David Lancy

Committee of Recommendation

One of the striking contrasts between the lives of contemporary, middle-class children and their counterparts cross-culturally and in the past is the narrowing of their social community. Traditionally, children learn from and emotionally attach to a plethora of individuals—siblings, extended family, grandparents as well as, older and younger peers. Children’s chores included looking after infant siblings and livestock, thereby learning how to care for needy and speechless creatures. But this social world has shrunk drastically in the last fifty years. Families are smaller, with fewer siblings. Chores are also a thing of the past in many “rich” countries. Children are segregated with same age peers in school, in sports and elsewhere. Extended families are “over-extended,” as relatives now live at a considerable distance and seen rarely. ICDI tries to roll-back the increasing lack of contact between the generations by, for example, bringing children together with elderly people.