Monsters Under The Bed

September snuck in like a clever thief. You can feel the days getting longer. Barbora, at twenty, is a sparkling young woman. She arrived a week ago, a Czech Au Pair, French for ‘on par,’ meaning equal, a member of the family for a year to help care for Carly and to create a rich bilingual environment. With much of her extended family in Europe it is important that Carly Elizabeth speak Czech, a challenging language to master.

language development

Everyday Abuse

Holding my hand Carly Elizabeth stopped in her tracks. Walking down the street, a few yards ahead, were three large overstuffed derrières and a bright, bored four-year old. The swaggering behinds belonged to a set of grandparents and presumably to their son. Granny stopped the herd, grabbed the boy by the shoulder and smacked him in the seat, shaking him. “If you don’t shut up I’ll smack you again,” and she did. Predictably, the boy cried and the matriarch smacked him again.


Parenting History: Adverse Child Experiences

Negligent, abusive and damaging advice given to parents by assumed experts lingers today. There is, Watson (1928) wrote, “a sensible way of treating children....

Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the fore-head when they say good night.

Shake hands with them in the morning. Give them a pat on the head if they have made an extraordinarily good job of a difficult task. Try it out. In a week’s time you will find how easy itis to be         perfectly objective with your child and at the same time kindly. You will be utterly ashamed of the mawkish, sentimental way you have been handling it.”

wrong advice

Joseph Chilton Pearce January 14, 1926 – August 23, 2016

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to embody an insight our teachers share. Joe (Joseph Chilton Pearce) was like an idealized father, ideal in the sense of sharing together one’s passion. It is, I believe, every parent’s wish that their children see the light that illuminates our journey in the same way that every child wishes to be seen for whom they really are and not as an image to be compared.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

Shivering Excitement


intrinsic learning
language development

Mommy’s Coming

New words keep popping like popcorn. Yes, every thing and every experience has a name; ball, eat, sit, run. Carly Elizabeth, just now two years young, which is still pretty new, mastered walking upright, an astonishing feat of balance and mobility, over twelve months ago. Now she is tackling the most complex and abstract capacity in the known universe, expressing and exploring meaning with symbols, metaphors and imagination. Not only is she naming, Carly is connecting name-symbols into metaphoric phrases; ‘mommy’s coming.’ The word ‘coming’ is extremely complex; on her way, will be here soon, implying time, the future. OMG! The concept that something is going to happen is enormous. Like a Tsunami the landscape of the mind changes and with such ease, such complete playful attention that never seems to stop. We and she seem to take this amazing capacity for granted, nodding and repeating after her, ‘yes, mommy is coming,’ and it’s off to the next miracle.

Watching with Wonder - Carly at Two

At 4:15 PM July 29, 2014 Carly Elizabeth took her first breath. Today, July 29, 2016, twenty-four very short months later I routinely chase her around the bed saying; “You can’t do that! It’s time for your bath.” While she replies, giggling; “No way…”

Is it simply that I am paying more attention? Is it that I have, like an investigative journalist, been chasing what it is that makes us fully human? Is it the experience of having fathered two wonderful and wonderfully different boys’ now grown mature men? The truth is, I’m still head-over-heels amazed at what Carly accomplishes daily, and I have been for the past two years. I share that special wonder Bev Bos described having cared for young children for forty years and mentoring over 6,000 early childhood education workshops.

“The longer I do this the closer to tears I am when I watch children. I can feel that rush. My eyes well up experiencing that freshness, the aliveness, the spirit of children. What I didn’t understand when I first started working with children was how exceedingly interesting every day was going to be. There’s a spirit inside every child and every day it seems to change because they’re interested in new and different things and this has kept me so fully alive. There have been Masters before us; Piaget, Montessori, people who really, really liked children as much as I do. I don’t think you can stay fully alive unless you’re with children. It keeps me grounded.”


emotional state
language development

Who Are We Really?

If there is a common cause for our individual, social- cultural and global pathologies it is simply that we are not who we think we are. A wise Tibetan close to the Dalai Lama noted: ‘egos exploiting egos is the source of all our problems.’

We hear a lot about egos and egotism but I challenge anyone to actually identify and find his or her ego. You can’t. It is not an entity independent from our imagination. What we think of as our ego exists only as our personal virtual reality and yet it is the source of all our problems; very strange, indeed.

self image

True Intelligence

Like water pouring over Niagara Falls neurons connect as capacities unfold at astonishing speed. This is simply what Carly Elizabeth, and every new human being, is, exploding growth and change. We tend to relate intelligence with what is known. People who know a lot are considered intelligent. Dr. Frankenstein, the true monster in Shelly’s tale, knew a lot but what he knew could hardly be called intelligent. How many Frankensteins do you know? You may be one yourself.

language development

Child of the Dream

With all my chattering about how attentive Carly is, and she is, at the same time Carly is often eyes-wide-open-vacant, dreamy. Sitting at her buffet this lovely morning there it was - the stare. Bread and egg in her hand, Carly was off in another dimension. I had to bring her back with a direct look and smile. She giggled.

brain development