Monday, March 16, 2009

Still Thinking This Out....

One of my few friends from the days when I wore big bangs, black eye liner and tapered jeans recently recommended a parenting book which she found really helpful. I am extremely resistant to parenting books, since they tend to have very mainstream content, but since I have a great deal of respect for this friend and fellow blogger (check her out here) I went to Indigo and picked up the book.

Hold Onto Your Kids by Dr. Gordon Neufeld

I haven't finished reading it yet, but so far it is an exact fit with my own parenting philosophies. This particular passage has stuck in my head.

It takes three ingredients to make parenting work: a dependent being in need of
being taken care of, an adult willing to assume rsponsibility, and a good
working attachment from the child to the adult. the most critical of thises is
also the one most commonly overlooked and neglected: the child's attachment to
the adult. Many parents and would-be parents stil labor under the misconception
that once can simply step into the role of parenting, .... We expect that the
child's need to be taken care of and our willingness to parent will suffice. We
are surprised and aoffended when children seem resistant to our parenting.

His words remeinded me of a passage I wrote last month.

I've been formulating a thesis on the idea that TRUST is the most important
element in the parent-child relationship. My idea revolves around the idea of a
tripartite trust: the parents must trust themselves (this is the basis of
following your instinct and thinking with your heart), the parents must trust
the child (this is the basis of not making the child do things he/she is not
ready for) and the parents must accept the trust of the child (this is the basis
by which the child's physical, emotional and social needs are met). I think that
many of the parents who I regard as attachment parents are practising these
three components of the tripartite trust, but there are many good parents who I
meet, who are missing one component or another. And I have met many parents who
instinctively practise the three trusts, but only until their child can talk, or
walk, or go to kindergarten, as though there is a cut-off point where you have
to do what the SuperNanny says, and start to make your child into something or
other. Anyway, it's just an idea flopping around in my head. More on that
another day.

So I'm not sure what I want to say in comparison of Dr. Neufeld's theory of parenting vs. my theory of trust, but I'm inclined to think that Dr. Neufeld might agree with my little thesis. I'll have to keep figuring out my theory and turn it into a full-fledged article. Someday.

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