There are three important requirements a child needs for survival: affection, attention, and acknowledgment; without these, children will lack the solid foundation to grow as healthy human beings; and in extreme cases, manifest negative behavior that can have detrimental consequences for themselves and society at large.

 

This was clearly experienced in Norway in the attacks perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik on July 22, 2011; where 77 people lost their lives.

 

By studying the life of Behring, we realize that he had a very difficult childhood including physical abuse, isolation, and psychological trauma. As a result, this child became a mass murderer in his adult life.

 

Children have always been part of my life, they are my greatest teachers. I began working with children at the age of seventeen as a Tae Kwon Do instructor. My teacher, who is a Jungian psychotherapist, gave me a great introduction to the psychology of children which I had the opportunity to apply at the martial arts school.

From that moment, I felt a strong connection with children. Since then, I have been volunteering whenever I have the opportunity to do it. While I was living in Charlotte, NC I was part of the “Lunch Buddy” program with A Child’s Place -an organization that works with homeless children. I was also the Tae Kwon Do teacher in one of the summer camps organized by A Child’s Place.

 

I am currently a volunteer at the Sacramento Children’s Home. These children have taught me great lessons about the innocence of the human heart, that despite their conditions and behind all the pain they have, their innocence shines every time they feel the attention, acknowledgment, and affection so essential for their healthy growth.  It is priceless when they give you a hug to show their appreciation!

 

Children are the foundation of society, and as the proverb goes: "It takes one village to raise a child"; we have a responsibility to make sure that all children grow with the dignity, confidence, and strength necessary to live and succeed in life.

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