Does being child-centered mean the little darlings can do whatever they want? What are boundaries and why do we need them? ‘For their own good,’ of course. Safety aside, for their ‘good’ or ours?
This challenge of setting boundaries is pervasive. Digging deeper, ‘setting boundaries’ in the parent-child relationship surface when what I call the ‘natural modeled-boundaries’ break down. This is when natural attunement, the feeling of surfing together, what David Bohm might call shared meaning, stumbles is impaired, broken or betrayed.
A passage in Joe Pearce’s early works comes to mind, describing young African mothers waiting for hours to see the white doctor, holding their tiny infants close with no diapers. Pausing for a moment, the doctor mused, how strange this was, do diaper - and even stranger, not one mother was soiled. So she asked, "how do you know when your baby needs to go,” she asked? The mother replied, “how do you know when you need to go?” Who needs boundaries when natural attunement guides the way?