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Symposium 2012

Solution for Mental Training towards a Caring Economy

The Challenge

Complex problems, such as climate change or irresponsible deployment of resources, are difficult to resolve without global participation of cooperating partners. To date, these problems have been main ...

Complex problems, such as climate change or irresponsible deployment of resources, are difficult to resolve without global participation of cooperating partners. To date, these problems have been mainly tackled through top-down approaches where governments and international institutions take the role of decision-makers.

Make mindfulness and compassion training available for the teachers and the parents of preschool children, to reinforce the children’s training.

For preschool training in mindfulness and compassion to be particularly effective, the teachers should receive a proper training (lasting typically 10 weeks). The training also needs to be reinforced in the home. For this purpose, parents of preschool children must be given access to training in mindful and compassionate parenting. First attempts have successfully been made to introduce compassion training to teachers in Europe and the United States.

Compassion training may also influence the parenting models that parents choose to adopt. In the "nurturing parenting model," discipline is achieved through love and respect, although without laxity and excessive permissiveness. Parents explain their decisions to their children, so that the children can assess the justice and wisdom of their decisions.

In the "authoritarian parenting model," children receive "tough love" and are punished so as to promote the toughness, stamina and rugged individualism that are allegedly required to cope with the competitive struggle for survival in the hierarchical power structure of the prevailing culture.

Widespread compassion training for parents could have two complementary effects: first, it could induce increasing numbers of parents to adopt the "nurturing parent model;" and second, it could promote a culture where caring is more highly valued and thus more important for social success.

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