• Posted: Dec 23, 2007 23:41:20
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While some children continuously resist socialization, others trust profoundly in their mentors. The difference may be related to the culture that exists amongst peers. A rebellious and obdurate child often simultaneously seeks snickering approval from peers for his resistant behavior. Those same snickering peers may severely ridicule a more docile, compliant child. Peer status, peer cohesion, and peer solidarity are paramount. Submission to authority is the downwardly sucking force to be avoided at all costs. At the same time, the compliant child dutifully seeks reward and reinforcement from mentors. The approval or disapproval of peers is hugely irrelevant. Common wisdom holds the compliant child will have the greater advantage as an adult, but is that actually true?
A some point both the rebellious and the compliant child will find themselves weaned from their primary source of reinforcement. Both may find themselves suddenly lost, isolated, and dysfunctional. However, if either child has been previously socialized into, or found on their own, the intrinsic pleasures available from being inwardly directed then the weaning process may cause little discomfort.
Like team sports, participation in the making of music offers not only an introduction to the intrinsic pleasures of a consuming mind/body coordination, but also a taste of the power available from concerted self/other coordination. Just the stuff individual difference respecting families, work teams, and communities are made of.
Early attention by parents and educators to the nature and source of reinforcement children receive for autonomous efforts can have a profound effect on the eventual success a child will have finding a meaningful place in society. May we all do better in this regard. As the news attests, failure can be devastating.
Thursday, November 18th, 1993