Like a Bruegel Painting

I wonder what good it will do to repeat decades of research on mother-infant separation when current research is systematically shredded, manipulated, twisted, repressed, bought, fabricated, intentionally confused, in a world where confusing has become the preferred policy. After all, political propaganda is a powerful form of control. My favorite is the report that Building 7 had collapsed on 9/11 twenty-minutes before the building collapsed. The first irony is that Building 7 could be seen behind the BBC reporter describing its collapse. The greater irony is that no one seemed to care who wrote the script? Cut. On to the next media event.

Strategically separating children from parents to achieve a political goal is planned, intentional torture of innocent children. A 2017 US Government Report describes the widespread use of separating families as a matter of policy, pre Trump. Since 2005, as a matter of procedure and policy, border agents routinely separate children and families intentionally, as punishment or consequences, through what the DHS, (the Department of Homeland Security) call its Consequence Delivery System. These consequences are meant to deter future migration, often regardless of international protection or other humanitarian concerns. Who cares? A few thousand kids? They call it collateral damage, often a small price to pay to achieve a political goal. (I often wonder, for those who wrote the script, were the lives lost on 9/11 collateral damage?)

Themes: 
democracy
freedom

The Child Creates the Father

Themes: 
fathers

Relationships


Recently, my son, now 40+, and I shared a few thoughts about relationships.

Themes: 
relationship

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

Setting Boundaries

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?

Themes: 
boundaries

Is Abortion Murder?

One must wonder why the ‘abortion is murder,’ slogan is in the air. On Friday, May 4th, Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds (R), who has referred to abortion as “murder,” signed the country’s most restrictive abortion bill into law, outlawing the procedure once a “heartbeat” is detected, which is usually at about six weeks — a time when many people do not yet know they are pregnant.

Given the moral failure of the current administration, taking the high-ground, implicit in the forced reexamination of Roe vs. Wade is a neat strategy. Why? The underlying assumptions are so entrenched, personal and reflexive – and therefore polarized - it renders this moral-ethical distraction a perfect rally to gather support from the base.

It is important to note that the clock is ticking on this thorny issue. Professor Carl Djerassi, an Austrian-born Bulgarian-American chemist, novelist, and playwright, best known for his contribution to the development of oral contraceptive pill claims that advances in fertility treatment may soon render sex purely recreational with large numbers of babies in the Western world born through IVF. He believes the Pill and abortion will become obsolete. Men and women will choose to freeze their eggs and sperm when young, before being sterilized. No child will be unplanned or unwanted. End of controversy. But what about today?

Themes: 
abortion

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

Natural Giving

Years ago I described two feelings or perceptions of self or me-ness. The first is a physical proprioceptive-self. That is, the feeling of this body separate from and moving in the larger environment. And, there is an autobiographical-self, the accumulation of associative past experiences, pleasers and pain, fears and joys, the latent memory of which stimulate or trigger, the re-membered past in the present. And, of course, the abstract intellect then creating personal images of self, that is me, from these collected ghost images. Though discrete these two ebb and flow moment by moment, forming what we call our social ego.

Themes: 
self image
nurturing

More on Story, Imagination and Exploding Neurons

When I first met Joseph Chilton Pearce we discussed how bonding creates an intimate channel of communication through which shared meaning flows. Oh, if we were only mindful of the deeper meaning of the meaning we share.

The mother's name for the object, and her emotional state are built into the structure of knowledge of the object the child creates. All without any evaluation on the part of the child.

This obvious, but not so obvious, observation opens to a much larger developmental force - state specific learning and performance. The emotional state of an experience is woven into the body and the intellectual memory of each experience. Each of the primary brain centers - thought, feeling and action - resonate an internal image or state of each experience. We call the composite image or state memory. In truth there is a separate memory unique to each major brain center. Stimulate the physical brain and the associated emotional and symbolic images-states are reincarnated, or, as we say, re-membered as a latent experience of the original event. What we abstract as thought is just that, an abstraction. What is primary is the state. Some states cripple; feeling observed, compared, judged. Some provide the optimum context for learning and performance; what we call original or authentic play in which psychological failure is not part of the experience.

Themes: 
imagination and play
language development
model imperative

Story, Imagination and Exploding Neurons

Like Alice in Wonderland, Carly Elizabeth changes so much each day it’s hard to know just who she is. Blink and she changes again. Astonishing! There is no other word to describe it, watching, day-by-day, as Carly’s capacity to imagine explodes. Equally astonishing is the way most of us miss what is taking place, right before our eyes.

Themes: 
imagination
language development
model imperative

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