James 1:19 — from biblegateway.com

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,


1 Corinthians 13:1-8 — from biblegateway.com

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. 


Psalm 33:4-5 — from biblegateway.com

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.



The case for nurturing an infant -- a recording by Dr. Kate Christian

The case for nurturing an infant — from grcc.hosted.panopto.com by Dr. Kate Christian

Yes, Kate is one of my wonderful, talented, intelligent, and compassionate sisters! She is a Professor of Psychology at the Grand Rapids Community College.


TITLE/THEME:   The relationship between infant nurturance and the developing brain, and implications for long term physical and mental health

Question: How much time should you spend in direct interaction with your infant? 

  1. CONCERNS: Many people are concerned that paying too much attention to an infant will have negative consequences. (Words like “spoiled”, “dependent”, “mama’s boy”, etc.) 
    1. John Watson (1878-1958) wrote “The Psychological Care of Infant and Child” in 1928, arguing that infants and children should be treated like young adults, and that too much love and affection were damaging—children should not be kissed, hugged, or touched. Ideas such as strict feeding schedules (withholding nourishment if not on schedule) for infants were not uncommon during the first half of the twentieth century. 
    2. Behaviorist views emphasize rewards and punishment in shaping behavior. Today few behaviorists would argue for limiting affection. However, some may argue to let an infant “cry it out”, citing research that indicates infants can learn to self-soothe by about 7 months.
  2. HOWEVER, a wealth of evidence (theoretical, observations, animal studies, and neuroscience research) shows that nurturing an infant provides long term physical and mental health benefits. 
    1. PSYCHOANALYTIC theory:
      1. Sigmund Freud (1836-1959) coined the term “schizophrenogenic mothers”, claiming that especially for male infants, a failure of attachment to the mother could lead to schizophrenia, and that the mother’s lack of sensitive, caring behavior was the cause of attachment failure.
      2. Erik Erikson (1902-1994) established the idea of a psychosocial “crisis” during infancy in which the infant either learns to develop a sense of trust in the world (due to sensitive caregiving) or mistrust (due to unreliable, unpredictable or abusive care). 
      3. John Bowlby (1907-1990) is the founder of Attachment Theory, which maintains that caregiving in the first year of life sets up an unconscious, internal working model of relationships that shapes behavior and thoughts later in life. (Mary Ainsworth (1913-1999) came up with a measurement tool.) Secure attachment develops from sensitive, responsive caregiving, according to Ainsworth and Bowlby.Support for attachment theory varies, and many developmental psychologists today believe that early attachment is moderately predictive of later outcomes. (Things like divorce or death of a parent change the internal working model, or therapy, etc.) But infants with a secure attachment are more likely to explore their environment and be INDEPENDENT!!
    2. OBSERVATIONS: Rene Spitz (1887-1974) compared infants raised in orphanages to infants whose mothers were with them but in prison (in the 1940’s), the primary difference being maternal vs. professional nurse care. When the infants were first placed in the orphanage, Spitz found that for the 1st two months of separation, the infant would weep, scream, and/or be unapproachable. After 3 months, the infant would often become listless, lethargic, and demonstrated bizarre finger movements, and couldn’t sit or talk. 38% of the infants in the orphanage developed marasmus and died within 2 years, whereas all of the infants raised in prison with their moms were alive at follow up (age 5).  You can see video Click Here of infants who appeared dull and listless, or engaged in rocking back and forth or beating their heads on the crib. The infants were well fed and diapers changed, etc, but they had negligible physical touch or affection.Infants in institutions are less likely to play and interact with toys in the environment: Click here for video examples
    1. Rat pups   The amount of licking given to rat pups by maternal dams has predicted the level of anxiousness (vs. relaxation) in the rat, as well as inhibitory (vs. exploratory) behavior on a maze. Research has shown there are changes in neurobiology (such as hormones and brain receptors in the amygdala) that impact how the rats react to stress. In other words, the more the mother rat licks/grooms the pup, the more she sets up that rat to stay calm and resilient in the face of stress, and to feel confident to explore the environment.  nih.gov
    2. Harlow’s monkeys Monkeys in Harry Harlow’s experiment chose to spend nearly 23 hours a day in close contact with an artificial monkey that was covered in soft cloth and had big eyes (vs. a wire mother than administered food and drink). 
    3. Rhesus monkeys: Neuroscientists have found changes in the basic architecture of the amygdala and areas in the limbic system among rhesus monkeys deprived of touch, eye contact, and adult nurturing during infancy. (p. 129 Marian Diamond, Ph.D.) 
    1. Face-to-face interaction between infant and caregiver help wire the infant brain (use-dependent) and set up the basic architecture of the brain. Infants who experience positive interactions have a neurophysiological response (being smiled at calms the brain!) and neural connections that interact with biological hormones and systems regarding stress regulation get established in a positive way. This leads the infant to grow up better able to handle stress and adversity. 

Research using the ACE scale (adverse childhood experiences) found that children who face a great deal of adversity but are in relationally healthy, nurturing environments will show few long term negative effects (and the reverse is true—a child with even one ACE in an emotionally deprived environment will show significant poor outcomes).   (From Bruce Perry lecture) 

This infant nurturance also shapes the brain’s reward centers. Dr. Bruce Perry argues that infants deprived of nurturance grow up to feel dysregulated, and seek rewards in unhealthy behaviors (overeating/poor diet, substance use, thrill seeking, etc.) 

    1. Example: kangaroo care is the practice of holding an infant skin to skin, and it has been shown to increase weight gain among premature infants. 
    2. What about CELL PHONES?
      • Using a cell phone while caring for an infant has been shown to increase the risk of infant injury by 10%.
      • It also interferes with the face-to-face interaction needed for the neurobiological positive effects to occur!!
    3. Again… how much time to spend in direct interaction with an infant?
      • It doesn’t have to be 24/7, but most infants are not getting enough time. (Hunter gather—spend nearly all day in close proximity to adults, infant child care centers,  4:1 ratio)
      • Hold, sign, rock, touch, play together!
    4. But can’t you overdo it? Are you SURE you won’t spoil the infant or make him/her dependent?
      • There is virtually NO evidence to suggest that “too much” attention in the first year of life is harmful. (Again, you don’t have to spend every minute together… both you and the infant need breaks!) But this cultural perception that it is possible to “over nurture” an infant has got to change!!
    5. What about Co-Sleeping?
      • Worldwide, some form of co-sleeping is the norm.
      • A study found that in the U.S., infants who co-sleep grow up to be MORE independent (secure attachment) than those who don’t.
      • However, there are physical concerns, such as studies finding higher SIDS rates among infants who co-sleep. Also, if a parent is a deep sleeper, is drunk, or sleeps in a chair, if space between wall, etc, these are hazards.



Psalm 86:5 — from biblegateway.com

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.


From DSC:
One of my sisters is a Professor of Psychology and she highly recommended that I check out the work of Dr. Bruce D. Perry. Below is an example video that was recorded on October 25, 2014 as part of the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival, Journeys. I included some excerpted slides in this posting to give you a flavor of portions of this talk.

Description (emphasis DSC):

Each of us takes the same journey from birth to consciousness—but none of us recalls it. This early stage of life is crucial; Sigmund Freud famously obsessed over it, as do millions of parents every day. What goes on cognitively during that time, and what can parents—and other adults—do to further promote infant well-being? Join renowned psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry, recipient of the 2014 Dolores Kohl Education Prize, for this discussion of early-childhood brain development and its long-term importance.

Social & Emotional Development in Early Childhood [CC]



11 Trends that Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond — from hbr.org by Brian Kropp and Emily Rose McRae


9. The chief purpose officer will be the next major C-level role.
Issues of politics, culture, and social debate have fully entered the workplace. Employees have been asked to bring their whole self to work as organizations try to create a more inclusive and productive work environment. This is fundamentally different than a decade ago when employees were expected to leave their personal perspectives “at the door.”

Employees also expect their employer to get more involved in the societal and political debates of the day…

Addendum on 1/24/22 (emphasis DSC):

  • Leading in an Age of Employee Activism — from sloanreview.mit.edu by Megan Reitz and John Higgins
    Employees are demanding that managers engage on topics like climate change and racial equity — and leaders need to be ready to respond.

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

From DSC:
This verse especially caught my eye as we have severe access to justice issues here in the United States.


Zechariah 8:16-17 — from biblegateway.com

16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; 17 do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.


But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times


The birds have fled from the bird feeders...

From DSC:
Each day, I try to ensure that there’s enough bird seed in the bird feeders. You see, I’m a bird watcher and I especially enjoy the different kinds of birds in our area as well as appreciating the variety of colors and designs of the birds. But it often perplexes me when the birds fly away when they see motion in our kitchen. They become afraid and in a spirit of looking out for #1, they fly away.

Hmmm. I’m setting out food to help you survive, yet you fly away in fear when I come close.

I wonder if that’s how the LORD feels with me/us sometimes. He provides so richly, deeply, and generously (waaaaayyy more than I do). Yet I can’t help but wonder if He senses our fears, doubts, and our “flying away” from Him at times…? He provides. We fly.

The situation is getting better. And my trying to be faithful helps the birds overcome their anxieties. They are staying on the bird feeder more often, even when they see me approach. It appears that the trust levels are growing. 

Along the lines of bird watching, below is a very cool app I just recently saw. I can use all the help I can get in this area (not to mention a ton of other areas)!

Identify the birds that you see of hear with Merlin Bird ID


Investing in Glorify– from a16z.com (andreesen horowitz) by Connie Chan


Faith is inherently social. For example, there are 2.5 billion Christians globally and many congregate at church, Sunday school, fellowships, discipleships, and more.

Why then, when we have best-in-class, venture-backed social and content platforms dedicated to everyone from gamers, to fashionistas, to sports card enthusiasts, are Christians not able to complement their in-person worship with an equally sophisticated and engaging online experience? Why does the Christian community rely on digital experiences built almost exclusively by non-profits?

This is the question Glorify cofounders Henry Costa and Ed Beccle asked themselves in 2019 when they set out to build the world’s leading online platform to help Christians practice their faith and connect online. As former founders, they knew that it was possible to build something that was delightful to use, with intuitive social features.

From DSC:
I had not heard of this app; sounds interesting.


Psalm 100:4-5  — from biblegateway.com

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.


The Best Advice for New Teachers, in 5 Words or Less — from edweek.org by Hayley Hardison; though back from August, the words still (and will) ring true.


Teachers just entering the profession are looking for advice on how to find their footing.

We put a call out on Twitter for experienced educators to share their best tips for new teachers, in five words or less. Here’s what they said.

Many people responding pointed to the importance of building strong relationships with students—and how critical that is for learning.

© 2022 | Daniel Christian