Friday, November 11th, 2011

In The Beginning…

In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment.Thomas Carlyle•

One thing I’ve learned, through both painful and positive experience, is that the successful flourishing of any project, product, event… or person, is seeded right at the beginning. Imagine setting off in a boat with the intention of sailing to a distant island, but having miscalculated your route by even just a tiny degree: everything will seem fine and dandy for awhile, maybe even for days. But as those tiny degrees of misdirection exponentially add up over many miles, you will at some point realize you are ending up far from where you wanted to be.

A mantra from chaos theory goes, “Sensitive dependence on initial conditions.”

This applies whenever something new is brought into being: cookies, crops, houses, stories, songs, sweaters, people. Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

The Childbirth – Autism – Erection Connection

LaborPool

Today has been World Autism Awareness Day, and Kim Stagliano despises it. The mother of three autistic daughters, she finds the “feel-good frippery” and air of festivity around the globe — with the rallies, events, balloons, and everything in blue (even the Eiffel Tower) — suggests a party rather than a crisis.

Good intentions aren’t in question: Autism Speaks talks about World Autism Awareness Day as an event that “celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism.” Yet Stagliano bristles at the jovial tone of April (Autism Awareness Month), and the suggestion that “the circumstances of my daughters’ existences are to be celebrated. For me, this should be a month of solemn acknowledgement and education about a global crisis.”

Stagliano points out the sharp rise in autism over the past decade, and notes MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff’s prediction that by 2025, half of all children will be born with autism.

{Finish reading this post at mothering.com}

 

Image:
theogeo through a Creative Commons license
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Feeling Stalled… Blah… Lifeless?

Depending on where you live, here comes that season when we’re reminded to trust that even the most dead-looking thing may have vibrant life brewing inside.

This speaks strongly to me in 2015: occasionally in the past year, I have felt worried or discouraged about how “unproductive” I was. The pace I had set in late ’13 for growing the wings of Parenting for Peace and spreading it ever more widely had seemed to slow to an idle. Important P4P projects and programs loitered in the waiting rooms of my imagination.

What happened to the fire in my belly? Where went my ambition to send P4P soaring throughout the world?? When those questions would come nipping at the edges of my psyche, I did my best to engage P4P Principle #6, TRUST — trust that all was well in the big picture, and reasons for the “stasis” would reveal themselves within a meaningful context at some point.

This is how it goes in parenting… intimate relationships… and in almost every aspect of your child’s unfolding. There are cycles of lulls and leaps throughout. Ebb and flow. We do well to abide, and to trust.

Trust the Lulls of Life

In musing on this, it occurs to me — remember how things looked during the early weeks of your child’s growth in the womb? From the outside, I mean. Other than maybe frequent dashes to the toilet (thank goodness I was spared active nausea!), things looked pretty much… same old same old. Nothin’ much happening.

And yet the most momentous things were happening unseen, deep inside. Like in the branches of that tree above! Life was at work, invisibly weaving an unfathomably intricate series of cellular events with miniscule error margins in timing, placement, and motion. (Reflecting upon embryonic development is a great antidote for those times when I feel like I’ve got to steer the ship of my life and control the ocean tides as well!)

There are times when inner streams of growth require so much energy and life force that there isn’t much left for outer streams of “doing-ness.” Things seem stagnant, sometimes frighteningly so. There’s the ebb.

Our culture doesn’t much celebrate the ebb. It’s all about flow — go, go, go, no matter how un-flowish you’re feeling. But when we can respect the natural ebbs… and trust in the cycles of Life… we invite in the most robust flows.

If you’re feeling like something is inexplicably lifeless or stalled out in your life, you might find my little riff during a recent call with Coaching & Care Circle members to be encouraging:

 

Are there places in your life that feel blah or like things just aren’t happening the way you were hoping / expecting / planning? If so, try out this mantra: Abide, and trust.

My wish for you is to rejoice in the whispery hints of Life’s unstoppable power working everywhere, even when you can’t quite see or make sense of it.

HeartCoral

 

Meanwhile, if there are patterns of behavior your child may need a bit of “gentle nudging” to flow beyond, be sure to grab your  free copy of my “7-Step Guide: Helping Your Child Release Stuck Behaviors” ebooklet  up there! RedArrowShortUpRT

Or go here to find it. This is a unique, powerful tool for parents to use with children of all ages!

 

Friday, February 27th, 2015

“Educational” Toys…May NOT Be!

MotheringFeaturedBlocksCall me an old fart, but I’m not a fan of new-fangled, ring-ding-dang educational toys. My recommendation to parents always is, don’t easily trust the (sometimes wacko) things that our culture takes for granted are great for kids. Err on the side of “First, do no harm.” Trust your inner knowing and common sense, not the zeitgeist.

Children need “real time” experiences, which can be best happen with simple objects that most people wouldn’t call toys, let alone educational toys! {Read the rest… including 3 fail-safe guidelines for choosing brain-building toys… at mothering.com}

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The Promise Within Your Child

(Last in a 5-part series at DrGreene.com) Your child is not a blank slate or empty vessel who needs to be filled up with copious amounts of excellent information. Your child comes to you with an intact intellect that is gathering energy and waiting to unfold in good time, like a flower in the bud. You would never pry open a rosebud to somehow maximize it or improve upon it! Instead, you would make sure it has the best soil, and nourishing fertilizer to support its optimal unfolding. {How?? Read on…}

DrGreeneTitle5

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Sheltering Childhood Nurtures Your Child

(Part 4 in my 5-part series at DrGreene.com) I truly don’t mean to complicate your life in this already-over-complicated era by introducing a new condition, “TMTS.” And I feel VERY deeply for parents who are raising young ones today, when all of this is SO much more challenging!

DrGreeneTitle4

 

 

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

How Boredom Builds Brains… and Screens Can Drain Brains!

(Part 3 of my 5-part series at DrGreene.com) I’m not talking about the deep, serious kind of boredom associated with neglect, poverty and anguish. I’m talking about that “I’m not being distracted / entertained / stimulated at this very instant and I don’t know what to do with myself” kind that I fear is becoming more and more common.

I’ll let you in on a little behind-the-scenes shock I had while searching for a photo to illustrate this article. I searched the term “child relaxing” and I kept finding these gorgeous pastoral scenes of a child in the middle of a lovely meadow… using a laptop!! Or a child kicking back in a hammock… using an iPad! 

And why would that distress me? Read on…

DrGreeneTitle3

 

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Brain-Wise Parenting: The Importance of Relationship & Rhythm

DrGreene2TitlePhoto

(Part 2 of my 5-part series at DrGreene.com) Yesterday I invited parents to relax about pushing academics for their wee ones, because their best preparation for true intelligence is play. But there is a very important area of your young child’s brain that does need active parental participation for optimally healthy development. It’s called the orbito-frontal cortex, or OFC for short.

The OFC is the seat of common sense thinking… the ability to read other people’s “signals” and recognize their intentions… to sense their emotions, and have empathy… to imbue intellectual thought with feeling, and vice versa — to moderate emotion with rational thought. In short, the OFC is the seat of social intelligence. It manages the skills of being truly human! {Read more at DrGreene.com}

 

 

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The Importance of Play, Puttering & Pretending

I’m pleased to have been invited for a 5-day guest blog spot at DrGreene.com, which begins today and runs all this week. Dr. Greene is a pediatrician whose focus is children’s health in a progressive way. So I’m chiming in with 5 new articles all centered around ways to foster children’s optimal lifelong wellbeing.

And it’s all NEW material that I haven’t previously blogged about!

DrGreeneMonPost

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

3 Guidelines for Bedtime Reading

I’m here for you, Nicolle Wallace of The View, who says there aren’t any guidelines out there for choosing what to read to your baby!

The gals were discussing the “hot topic” of this newly-published fun fact: Chelsea Clinton reads the news to her infant daughter every morning. There seemed to be a consensus among them that it’s appropriate to shelter the wee ones from the harsh realities of RulesReadingour world — and I completely agree. Whether it’s an intentional choice or not — young children’s exposure to adult news and conversation is typically inadvertent and “accidental” — the young brain & psyche simply aren’t equipped to process foreign affairs, environmental brinksmanship and other front-page fare.

With an avalanche of so-called children’s books to choose from, three simple guidelines can help parents decide which bedtime reading fare will best serve their child. {Read about them at mothering.com}

 

 

Monday, January 12th, 2015

And the Golden Globe Goes to… YOU, Evolving Parent!

I realize the Golden Globe telecast isn’t super-high on the priority list for some parents, so I wanted to loop you in on this, in case you missed it: in accepting the award for Best Direction of his extraordinary film Boyhood, Richard Linklater dedicated it to “parents that are evolving everywhere.”

Or as I like to call us, “parents in progress.” We are all ages, and our children range from pre-birth to adult. We are the curious ones, the researchers. We are the parents who have our ears tuned for new information that will enrich our family’s life. We are the status-quo buckers. We are the ones who rarely (if ever) say things like, “Well, my parents spanked me and I turned out okay.” {Continue this post at mothering.com}