Monday, January 10, 2011

Hold Onto Your Kids!!!!

This book has completely changed the entire way I parent. I mean, I am pretty "smart" when it comes to this parenting thing. I taught parenting courses early in my social work career and studied child development, parenting approaches, and various family theories. When I say "smart" of course we know what that means-book smart. You have to remember, I taught parenting before I even had children!!! Who lets someone do that. I knew really nothing to be honest....

I spend my days now, as my side bar indicates, working with children who have been abused, suffered various traumas, etc. As a result, I have access to child psychologists and attend a variety of workshops and training. I am lucky in a sense, although I do talk often about how my work, specifically in attachment theory (which I fully subscribe to, by the way, and not the Dr. Sears version, but actually scientific attachment theory, but I digress...) completely messed up the first 6 months of my parenting journey, but that is a story for another time!!

Anyway, the program I work has the work of Daniel Hughes as our foundation, but lately, we have been studying and learning about the work of Gordan Neufeld. He wrote the book shown above, Hold Onto Your Kids. I saw him lecture in Ottawa about a year ago, then watched a DVD he has based on the book and then re-read the book again. It is so unbelievably life changing for me in terms of the response I give my children, specifically Mahone. Seamus we have parented following his approaches instinctively given his special needs and emotional sensitivities. Mahone however, we have not, and oh boy, what a difference it makes.

What he recommends takes work and takes a thick skin-there is nothing worse than being in public, having your child be disobedient and you not react in the way that is custom for our society-to actually not really react at all. Trust me, you would be surprised at the reactions from others your lack of reaction causes!!!! I know, I have heard it all in No Frills!!!!

Anyway, I highly recommend the book and the DVD. It is a heavy book in some ways and while some of it is "common sense" and very traditional and back to basics parenting, it totally is counter cultural and fantastic.

A blog I follow-The Parenting Passageway-has been reading the book and provides a summary of each chapter with some comments. I highly recommend anyone interested to look at that blog and the back entries for the chapters they have already reviewed. That particular blog is from a Waldorf perspective, but it is nicely matched with Neufeld's work. In fact, maybe that is why it reasonates so deep for me-he provides a researched theory and words to something I feel I have known instinctively.

I will say though, one thing I have really learned about myself is how ingrained certain patterns are for me and how even when I know better and fully believe in something different, when I am tired or stressed, I fall back on the same old routines and habits... This book is challenging my inconsistent nature let me tell you!!!!

Anyway, I could write/talk forever about this book, its principles and ideas... It is consuming so much of Gary and I's conversations, not to mention all that I talk about at work, and since this blog is supposed to be about me and my search for what is true to me, then I thought I should share!!



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