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 »

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Got Trust? The Antidote for Insecurity & Stress

One fundamental intention in parenting for peace is to foster trust and hope within your child from the very beginning. When we nurture trust in our children’s souls, it can unfold into an unending arc of confidence — in themselves, in you, in their fellow humans, in Life.

By trust I mean a calm reliance upon things that you cannot necessarily perceive much less control. (What a quaint notion in this era when we can perceive pretty much everything by virtue of our many technological devices!)

Insecurity, the antithesis of trust, carries a scent akin to fear — it repels and undermines the connection and collaboration required be a person of peace and innovation. By contrast, trust is the great attractor; it is possible to tame the most powerful forces simply with deep and abiding trust.

Spring Simplicity Series

But how do we foster trust within our children if we ourselves suffer from a drastic lack of trust? After all, our children learn mostly from how we are rather than things we say. Here are a few tried and true ways to fill your inner reservoir of trust. {Read more at mothering.com}

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Mining Joy from the Muck of Daily Mothering

If you’ve followed me much, maybe you’ve heard me say this already: motherhood brought me to my knees. Motherhood broke me open, and then brought me… sometimes kicking and screaming (literally)… through the muck of daily mothering to a fullness of selfhood I couldn’t have even begun to imagine at the beginning of the bumpy journey.

Spring Simplicity Series

I was a walking list of risk factors for maternal depressive symptoms (often narrowly pigeon-holed as postpartum depression). Many hands, many ideas and much good guidance helped me navigate those baby, toddler and preschooler days… days that often seemed like molasses in their pace. (They could be pretty sticky, too, come to think of it!) Here are just two invaluable guiding concepts that saw me through. {Read about them at mothering.com}

 

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Is Your Child Ready to Read? A Checklist

ToddlerReadingWe live in a culture deeply devoted to getting its citizens to read at the earliest possible ages. Whether it’s flashcards, alphabet-focused toys, or “teachable moments about letters” sprinkled throughout daily life with toddlers and preschoolers, we seem hellbent on early reading.

And parents feel little choice in the matter: sadly, a 5- or 6-year-old kindergarden student in public or conventional private school who isn’t quite fluent with letters is already behind the 8-ball.

Child psychologist David Elkind has devoted his professional life at Tufts University to studying the costs of “hurrying” children. He points out that true reading readiness only emerges once a child has attained the neuro-cognitive milestone of syllogistic reasoning (“All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; thus Socrates is mortal”), which dawns during the concrete operational stage of cognitive development.

This “con-op leap” happens around age seven, and is a biologically based milestone, just like the shedding of baby teeth or the onset of puberty. How many parents fret if their son hasn’t managed to lose his first tooth as soon as his friend did… or if their daughter at thirteen “still just has not been able to get her period”? {Read more at mothering.com}

Image by tornatore through a Creative Commons license

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Surrender: A Potent Power for Parenting

As I essentially take off this next couple weeks to hunker down and get tax prepped (ayyeeee!), I’m using it as an opportunity to share some cool folks with you in my absence.

Meet Tamara Donn, founder of Woman to Mother in the U.K., and creator of the Birth Art Café,  which invites pregnant women and new mothers to gather and explore their journeys through drawing, painting and sculpture:

Trust & Surrender: A Powerful Pair

Trust is one of the 7 principles upon which my book Parenting for Peace is based. I define trust as  “calm reliance upon processes outside of your immediate perception and control.” Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The Debate Over Handheld Devices for Babies & Children

BabyOnIPadThere has been a hurricane of cyber-buzz this past week over a HuffPo piece entitled, “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.” It went viral, natch.

What I want to say about that piece is
a) it is a comprehensive collection of research that should be of critical interest to parents
b) I am not the type to seek bans on such things; rather, I advocate that we as humans develop mastery and dominion over these creations of ours. Let our Frankenstein’s monsters work for us rather than against us.

As my daughter Eve once said, “We’ve all been baptized in technology.” Boy, did that spin me around and send me thinking. I wrote the following Parenting for Peace passage in reference to birth technology, but it totally applies to these questions about handheld devices:

Yes, most of us have been baptized in technology, so let us embrace the blessings of our modern brilliance, which was originally meant to bring freedom. Nothing has the power to control us once we can name the players and the game, once we can free ourselves from the prevailing fear-based group think and become capable of making choices that are in the best peacemaking interests of ourselves, our children, and the vibrant future of humanity. 

{Read more about this debate at mothering.com} 

Image:
sonyanews, through its Creative Commons license

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Does Siri Thwart Social Intelligence?

During my infrequent strolls through Costco, a persistent thought comes to me (besides yum, those pizza samples are good) — If I were an evil genius wanting to erode the nutritional wellbeing of a civilization, this would be a good first step: Induce mass consumer hypnosis via the big-box store. (Will return to this point in a bit.)

During my infrequent strolls down streets with actual pedestrians, a persistent question comes to me: How will it effect this generation’s social intelligence, that the world of relating has so radically morphed from person-to-person to person-to-screen?

In the half-decade between my son’s junior and my daughter’s freshman years in high school, I witnessed his late-night telephone confabs (on a landline, gasp, when conference calls were a cool innovation) give way to her disembodied “connectivity” with Facebook friends. This glaring (de?)evolution announced itself through our walls: where there was once the sound of my son’s human voice — expressing the dynamic range of emotions endemic to the adolescent — now there was… silence. Save for an occasional giggle or groan from my daughter as she digested the latest posts. {Read more of this at mothering.com}

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Amazing Deal: Instant Library for Conscious Parents

Is life moving so fast that you find yourself without a go-to collection of parenting references? You know, lots of books or audios that you maybe heard about and meant to order…but just didn’t?

Hey, hungry kids, dirty laundry, annoyed [spouse / boss / friend] take precedence and so many of our good intentions simply drop off the radar screen for lack of time. And head space. I get it.

Here’s your solution: conscious minds have put their minds together to gather a collection of conscious parenting resources for you from some of the finest authors around. And poof! – it can be instantly yours!

Introducing Mindful Parenting’s Newest eBundle!

epc-covers

Included are eBooks, eAudio, eCourses, coloring pages, an eMagazine, and more on the topics of Pregnancy and Birth, Parenting the Early Years, Child Development, Mindful Guidance, and Resources for Parents.

This collection includes some HUGE names in the parenting field, and resources that will (peacefully) rock your world, including:
  • Hold On to Your Kids — by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, two of my IDOLS. I sometimes recommend this book (especially to parents of older kids) even before my own!
  • The Business of Baby — by Jennifer Margulis, an incisive look into what doctors and corporations don’t tell you about pregnancy and childbirth — and how you can put your and your baby’s own wellbeing ahead of their bottom line
  • Parenting Softly Straightforward, no-frills neuro-scientific guidance for parenting from conception through age two, from my respected colleague Bryan Post
  • and my contribution, Calm Authority for Fathers My most popular audio coaching session, developed through years of clinical research & success:

Dad Up! A Scientific Audio Tool for Being An
Effective, Happy Father Whose Kids Respect You

  • You can get the full bundle (35 titles) for $49.97 (that’s an average of $1.42 per title… and the full bundle includes great freebies!), or…
  • any individual topic module containing 6-7 titles for $19.97. (Calm Authority for Fathers is in the “Resources for Parents” topic module. So you can get that plus FIVE OTHER titles for just 2 cents more than my audio retails for!!!! Can you say, “No-brainer”??!)

Get the full scoop | Order your eBundle

Fine print: I’m required by law to inform you of the seemingly obvious
fact that I receive an affiliate/contributor portion of proceeds from each sale!

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

On My Birthday…How Adoption is Unique

As an adopted person, my birthday this week brings thoughts about my somewhat complicated entry into this world, thoughts about some ways that adoption is unique.

Before getting my degree and writing Parenting for Peace, my previous body of work explored the psychological and social issues in adoption. Understanding how adoption is unique can help bring healing and wholeness to everyone involved. {Read more at mothering.com}

 

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

What Shirley Temple Taught Us About Pregnancy

I have written often about the shaping power of prenatal life, and the huge influence a mother has on her child’s development during pregnancy. Mounting evidence tells us that circumstances in the womb program our health in critical, life-altering ways. The prenatal environment is equally as important as genes, perhaps even more important, in determining lifelong physical and mental health. The field of prenatal psychology has amassed decades of research to illuminate the impact of a pregnant mother’s inner life upon her child’s personality and lifelong wellbeing.

Shirley’s Mom Knew The Power of Prenatal Life

ShirleyTempleGraumansTileMany wisdom traditions instruct the pregnant mother to fill her mind with thoughts and images of the splendid qualities she and her partner dream of for their child. This makes pregnancy a wonderful time to read biographies of inspiring peacemakers and innovators whom you admire. We still know so little about the how’s behind the important functions of imagination and joy in pregnancy for the lifelong qualities of the individual, who is steeped in whatever his or her mother experiences during those nine months, so why not?

It seemed to work for Shirley Temple’s mother, who embraced these practices and gave birth to one of the most endearing actresses in our history, who went on to be a devoted humanitarian. Included as a footnote in my book Parenting for Peace, here is a passage from Shirley Temple’s autobiography, Child Star: {Read more at mothering.com}

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Amazing Deal on An Instant Parenting Library!

I am proud to again be included in a collection of hand-picked conscious parenting resources from some of the finest authors around. Introducing Mindful Parenting’s newest eBundle, which went on sale TODAY!

The Essential Parenting Collection is 35 eProducts — worth more than $740 — that comprise a comprehensive library of parenting essentials.

Included are eBooks, eAudio, eCourses, coloring pages, an eMagazine, and more on the topics of Pregnancy and Birth, Parenting the Early Years, Child Development, Mindful Guidance, and Resources for Parents.

This collection includes some HUGE names in the parenting field, and resources that will (peacefully) rock your world, including:
  • Hold On to Your Kids — by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, two of my IDOLS. I sometimes recommend this book (especially to parents of older kids) even before my own!
  • The Business of Baby — by Jennifer Margulis, an incisive look into what doctors and corporations don’t tell you about pregnancy and childbirth — and how you can put your and your baby’s own wellbeing ahead of their bottom line
  • Parenting Softly Straightforward, no-frills neuro-scientific guidance for parenting from conception through age two, from my respected colleague Bryan Post
  • and my contribution, Calm Authority for Fathers My most popular audio coaching session, developed through years of clinical research & success:

Dad Up! A Scientific Audio Tool for Being An Effective,
Happy Father Whose Kids Respect You

  • You can get the full bundle (35 titles) for $49.97 (that’s an average of $1.42 per title… and the full bundle includes great freebies!), or…
  • any individual topic module containing 6-7 titles for $19.97. (Calm Authority for Fathers is in the “Resources for Parents” topic module. So you can get that plus FIVE OTHER titles for just 2 cents more than my audio retails for!!!! Can you say, “No-brainer”??!)

Get the full scoop | Order your eBundle

Fine print: I’m required by law to inform you of the seemingly obvious
fact that I receive an affiliate/contributor portion of proceeds from each sale!