developing personhood 

In CD 2, we look at some great tools for developing personhood. We begin with this question:

How do we enter into the office of  personhood?

It begins as a very young child. We become a person, when we can find what it is that we like and then liking it. It sounds so simple but it is actually quite profound. It is the intentionality of moving toward a joy experience and acting it out with no other purpose than enjoying your joy. Something as simple as splashing in the bathtub in a continued motion that brings laughter and joy.

CYCLE:  experimenting, discovering, enjoying and repeat..

Children have the capacity to feel pleasure. The more they cycle, the more neurological center will develop. The majority of this building will be done by the child alone, doing things by yourself.


This is the heartbeat of childhood. Does this feel good or not? The task of the toddler stage is to build an archive he/she can continually repeat.


What role do parents play? 

That all depends on how they respond to the child enjoying their joy. The response will be the message to the child- enjoying your joy is good or bad. This interchange will play out over and over again.

We cannot put a child in the office but we can keep them from putting themselves in the office of personhood. The suppression of children at the expense of impeccable behaviour strips them of this office. Placing huge restrictions on life or fear of uncertainty of not knowing what is acceptable limits all initiative.

With freedom comes much exploration, establishing them well in the office by allowing them areas of their joy to be expressed. Our design is hard wired in. The question is not will it survive but whether we'll have permission to walk in our design.

For toddler’s to progress, the parent’s job is to now be looking for the unexpected areas of joy and how it can be developed, even if it is out of context.

The more stimuli of exposure, the more the hidden areas of personhood will surface.

In the earlier years, parent’s set up a child's environment (does sequencing matter?) and gives them permission to cycle, creating opportunities as they watch for clues.  This is the stage of exploring, not fencing in, discovering, not standardization, differentiation not cloning.

Obedient commoditized toddlers grow up to be highly productive, disconnected adults. They end up playing solitaire.

What can the market place teach us?

The market place understands human diversity and exposes us to a myriad of stuff to feed just the thing you like. How many brands of toothpaste does one really need?

They make a huge profit for us as we enjoy our joy. We should use the same intensity and diversity, parenting our children and the world would be a different place.

toddlers and children

We shift again as they continue to grow, understanding who they are as children and directing their design in the right way despite the clash it might cause within the culture.

What questions can you draw out of them giving clues to their design?

What did you like about the event, the book, the party? What was the sweet spot of your pleasure? As you language something, it can then be expressed in a different context. What you enjoyed about this, may be portable.

If you can change one thing about this house, your room the world, what would it be? What would you change?

In areas of frustration, reason back to design. What drives you? Now reason back and redirect it into the right channel.

Wrapping it up:

What we have been discussing here makes the difference between being in or out of the office of personhood. What an opportunity. We can’t put them in but we can take them out by reviling their joy.  As we partner with them, study and language what it is that they enjoy. This is the responsibility of the parent.

questions to explore

Back in my day, parenting books were replete with mostly the best ways to discipline and tame our children. How very sad. I can only imagine if a generation of books and tools saw this one issue of commoditization and personhood as a priority. Savoring the look of that.

Questions to ask giving clues to your design: Read the above questions. Have you used any of these in your own life to drill down and find an expression of your design?

Where are you on the continuum? Can you give examples of commoditization vs personhood in your own life, where and how you have grown? or expectation for an area to grow?

What landed most profoundly for you in this cd?

Do you have something to share about this topic?

We would love to hear from you

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Let Father God join the dots of your life  
Had a lovely word from Father this morning as I was reading through Lamentations 3. The first 19 verses are stern stuff, but then 20 - 24 ... He reminded …

new comments 
check out the new comments on developing personhood cd-2

Click here to write your own.

if you are enjoying this study group, consider buying me a coffee. many thanks. 

back to office of personhood study group