Home     Blog     About Us     ParentNet®     Get Involved     Resources
We urge you to help make family engagement a priority in education reform. Everyone — parents, schools, and communities —have a responsibility to help kids succeed in school and life! – The Leadership Team
Home of ParentNet�
We are home to ParentNet, a face-to-face family engagement program for parents of children in grades Pre-K to 12. Get quick facts about the program at ParentNet� At-a-Glance.

Meet Our Bloggers
ParentNet® Unplugged offers an online opportunity for frank conversations about family engagement. Please meet our bloggers and engage them in dialogue! Want to keep up with the conversation? Subscribe to new articles by email below.

Subscribe to ParentNet� Unplugged
Sign up to get blog posts by email


» Privacy Policy

Essential Reads

 Woman reading Essential Reads

» A Culture that Engages Every Family, Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D.

» How to Revitalize Your School-Parent Compact, Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D.

» How Do You Know if You're Really Open to Partnership, Anne Henderson & Karen Mapp

»PTA--Gateway to Engagement, Advocacy, and Access, Meryl Ain, Ed.D.

» The Power of Asking-Instead of Telling, Jody McVittie, M.D.

» Empathy in Action, Rick Ackerly, Ed.M.

Featured Books
We have the only bookstore on the web that highlights the field of family engagement! Check out our current Editor’s Picks and browse books on 1) Engaging Parents, 2) Building Partnerships, and 3) Leading Culture Change in Schools. Order from our site to support our mission!

Consultant Directory
Looking for consultants, parent educators, trainers, organization development specialists, parent coaches, or speakers who work in the field of family engagement? Check out our Consultant Directory or submit a free listing!

Children and Social Justice

By Josette Luvmour Ph.D.

All Hands together

All children want and need emotional connection. We all must take steps to ensure that our children are emotionally healthy. This is the best investment we as a society can make in our collective future. Developing emotional well-being calls for partnerships between families and schools as both are environments of mutual influence between adult and child.

  • Each family is its own culture, and each child develops well-being within that culture. Cultural values, beliefs, customs, and traditions are different in each family (even within similar ethnic backgrounds). These cultural values are transmitted to children both verbally and nonverbally. Optimal well-being means strong, centered, resilient families in which both children and parents continually develop new resources and make contributions to each other and to society. Building relationships of mutual respect for cultural differences begins within the family.

  • Within each classroom culture, it is important for children to feel valued for who they are while being encouraged to feel they belong. At the same time, children need time to play, explore, and experiment. This engagement with experiential learning enables them to make connections between earlier experiences and new learning. For example, teachers can create multi age cooperative learning teams for any given task. Students can be mixed and matched for optimal success when an educator is sensitive to the developmental moment and skill level of each child.

Children who experience themselves as socially valuable throughout their childhood feel trust and have the greatest likelihood of transitioning to a socially just world. A society whose members feel valued will trust and act justly.  

During each age of childhood connection, understanding and appreciation of life deepens when children are valued for what they bring:  

  • Children through age 7 begin the social process with bonding, play, and innocence. Their exuberance for life includes acceptance of everyone in play.

  • Children ages 8 through 12 moves to new abilities of emotional development with feelings of empathy that call forth the formation of ethics, justice, and fairness during engagement in interpersonal relationships.

Together, these ages and stages of development establish the foundation of the child's sense of belongingness and interpersonal relationship, so necessary for healthy social membership.

  • Teens (13 through 17) build on former development by insisting on the right to choose and the importance of loyalty. This establishes individual liberty, a powerful addition to social membership. In a healthy teen's point of view, a citizen belongs and therefore enjoys the right of freedom of choice.

  • Young adults (18 through 23) develop the capacity of reasonableness, which includes a developed awareness of the interconnectedness of all people, tolerance, and a greater ability to make meaning. During this age, the realization dawns that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must include all people.

When these natural capacities are developed at home and in school, it is not whether a person participates in social justice, but how. One teacher wrote,

Students frequently work together at their table to complete a team task, such as a cooperative paragraph or an art project.  I usually model some ways children might solve issues of fairness, should they arise (and they always do). For example, let every person's voice be heard, and then vote to make a decision.

Participation in which all of our contributions have been recognized, valued, and engaged can become a societal norm. That appreciation of social justice becomes an initial condition for cooperative problem-solving. Democracy depends on the moral quality of its people. It is in family and school relationships that the values and morals of the individual develops and matures. When children are valued at each age of development for their social contribution, then each child will have their own unique expression of social justice.

©2012 Josette Luvmour, PhD. All rights reserved.

Posted on June 6, 2012 by Josette Luvmour Ph.D.

Josette Luvmour, PhD is a developmentalist, consultant, educator who specializes in child development, adult development, and sustainable family relationships. She serves in the non-profit sector as Director of Family and Professional Development at Summa Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides Natural Learning Relationships™ programs to students, families, and professionals. In addition to her 26-year consulting practice at Luvmour Consulting, LLC, she is author of five books and numerous journal articles and chapters that focus on building positive relationships with children. 

Additional Information about our Bloggers
(www.ParentInvolvementMatters.org does not handle reprint requests. For permission to reprint articles, please contact the author directly.)

Permalink   Comments (0)   Send to a Friend

Tags: *Parent Engagement at Home , *School-Family Partnership, Learning environment, Multiracial


Post New Comment
Show Contact Info:


write my essay Copyright © 2000-2011 National ParentNet Association All rights reserved   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   Privacy Policy
web design   |   visualscope llc