Human behaviourist Dr John Demartini discusses why values matter when raising a child with learning disabilities
Values are what we truly feel are most important, essential or valuable to our lives as parents. Our values originate from whatever we perceive to be missing in our lives. So if we perceive that we are missing relationships, money, or influence, we will seek, desire and value a partner, cash and social networks. Our perceived voids therefore determine our values.
Since we have more than one void and corresponding value, we actually have a series of voids and values ranging from the most important to the least important. Our values can occur in any of the seven primary areas of life – Spiritual, Mental, Vocational, Financial, Familial, Social and Physical and they can be concentrated in one or few areas or dispersed through all seven unevenly.
Every perception, decision and action we make is determined by our hierarchy of values. Every decision is based upon what we feel is going to provide us with the most advantage over disadvantage and most reward over risk to our highest values. The more parents understand their own and their children’s hierarchy of values the more they can communicate, educate and empower themselves and their children.
Every family member has a unique hierarchy of values and no two family members have the same set of values. Whenever either or both parents project their highest values onto their children there will be both benefits and drawbacks. The benefits can initially give them outer direction and can sometimes save them from learning the hard way. The drawbacks can cloud the child’s individual mission. Children spontaneously love learning what is truly highest on their own hierarchy of values, what is most important to them, but not necessarily those values projected by their parents or teachers.
When parents identify, respect and communicate whatever they feel is wise for their children to learn in terms of the child’s highest values, children expand their learning horizons and incorporate these new values and interests. When parents autocratically project their values and learning content onto their children without knowing or honouring their childrens’ highest values, the children can resist.
Many learning difficulties are simply due to parents or teachers not honouring what is truly most important to the child and not communicating information in terms of the child’s highest values or inspirations.
The child’s identity revolves around their highest value – their purpose. It is what they spontaneously love to learn and fulfill. Children naturally express genius in their highest value and suppress any genius in their lowest. Many learning abilities are only in certain areas. These same children excel in other areas that are aligned congruently with their highest values. Children could be labeled Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) at their school while enduring a class they are not inspired by or engaged in, while at home they could stay focused for six hours straight on their video games and demonstrate Attention Surplus Order (ASO). Before projecting labels ,it is wise to first discover children’s highest values. Authorities projecting labels sometimes undermine the very genius they are claiming to breed.