NUMBER 256• 25 APRIL 2003 • PINOCCHIO
INDEX OF QUOTES
Pinocchio demonstrates how vitally important it is that children have continuous support and guidance from caring adults. Despite the seemingly inescapable problems Pinocchio faces, the guardians in his life continue to place him in the center of their circle of support. Their persistence in surrounding him with a reclaiming environment allows him to receive the vital lessons from his struggles and challenges.
Despite the exhausting effort, the circle of committed and compassionate caregivers in Pinocchio’s life never falter in providing respect for his journey. By nurturing the positive qualities of healthy connection and attachment, Pinocchio’s supporters find that a strong bonding takes place in their relationship with Pinocchio. Through their actions, Geppetto and Jimmy illustrate that creating a sense of belonging is a more essential need than self-esteem or self-actualization (Maslow, 1962).
The story shows that until belongingness occurs, the development of a healthy self-concept and conscience may not be achieved. This may suggest an important clue for addressing the staggering increases in juvenile delinquency, crime, and violence in our contemporary society. In the absence of nurturing, consistent, and healthy relationships, children and youth will seek out and find alternative attachments. Pinocchio’s realization of interdependence with those who care for him is the culmination of his journey.
The Polish physician, child advocate, and innovative educator, Janusz Korczak (1878—1942) personified this absolute devotion to and respect for children. Although he understood that childrearing is challenging and exhausting work, he resisted the notion that we must eventually tire of stooping to the child’s level of intellect. Instead, Korczak emphasized that the real work is in having the courage to rise to the challenge of providing greater sensitivity, understanding, inclusion, and involvement. He concluded that the true accomplishment is when we learn to raise our experience of troubled youth beyond the limits of blame, accusation, and threat to embracing the most reluctant and resistant (1991a, 1991b). We must lift our capacities to teach by example the indispensable principles of courage and caring.
The full article can be viewed here
Nass, A. D. (1997). Rediscovering Pinocchio. Reclaiming children and youth. Vol. 5 No.4. p 241
Maslow, A. (1962). Toward a psychology of being. Princeton, NI: Van Nostrand.
Korczak, I. (1991a). The child’s right to respect (F. P. Kulawiec, Trans.). Washington, DC: University Press of America. (Original work published 1925)
Korczak, J. (1991b). When I am little again (E. P. Kulawiec, Trans.). Washington, DC: University Press of America. (Original work published 1925)