In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

Less and less is done.
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.

Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Natural Child - Book Review

Hi Everyone

The Natural Child is a gorgeous book which I enjoyed from cover to cover. It's written by parenting counsellor and director of The Natural Child Project, Jan Hunt. It is full of compassion, ideas and gentle promptings about how we can all improve the quality of life for the children around us.

The Natural Child is divided into sections dealing with issues such as parenting with empathy and trust, living with a baby, siblings adjusting to baby, living with children, guiding children, helping children learn and advocating for children.

The section on parenting infants recommends Dr Elliot Barker's steps for healthy children. Summarised as a positive birthing experience, extended breastfeeding, minimal separations and consistency of caregivers, and careful spacing of children. Of course this is an ideal not always possible to achieve, but definitely worth thinking about as a theory.

I particularly like that Hunt has not left off caring for our children's emotional needs once they pass infancy. Children remain highly sensitive and impressionable beings well into childhood and attachment parenting is advocated throughout this book not as over protection or neurosis but as a necessary connection to maintain with your child to ensure independence in thought and emotional well being through to the teen and adult years.

Hunt shares her experiences as a homeschooling parent, and offers suggestions about how to best serve the learning needs of children, including those with a learning disability.

In The Natural Child, Hunt advocates caring for all children within our community rather than just our immediate family. She believes that children are the responsibility of the society they live in and that if they are suffering through dysfunction, then we as a community are all accountable. She offers practical suggestions for improving the experience of the parents and children around us, and shares that even if we see no immediate effect from our actions

the sheer act of standing up for the child can have a

significant impact on the child herself

Definitely something to consider.

I will finish with the concluding paragraph because I believe it sums up the book better than I ever could...
When we believe in our child fully, we trust that they are doing the very best they can at every moment, given their age, past experience and present circumstances.......Having someone dependably "on their side" is absolutely critical if a child is to grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust.
If we aren't on their side, who will be?
Talk Soon, Cynthia x