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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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If men stayed at home to be parents (regularly, not as individual exceptions) they would be paid well. We don't need free daycare, but highly paid parents; paid for doing the most important job on earth. Creating an economy in which one job is sufficient to support a family is a better direction than finding ways to get more people to work and harming the children.   

   

         What is needed and best for the young child is to be with their parents in the early years. And, for or the mother, to get to be a mother and meet her child’s primal needs optimally, including breastfeeding, holding and bonding. Talking about the price of substitute to parents is supporting the inequality of women as women and the atrocity of day time orphanages that harms the development of human beings.                                                                                      

 

        This is about gender and age inequalities; a discriminating against the child in the name of profit; generating more working people for the industry and depriving babies and young children of their parents. Women and men must unite on this issue and eradicate substitutes to what babies and young children’s real needs.

 

©Copyright Naomi Aldort 2018

 

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