Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves Paperback – 2 Jan 2006
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Naomi Aldort is an eloquent proponent of the simple idea that children need love and validation, rather than control and behavior modification. The result is the disappearance of power struggles and the emergence of closeness and cooperation. Aldort teaches parents how to listen effectively when children express strong feelings, and how to recover their ability to love, validate and offer comfort to their children when they, themselves, are upset.
About the Author
Naomi Aldort is the author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, sold in thirteen languages. Her advice columns are published in progressive parenting magazines worldwide. Aldort offers guidance by phone/Skype internationally regarding all ages, babies through teens: attachment parenting; natural learning; peaceful and powerful parent-child relationships, self-realization, marriage and more. Products, phone sessions and free newsletter: www.authenticparent.com
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I first came across Aldort in an online article on the subject of what to do when one child hurts another. After 5 years of University teacher-training pedagogy, her answer blew me away because it was the exact opposite of anything I'd read: As quickly and immediately as possible, give love to and spend time with the aggressor. Once the one who is hurt is attended to for injury, take some concentrated time to meet and validate the one who has pushed/hit/bit. In her words from another article: "Meeting the child's needs for closeness, affection and human connection are at the heart of preventing all types of aggression and emotional difficulties." (When Toddlers Bite, [...]. Aldort's book is pure gold on the subject of meeting children's emotional needs. No one else has laid this out so clearly. Her book is separated into five main categories: how children experience love, freedom of self-expession, autonomy and power, emotional safety, and self-esteem. Whether or not you are a parent, this book will meet it's own proclaimed agenda by helping you to raise yourself on all five of these levels.
Even after having read, long ago, Maria Montessori's The Absorbant Mind, and The Secret of Childhood, taught in a Montessori kindergarten, I hadn't fully understood the detriments of praising until Aldort's book. This book, complimented by her 7 CD series: Trusting Our Children, Trusting Ourselves, opened my eyes wide to the dammage we do when we praise children. Dammage, that is, if what we want is to raise our children with respect, and to provide for them the direction they need to be self-motivated, self-respecting, self-creating people. Our current culture of praise has raised most of us to adults who construct their entire lives and self-image around a very definite Need to please others. Trained into us from the very first bravos thrown at us with such enthusiasm for the most normal every-day actions like going to the bathroom, like holding onto a toy, like smiling, like colouring, like animals thought to be dumb. Do not get me (or Aldort) wrong, children need encouragement. They need to know we see and recognize them and their efforts to connect with us. But they do not need the type of manipluative praise that is so common it comes out of our mouths without thought: The phatic Good girl or What a good boy you are! In addition to the manipluation (Mommy loves me when I do that) does a child's every action need to be qualified by a good or a bad? What is good anyway? What is bad? How is it that most of the things that come out of our mouths once we become parents come out so easily -- even when they are things we'd long sworn we'd never say? Aldort's book puts all of this into perspective, and sets out very clear guidlines with practical tools of how to change this type of generation to generation patterning. If you are interested in deprogramming that old program--the one that makes you act and react and say things as though you weren't even in the control box, then Aldort's book is for you. It is written in clear, precise language, with many down-to-earth examples and incredibly simple steps that will enable you to raise your children exactly how you want: with repect, with dignity, and with action that comes from clear, unmanipulative unconditional love. Your children will live the difference and you will, too.
Do we want our children to feel that they have been listened to and loved unconditionally? Of course we do. This book gives practical tools to help those parents who think they are parenting correctly to realise there are many things they are falling short on. We realised this ourselves and we wondered why our children didn't seem settled or had various anxieties. ROCROS has helped us to see that our children were born perfect and that we as unknowledgeable parents (nobody taught us how to parent)could potentially damage this purity. Our children are learning to accept the ''no's'' much more, as they are hearing so many more ''yes's'' from us. This book has taught us to accept our children for who they are and not what they can do. We love them unconditionally, at ALL times (even the tantrums!!) The child has a right to express all feelings and we must listen with love in our hearts and make time for these precious souls that we are helping to become the human beings the are destined to be.
An inspiring read for ALL parents.
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