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Transforming Halloween from Getting to Giving and from Toxic to Green
By Naomi Aldort "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." – Anne Frank

When I first heard of the “trick or treat” phenomenon as an young adult newcomer to the USA, I was feeling uncomfortable to say the least. Once I had children of my own, as a family, we either left home or turned off all the lights in the front, and hid in the back bedroom not wanting to deal with this, to us, unpleasant and backwards ordeal and not wanting our children to be expose to it or eat candy.

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By Naomi Aldort

A friend on our island put this paragraph on his Facebook page on his 83rd’s birthday.“Well here it is again. as I start my 83rd trip around the sun,I am so lucky to be here. From a bad orphanage to a worse foster home to all the things it took to get here. I have survived  5 broken bones, 2 concussions and somewhere over 100 stitches, cancer and heart surgery, and various operations from appendectomy to vasectomy.. still have some of my hair and teeth, have glasses and hearing aids...Somehow I got thru it all, and so it seems to me that God in greater wisdom forgives my humanity. Onward…" 

Why am I quoting it on a parenting page? For perspective. Witnessing someone's picture of a full life can help us see our children with more calm and trust.

 Parents often weaken their children's emotional resilience, by preventing them from hurting, and making life perfectly happy for them. This well intended approach does not prepare children for living happily, but for being needy and unfit for life’s challenges; they are more likely to become unhappy unless all goes their way. I suggest that we let children experience real life. No, not create pain for them on purpose, and not be rude to them to drill them in suffering. What I mean is to allow reasonable and safe unfavorable events to unfold while nurturing resilience, sense of humor, and seeing the larger picture with gratitude.

In other words: Stop teaching the child to escape the storm, and instead, dance with her in the rain.

 By distracting, offering compensations and jumping through hoops to make everything all good, we forget that happiness is a state of mind that can makes it possible to go through challenging times and not the other way around. Happiness is the tool by which a human being is able to go through life’s experiences with appreciation and inner strength. Instead of passing on to children the need to depend on circumstances for their joy, impart the ability to feel happy for being here, and grateful through the many colors of this amazing ride.

 Copyright Naomi Aldort

 

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 Global consumption trance and the future of the planet:

By Naomi Aldort

 

Raising kind and loving children is not enough if we leave them no livable planet. Our leaders are supported by corporations and devoted to their profit. The corporations want to keep the population dependent on cars, fossil fuel and endless products and appliances. We must stop participating in feeding this system; we must stop being consumers! We hold the power. No consumers no profit. No profit means they have to stop production. We are not victims, but creators. As parents and as people, we CAN make a difference by not feeding the greed machine; by not being their puppets.

 

As parents, we must stop turning children into consumers and start raising creators of new possibilities and stuarts of the earth. Dangling lots of goodies in front of our babies and children’s faces turns them into people who are dependent, like us, on products, ease, and instant gratification. We must raise a new generation of people who do not join this destructive path, but get off it; people who will care for this beautiful planet and become free of the global consumption trance.

 

In invite you to start with you, and with your child and family. Taking care of your child must include teaching her to respect the environment. Teach her to feed the body well while nurturing the source - the earth. Parenting in a world in transition requires a giant leap of raising your children to move away from consumerism into creating and living with more love and fewer things; more connection to the earth, and less of raping it for greed and temporary gratifications.

 

Most modern products are not necessary. I invite you to start cleaning the planet by stopping the use of of something you are ready to let go of. There are so many unnecessary things and humans existed before these inventions and did just fine. Minimize driving, avoid plastic items, shampoo, makeup, creams, after-shave, plastic bags, straws, cloth dryer, hair dryer, gadgets, toys…etc. Think of not only the production and the garbage but of the delivery tracks, packaging, production and storage buildings and their creation/maintenance.

 

We are all responsible; we are fueling the greed by shopping, gifting, wrapping, shipping, boxes, cards, gadgets… We are creating the next fire, flood, and ice melt. Did you know that using cloth dryer instead of letting the air dry your clothes is triple assault on the environment? The dryer production, delivery, packaging, parts, stores, maintenance and installation is the first huge factor. Then come the second: the insane amount of energy it takes to blow hot air for an hour or so at a time. And third: it destroys the fabrics quadrupling the amount of clothing production; one of the most polluting and toxic industry on the planet.

           

I have personally stopped buying most products. I hang my clothes (I live in a rainy area, yet even in the winter, I hang my laundry indoor and benefit from the humidity it ads to the dry air.) I take my own produce-bags (mostly of cotton or recycled) as well as grocery bags, and I buy organic and mostly local real direct food. I am developing my own garden and compost my garbage. I hardly ever buy things in containers and I minimize driving and am working with our local government on creating bike trails and more public transportation. I buy second hand clothes and, in the summer, consider a swim in the fresh lake a fantastic shower - its my spa. Cleaning chemicals are another useless line of plastic packaged toxins that ends up in our waters. I use water and vinegar. I make my own toothpaste and use different organic foods and clay for shampoo. 

 

I don’t cook either! I eat raw. This mean almost nothing to clean in the kitchen, no fire, no sticky pots and trays, no need for hot water, soap, sponge, electricity… it is a100% less use of energy in the kitchen. Not buying kitchen products and appliances can cut warming and pollution dramatically. Think of cooking stoves and appliances; their production, the production of the machines that make them, storage, packaging, delivery tracks… As I write I am realizing that eating raw can make a giant difference in curbing pollution and heat (while making us healthier). And no, you don’t have to be vegan, but that is another story.

 

The fossil fuel companies are behind building a society that is dependent on cars in the "brave" new western world, with neighborhoods far from commerce. We must create other ways of mobility (bikes, more trains), and, bring local services and commerce back into neighborhoods, so daily mobility is less of a need. 

 

We cannot fight greed as along as we feed it; we must make a difference right in our own homes and private lives, right now. The leaders are a mirror of each of us as we run our lives and participate in the destruction. 

 

I invite you not only to dramatically reduce your footprint and get out of the consumption crowd, but find other ways that include your teens and children to contribute to change. Stopping consumerism must grow fast if we are to retain life here. Bring the information to the schools; demand or offer classes on getting off the consumption rat-race. Educate other parents, children and specially teenagers who are eager and full of passion.

 

Depending on your life activities and work you can bring this commitment to the work place, create a TED talk, and spread this and other information and videos on social media. Politically, your power (in the USA mostly) is in refusing to vote for anyone who takes money from corporations (coal, fossil fuel, guns, most big Pharma productions, junk food, plastic items, toxic clothing, pesticides (Monsanto) etc,. Our rivers are filling up with toxins of medications, junk food/drink, paint, chemicals and toxins from clothing, cleaning materials, and in the production process of almost anything. Eating only organic (raw) non packaged food, not only improves yours and your children’s health, but depletes the manufacturers of the profit that keeps them going. Capitalism and consumerism cannot be saved or sustained. Its over. But if we don’t stop our consumption addiction fast, according to science, we may be too late.

 

Normally I have a view from my window. Now, as I look out at the white smoke from increase in wildfires is engulfing everything, my heart sinks. Our southern Orca is down to 74 and unhealthy. One newborn died last month, and a five year old died today, emaciated. As I think of the children. What will the children have? Its up to you.

Copyright Naomi Aldort

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This old message I have just found on facebook sums up one of the solutions to siblings' aggression with amazing clarity:

"Hi Naomi, its me,Stephanie, one of your clients! I've been applying your advice to simply remove my baby Michael when his brother Steven pushes, hits, etc. Just now Steven dumped a shovel full of sand on Michael's head, laughing, and Michael simply removed himself from the unpleasant nature phenomena, no tears, no drama! :-) Thanks!"

 

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How a child forms a “self”, or, does she/he?

 

By Naomi Aldort

Author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

 

If you love yourself, then whatever your child becomes will be to your taste and joy. Any rejection of your child’s nature is a rejection of your own (either parent.)

 

But how does a child become, within their nature, the specific accumulations of habits, behaviors and what we call “character?” Is the child born with some entity called “self”, or are her traits a combination of innate possibilities and mirroring of us?

 

The big riddle is: What does it mean letting the child be free, be herself, be rooted inside? What “self?” Is there such a “thing” outside of the creation through thought and habits?

 

My current observation of this endless theme is that ultimately there is no “self” other than the accumulation of thoughts comprised of the impressions of life, parents first and others and all of life over time. And that the child’s “hard drive” has innate ways of absorbing the world trends, thoughts and habits. 

 

I think about this a lot because I find myself knowing less and less. Most adults who are joyful, powerful and take life with appreciation, humor and astonishment, come from parents who fit this description (at least one of them does), REGARDLESS OF PARENTING STYLE.

 

This does not mean that we throw learning and growing out the window. On the contrary. We may want to focus even more on raising ourselves and less on what we do with the child; while, the stories about the child is our teacher because it is our mirror.

 

The child becomes your offspring whether home schooled or not, whether co-sleep, breastfed… or not. Even authoritarian or not does not make as great an impact as who you are and what your relationship with your spouse is. The child may be a reaction against you, but that too is shaped by your being. There is no way out; just like physical genetics, the psychological make up of a person is formed from the “womb” of living with parents. 20 or so years “gestation.”

 

With this confusion in mind, how do I know if my young child is being herself or mirroring me? How do I know her way of being is innate and not formed by my ways with her? After all, a baby comes into our lives with no frame of reference from which to form a way of being. Children who grew up with animals and have animal like traits see themselves as being free to be themselves. 

 

Our job ends up removing ourselves from the equation. And it tells us that the best thing we can do for a child, is: Raise ourselves and get out of the way. Animals push their offsprings away. Birds push them off the nest when ready to fly. 

 

Knowing that the child is ready to fly is complicated for some of us because we confuse the child’s attempt to fit in with our expectations - with who they are.

 

This blog is not an answer, but an opening. My child is free and this is how he is… may not be ultimately or fully true. You can be a total attachment parenting mom and dad and allow the child to find herself within but what is she finding without your thoughts? You can also do the same external parenting care and not allow the child his own self-awareness and be fooled to think the child is being free.

 

Perhaps one reason parents love taking the family intensive retreat, sessions via Skype, and attend the 3 days workshops, is that in working on themselves they regain the ability to see and to distinguish the child’s nature from the child’s fitting in with their program. 

 

However you choose to help yourself, it is crucial to your child that you wake you up to reality for his own ability to form a “self” that is sustainable. Dependency and fitting into your story is not sustainable. 

 

With love,

Naomi

 

Copyright Naomi Aldort 2018

 

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An interview about teenagers by a teenager (18) interviewer:
How to prevent issues from arising starting when they are babies, and how respond to difficulties when they are teens.
 
How would you be with your baby, toddler or child, if you had a clue how she will be as a teen and adult and what you can do better now?
 
And how would you be with your teen now if you had new insights into her inner life and true needs?
 
When I opened the email from Zali, the first thing I saw was “I am an 18 year old…” and my heart jumped with joy. I LOVE teens and was eager to continue reading the email. Based on previous experiences, I expected to read about her trouble with her parents, wishing I would assist her to deal with them, or give them some guidance so they respect her.
                Yet, to my dismay, the email was an invitation to be interviewed on her first summit on parenting of teenagers. I was delighted and replied with a big yes.
 
When Zali and I got together on Zoom, and chatted to get to know each other, I learnt that my reaction wasn’t everyone’s. Zali received some negative reactions too, due to her young age, as well as total dismissal and non response. I share this with you because it is at the heart of the cause of difficulties we see between parents and teens which I addressed in the interview.
 
Zali did interview 10 parenting leaders who value her work and appreciate her perspective as a young person. She calls her summit: My teen hates me; now what? Of course the interviews are about everything parenting and teens. And as for a teen hating her parents; if you are sure your child will never hate you, think again. Some of them say, “I hate you” at age 4, but if your child is the cuddly little one who expresses only love, not only there is no guarantee she would not feel otherwise, but it is as or more likely.
 
I am eager to have you listen to my and others’ interviews on teens and encourage you to listen whether you have a teen or a baby/toddler/child. The toddler is the teen she will unfold to be so it is never too early to learn.
 
At the same time, if you have a teen and you experience or will experience adverse emotions, worrisome behaviors (sex, drinking, defiance etc.), or difficulty connecting, I covered all these and more in the interview.
 
The questions I answered include everything from how to treat a baby and a child such that she grows up immune to peer pressure, to how to deal with teens who may already have difficulties or how when we think they are doing well, something else may be welling inside ready to take over.
 
I cover in the interview sexuality, drugs, behavior and how to stay connected and nurturing trust and responsibility; how to empower teenagers so that they thrive inside and don’t need external motivation; when Zali asked if teens are stigmatized I responded with politics and passion; the subject of leadership, boundaries, parties etc, were all addressed and I even talked about mental illness, anxiety, depression and emotional dependency and how to deal with, heal, and, if the child is still young, prevent.
 
To end the interview Zali asked me how a child develops self-confidence so she can take on adulthood, which allowed me to expand further on principals of parenting in general and address the deeper issues that can harm or build confidence.
 
I want to tell you more about Zali who grew up in California. She has wisely dropped out of college and started a life, already travelled in Europe, and now has arranged for herself a life in Finland and planning to meet me on my speaking tour, and maybe arrange an event, or participate in one of the workshops in Europe next spring.
 
I highly recommend that teenagers and young people in your life watch the interview/s as well.
 
The summit starts on June 11th. Join me in supporting Zali and empowring young people. 
Please share on social media and with your friends and family.
 
Copyright Naomi Aldort 2018
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After a session in which Marina was wondering how to deal with her child's clinginess and how to wean her, we discussed giving the child the affection and connection she needs with or without the breast. I also shared with Marine a few ways to gently move on. I think Marina's response in the following email can be very helpful to many breastfeeding mothers:

 

Hello Naomi,

I have been meaning to email for the last little while.

Just wanted to let you know that the last 2wks have been amazing! I have weaned as we discussed and it was definitely the right decision to make! It was time. I feel like I have freed us both; myself from the constant little person hanging of my boob and Alice from the need to have that for her comfort. After 2-3days she almost forgot about it. Now sometimes she still asks for it but moves on within seconds. I think crucial to our success of weaning was our discussion regarding giving her my time and attention whenever she required it. I started saying "yes" almost every time and this has been huge in how the rest of the day unfolds. We have enjoyed endless cuddles and giggles and play (also not complicated but the power game of her wanting boob and me saying no). Within days of this, I noticed that she was in fact happier to leave me for 3-5 minutes here and there and was also sleeping in more (not screaming for boob at 6am) and has therefore been more rested and generally much more pleasant to be around. She has also been less annoying with her brother and not as keen to ruin his Cello practice. Just wanted to let you know:)

 

Lots of love,

 

Marina 

 

 

 

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