I’m flying back from a powerful 2.5 day training with Dr. Gordon Neufeld. My mind is swirling. The full picture of parenting is falling into place and it’s a beautiful image. Although Neufeld’s lecture was sobering, I am inspired and look forward to sharing the piece of the picture with all of you, mamas. I feel compelled to immediately relieve you of your daily pursuit of thee parenting answer to your current challenges. Despite what I have soaked up from all of my education and training and consulting and coaching, I am finally feeling at ease about what can truly support and empower parents in this topsy turvy world that abounds with parenting hurdles.
You might not believe me when I tell you of these new pieces to the parenting puzzle. They’re too simple. You won’t want to believe that you’ve known the answers all along to the reasons your child won’t listen, shuts you out, talks back, fights with her sibling, or tantrums so often. That’s okay. This mothering gig is a journey. We’re all in it together and we all have figured out that despite any more information considered “simple” – it sure won’t be easy.
I’ve encouraged you to read Kim John Payne’s book, Simplicity Parenting these past couple of years. And thankfully, so many of you have! You have cleared out the clutter (and continue to), you’ve created rhythms with candlelight that are connecting, you have cleared the schedule – made it lighter, and some of you have even removed screens or screen time on a very significant level. And whether you’ve done these things, are thinking about them, or just beginning to take action, the ideas have shifted you toward a better, more calm home life.
Now, in complete relation to simplifying, journey with me and run, don’t walk, to get your copy of Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s book, Hold Onto Your Kids. This may be a book you’ve read – it is so complimentary to the work of simplifying. Neufeld provides us with the core reasons for us to steadfastly build on the downtime, rituals, and filtering. He gives us a perspective as parents that is incredibly nourishing to our core. He reaffirms that it is your child’s attachment to you that will allow you to truly connect. It is through connection and attachment that your child listens, cooperates, and gives you their heart.
Creating a healthy attachment with your child is simple, but, again, not easy. Our culture’s values and beliefs do not support child-parent attachment. Again, you will be interacting with your children in ways that others would find, especially in North America, unacceptable. We live in a culture that stresses independence, not dependence, child-parent equality rather than hierarchy, and separation rather than closeness. Our culture believes that 6 week old infants can adapt without consequence to 6-10 hours of care with at least 3 other infants and 1 caregiver. Our culture believes that shyness is a disorder in children and that pushing children into social peer groups will allow them to “get over it.” Our culture believes that groups of toddlers need playgroups to learn how to play nicely with others, and it continues from there throughout childhood – the path to separate our children from us…
Our culture is influencing us in both subtle and direct ways to disconnect from our children, to lose their hearts.
I want to explore this path with those of you who are intrigued. Let’s be rebels and live counter-culture together. Let’s make relationships our currency, not materialism. Let’s collect our children back to us so they have the gift of giving us their hearts. Stay tuned, mama.