Ten Nevers One Always

Of course, never hit, spank or physically punish a child; time out is a punishment. Understand instead that you are equally to blame. When frustrations rage, invite empathy for yourself and the child. Look for a story that will lead, invite and encourage what needs to be done.

Never blame a child. Observe and share together natural consequences.

Never shame a child. Describe how you are feeling in ways that focus attention on, as Marshal Rosenberg, the founder of nonviolent communication, would say, will make your life wonderful.

Themes: 
parenting

Respect or Overindulgent

I often wonder; what is the difference between spoiling a child and honoring their reality? Where does respect end and overindulgence begin? If Carly doesn’t like something on her plate, should we insist she eat it? Does respecting her necessarily imply that we should prepare Mac & Cheese every night because that is what she says she likes and therefore wants? When she says ‘no’ to getting ready for bed should we wait until she is ready or become indignant; “How dare you talk to me that way. I say it is time for bed!”

Themes: 
play
storytelling
parenting

Promise First Do No Harm

We forget. Nonviolence begins in the arms of nurturing mothers and fathers.

We feel numbed-shock, sadness and rallying pockets of rage as another wave of violence ripples through our collective psyche. Personally, I celebrate our nation’s youth, like the boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes, exposing the hypocrisy of the gun-lobby and implicitly the greed of the military industrial complex, hiding behind flag-waving (pseudo) patriotism that worships killing.

Themes: 
nurturing
touch
parenting
violence
culture

Story and Leading into Play

Until age five or six early child’s play is 90% self-play. The child may be with other children or an adult who are doing similar activities, but the focus of the child’s play is still personal. Group play requires a number of children act out the same story together, that they pretend to be the King or Queen, or the Frog Prince. This is very complex, abstract. The early child is concrete in their play. Nearly all play during the early years involves story, sensory experience, touch and movement.

Themes: 
storytelling
imagination and play
parenting

I Wish...

Parents and the people who care about children understood how different the child’s reality is from our, more or less, adulterated version. What does adulterated mean? Tainted, mixed, polluted, contaminated. What we call reality is filtered by experience, our ideas, beliefs and fantasies, and yet, filtered is what we see. It is our reality. Adulterated is normal and we rarely pause to consider that what is normal for us is not normal for our children. Not seeing this difference we impose our interpretation of reality on our children, often with painful consequences.

Themes: 
brain development
attunement
parenting

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