Dear Naomi, Each time I read your column, I am amazed at the wisdom you have. The trouble is, you are the only parenting expert that I can find who offers such guidance and I would like to read more about your philosophy than what is in your book. May I ask what references you have used in the past to guide you?
What I use is what I teach, which is: Listen inside. My message to parents is to nurture children so they stay connected to themselves and take their cues from the inside rather than outside. My guidance spring out of me in the same way. My resources include the minds of other people, whose books are referenced at the end of my book. But beyond learning from experience and reading, what guides me the most is what shows up in the clearing from all thought. I find that when I assist parents in listening inside, they too have intuitive and wise answers.
Children raised with unharmed inner connection can grow up not only happy, but powerful, authentic and emotionally connected. Children are born with a clear inner guide. We can keep them connected to themselves if we respond to their inner knowing. For example, the baby whose needs to be held, breastfeed and sleep by his mother are met, learns to trust herself. In contrast, if we say, “The child should learn to sleep by herself,” and have her sleep in a separate room, we thwart her independence because she learns, “I should not listen to the way I feel… I should depend on external guidance.”
I teach this same power of self-sourcing in every theme, from behavior, to education and emotional needs. What you find in my teaching that is not commonly available is the power of inner sourcing, the joy of non resistance and the ability to see how the child is right. Instead of learning gentle or playful “tricks” to “get the child” to behave, learn, sleep etc, we discover the child’s authentic direction and respond to it.
In terms of book reading; at age twenty two I read A. S. Neil’s book, Summerhill and it changed my life. A few years later, Magical Child and John Holt’s books deepend this obvious direction. I never stop learning from parents, children, my children, and other aware philosophers. In recent years, and after my book was already published, I have integrated into my work ideas from Byron Katie, Scott Kiloby, Ekhart Tolle and other awareness philosophers. Obviously the list is much longer, but the silence of the mind when observing the child is the gift we all have access to at all times.
Indeed, every single one of us has access to streams of wisdom. This wisdom is often blocked from sight by conditioned thinking and cultural assumptions. All I do is assist parents in uncovering their own wisdom.
Warmly, Naomi Aldort, http://authenticparent.com/index.html