Last week I came across this artical, and I am convinced that most americans would benefit from acknowledging what it says.
When I remarried and had my third (DH's first) child I found myself on the receiving end of much well intentioned advice. I told my sweet MIL that I believed in attachment parenting, but "thanks though". Many "old school" parenting suggestions are mirrored in the above artical. "If they are fed and dry, and seemingly healthy, they should be in their crib". I am not going to bring this artical's message to my MIL's attention, because I know that her heart is in the right place and I want to cause her no distress. I did show it to DH and we had a cool conversation about what it meant to be a generation of people who were bottle fed, left in the crib and shamed and spanked as children. Our parents were also parented this way, of course. There is allot of healing to be done here, for most people and I just feel compelled to share this information with as many as possible. I would love to post it in every forum, because we need to recognize that we subconsciously carry the 20th century model of parenting (that we experienced) as normal. That naturally creates doubt. And doubt sabotages parenting. A cycle that can be broken.
On the bright side many of us intuitively know that these parenting practices are unhealthy and that is why so many of us are here, united in "Mothering". So I also, just wanted to share this artical which highlights the wisdom of parenting with a loving heart, and banishes the spector of last centuries parenting concepts. Our children are already healing the world.
The next artical, was really insightful, too.
It's so awkward to break the news to wellmeaning old fashioned advice. My mother went silent for the evening, when I answered her standard argument: "But we let you cry, and it didn't harm you.", with "I'm sorry, but it did harm us." I still feel sad for causing her the distress, because she really worked hard to be a good mother, and was great once she started to disregard the bad advice she got from well meaning family and so called experts who hadn't changed a dirty diaper in their lives.
It's likely that most of our parents experienced worse emotional abuse, they don't see it in themselves. My mom has FTL dementia and her mind lives in her childhood all the time now. It took losing her (what we think of as her) to realize how traumatic her life had been. She really did love us as well as she could. It's hard to live with the fact that for most of my life, I refused to love her, because she was a broken person. I just have to believe that she can feel it in her heart that I understand,now. I never would have seen it if I had not read the old parenting philosophy, examined in the artical. When she asks me "where are mom and dad" (hers) I tell her they love her and I give her a big hug from them. Sad, they were so hard hearted, she still just wants her mommy and daddy to love her.
That is where we can start healing. When we finally see that very few of us are normal. Society can heal, someday. We all share these crippling experiences,in some degree. It was an unfortunate event, that our people have been trained to treat each other inhumanly.
I loved this artical. Meditating on the realities of our early life and ethos surrounding them can really create the space one needs to heal.
I like to think of it in terms of bettering each generation. My mom was not only ignored and emotionally abused, but also sexually and physically abused. She truly did what she believed to be best with us, but that included CIO and a ton of scolding, suppression of emotions, etc. She did her absolute best not to be like *her* mom, and I'm doing my best not to be like *my* mom (in the ways mentioned). Despite her faults, I admire my mom for making a choice to give us a better life than the kind that she had. I know that my mom loves my kids to pieces and they love their Nana, and I know that she inspired me to trust my instincts and research every decision for my children because you only get one chance. I am grateful that I did not use CIO with my own kids and that they are co-sleepers. 16 m/o DD already acts like she doesn't need me half of the time! Everything about her exudes that trust for the world - that she thinks everything is good and safe. I hope that by the time my kids are grown, they will view this style of parenting as the norm.
Sleepy, running, wife to DH 08/09 - Mama to DS 8/08 & DD 1/11
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb