to "Sensitize Ourselves" towards the situations around us. Only by each of us echoing back "the ripples of love and understanding" that enable others to better interpret their own Humanity shall we, albeit slowly, convert our civilization to a stronger "Community". Any alternative is not likely to be so constructive. But first, we ourselves require a sense of our own Humanity. . . . . Future generations need Sensitive teachers.

A word of warning:  Constant attention to sensitivity issues requires "vigilance". Exercising your mind searching for ways to further incorporate sensitivity into your day requires effort. But if you feel you have succeeded even the slightest little bit, and feel that you are making progress in your attempts, then perhaps you have tapped into this "Sensitivity World" to which we refer.

    Good Luck !!

P.S. -- We invite you to comment on our two Sensitivity pages (this page, and the page that may have "linked" you here - "Sensitize Yourself to Their Experiences" article). Below are some sample questions to think about.

Is there a shortage of Sensitivity around YOU in your day-to-day activities? Did these pages give you cause for YOUR reflection? . . . Were they helpful to YOU? . . . either as a Caregiver, or in another form of employment? Would YOU like to offer any of your own thoughts? Or, . . . were we totally OFF THE MARK? We'd genuinely like to know!
E-mail US or utilize our "LIVE Help Now" feature which appears below to the right and somewhere on every page of our site.

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