Young Child as Person


by Martha Snyder, Ross Snyder, and Ross Snyder, Jr.

Edited by Maryhelen Snyder, Ph.D. with a new Forward by Jean Baker Miller, M.D. and Judith Jordan, Ph.D.

For an entire copy of "The Young Child as Person" in PDF format, click here.

Table of Contents:

  1. Forward

  2. Introduction

  3. Preface

PART I: Toward Spirited Existence

   1.  Essential Convictions about Children

          * Every Child Wants to Function

          * Every Child Wants to Be in Relationship

          * There is an Exciting World to Explore

   2.  Pulse of Life

          * Mystery of Life

          * Bodies

          * Death

          * Monsters: Separating the Unreal from the Real

          * Ideas

          * Celebrating and Music

   3.  How Healthy Conscience Develops

          * Caring Deeply and Understanding Others

          * Becoming Able to Feel, Identify, and Handle Feelings

          * Becoming a Personal Center and Realizing Competence

          * Helping Establish a Justice Culture

                o The Child and Teacher Form a World

                o Love That Envelops All

                o A Justice Culture in the Process of Becoming

                o Freedom to Make Decisions

                o Defending One's Integrity

                o Standing Up for Justice for Someone Else

                o Power-With

          * Developing Honest Inner Speech

          * The Teacher as an Integrity

          * Trueing-up the Self

          * Hearing the Call of Possibility

          * Preferring the Highest and Best.  Truth-Work

          * Interiorizing Significant Adults

          * How this Approach Differs from Some Others

                o Self-Limiting and Destructive Consciences

                      + The Punitive Conscience

                      + The Paranoid-Pessimistic Conscience

                      + The Other Directed Conscience

                      + The Exploitive-Opportunistic Conscience

                      + The Disengaged Conscience

          * How Self-Limiting & Destructive Consciences Come About

          * Healthy Conscience:  The Caring-Constructive Conscience

   4.  A Child is a Life World

          * Organizing Centers of a Life World

          * The Growing That the Child Is Working On

                o Feelings About Self

          * The People and Objects in the Child's World

                o Method of Meeting Life: Life-Style

                o Meanings

                o Future

          * The Life World Concept for Teachers and Parents

   5.  Breaking Out of Limitations

          * Phony Identity

          * The World as Obstacle

          * Trapped by Minute Control

          * The World is Too Much for Me

          * Reaching into Exuberance

          * Compulsive Drive to Organize a Life World

          * Inner Panic

          * Freedom from Anger

          * Living Space for Children

PART II: Function of the Teacher as Significant Adult

   1.   Enabling Through the Understanding Mode of Conversation

          * Understanding Verbal Content

          * Hearing and Helping a Child Clarify Feelings

                o Deeper Than Verbal Content

                o Processing  - Not Just Expressing

                o Being Understood – Enabling the Child to Function

          * Understanding The Child's Existence Situation

                o The Growing the Child is Working On

          * Reconstructing an Episode With Feelings and Intentions

   2.  The Art of Understanding

          * Not Understanding

                o Probing

                o Instructing

                o Evaluating

                o Supporting

          * Practice in Understanding

          * Understanding Verbal Content

          * Hearing and Processing Feelings

          * Understanding the Existence Situation

          * Reconstructing the Episode with Feelings and Intentions

   3.  How Understanding Helps the Child

          * Gives the Child Relationship and Words

          * Strengthens the Child's Power to Act

          * Helps the Child to Recover from Setbacks

          * Gives the Child's Hopes and Plans a Chance

          * Develops Honest Inner Speech

          * Builds Conscience

          * Summary

   4. An Integrity that Can be Encountered

          * Not Allowing Devious Behavior to Succeed

          * Not Granting Special Privileges

          * Not Yielding to Ruthless Power

          * What an Integrity is

   5.  Being a Presence

          * A Synopsis of Six Basic Concepts

                o Justice Culture

                o Conscience

                o Sociality

                o Life World

                o Being

                o Presence

          * Six Steps for Solving Any Conflict Situation

   6.  About the Authors

Toward the Development of Healthy Conscience



  1. Sun in an Empty Room

  2. No Hole in the Flame

  3. Because I Praise

  4. Young Child as Person


  1. Guarding Master’s Head

  2. Loving Relationships

  3. Conscience Development

  4. Co-Creative Dialogue

  5. More Articles

Poems & Art

  1. Individual Poems

  2. Art


Maryhelen Snyder can be reached by “snail mail” at:

  1. 9672 Farmside Place

  2. Vienna VA 22182

or by email at mels44”AT”