Introduction on Boys in (Early) Child Education & Childcare
All over the world there is a growing insight in the importance of involving men in early child education. See for Example the Hawaii Conference in 2007 (World Forum on Early Child Education).
More recently there is growing acknowledgment of the fact that from very early childhood on boys (boy-babies) do develop in a different way, and that this does ask for attention in order to prevent disorders to develop.
In effect: my constant plea is not to judge boy’s behaviour not just here and now, on the spot, and calling them just ‘to behave’ but to have a deeper view on their developing behaviour. Early safe attachment or not has a bearing on all development following on this early stage. Both boys and girls suffer from unsafe attachment in their early relations. It has on boys other effects than on girls (often more externalising behaviour, a.o. aggression, whilst girls develop more often internalising behaviour, a.o. depression.
Because boys do mature a bit later, with some bigger irregularities in some aspects, some minor disorders do appear in the field of of energy management, attention, and in the autistiform spectrum. If dealt with, they grow over it and/or learn to handle it, cope with it. If neglected these minor disorders can develop into bigger disorders.
Men can – shoulder to shoulder with women – play a good role in this field, by offering them male role models, gender role identification, but also through their some times different style, language, playfullness and a lot more.
Another item in this field is the occurance of child abuse by (male) perpetrators, and child pornography made by men (and women). In December 2010 we all have been shocked here in the Netherlands and abroad at the news about child abuse in two Amsterdam Kindergartens. On occasion of this I have written a text, ‘Men in ECE. Get the good guys in and the wrong guys out’. This paper is meant for distribution , especcially for the European Network of Men in Early ChildCare and Education : Met the good guys in and the wrong guys out :