Besides a lot of interesting tidbits in the comments of the original post, I wanted to mention that my sister posted about my post and recommends that I [finally] read Fr. Giussani's The Risk of Education (which I in fact have on my shelf). You can read her post here.
I've been interested to see how much enthusiasm people have expressed about this topic - especially as I was a little reluctant to post what I did. The reason is that I haven't figured it out well enough to state a principle. What I understand about this concept is based in particular experiences (particularly with a disabled adult relative who spends a lot of time with us) and an intuitive sense of the concept that I've picked up from my parents and how they raised us. I hope to explore the concept more in the future. Pointers are most welcome!