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Showing posts from April, 2012

Dear Nick Clegg, Do You Know the Implications of Childcare?

I'm really excited that the Huffington Post has featured my first article for them on the front page of their UK edition today!

Click here to take a look, or read on below...

Dear Nick Clegg
Like most parents, I’m sure you love your child fervently, and want only the best for them. Like most parents, you like to think that the decisions you make are in your child’s best interests, now and in the future. And like most parents who delegate the care of their children to paid strangers, you choose to ignore several decades of psychology and neuroscience, which show quite clearly that the loving and nurturing environment and secure attachment experience provided by a mother cannot be replicated by a childcare worker of any quality. Of course, like most parents, you’re quite sure your choice is the right one, and this wouldn’t necessarily matter quite so much, if you were ‘like most parents’. But you’re not: you’re the Deputy Prime Minister.
You recently announced your plans for childcare t…

The Human Pacifier

"If you nurse them every time they cry", she said, "You just become a human dummy".

A dummy - as if I were...lifeless, still, inanimate, unresponsive, and easily and cheaply replaced.

Worse still, perhaps, an idiot, a stooge, a fool.

I know that Fools have a long history of being wiser than they seem...

Nevertheless I prefer to think of myself as...

A Human Pacifier.
pac·i·fi·er   [pas-uh-fahy-er] 
1. a person or thing that pacifies.
2. a rubber or plastic device, often shaped into a nipple, for a baby to suck or bite on.

OK. I'll take definition 1.

I am 'a person or thing that pacifies.'

pac·i·fy   [pas-uh-fahy]
verb (used with object), pac·i·fied, pac·i·fy·ing.
1. to bring or restore to a state of peace or tranquillity; quiet; calm: to pacify an angry man.
2. to appease: to pacify one's appetite.
3. to reduce to a state of submission, especially by military force; subdue.

Yes... I 'bring or restore a state of peace'. I can see that, most…

A Chorus of Approval: How To Help Your Child Build A Whole Tribe of Positive Inner Voices

In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, each recalling the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length.

This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe... as the Buddha said: 'Hatred will never cease by hatred. By love alone is it healed.' 

From 'Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit'…

Reclaiming Motherhood: What is the Value of a Mother?

In our society, everything has a price. A quick google of the question, 'What is the value of a mother?', brings up a whole host of articles, all of which suggest just how much money it would take to employ someone to complete the tasks that a mother does for free. This UK article puts the price at £37000 per annum for a mother's 71 hour week, while a US article gives the figure at $117,856 for a stay at home mum.

Women often have to think in these terms of profit and loss when deciding whether to return to work. How much will I earn from my job? What will the cost of the nursery / childminder be? What will I actually end up with? Talking with one stay at home mother today, she told me that after many calculations she realised that if she returned to work and placed her children in childcare, in financial terms she would 'break even'. Many women face a similar scenario, but some return to work nevertheless, feeling that there is a gain for them in continuing with t…

Fantastic, Helpful, Insightful, Practical, Gentle Parenting Book Giveaway!

At first glance I thought the book Raise Happy Children looked a bit 'gimmicky', but I could not have been more wrong. This is by far and away the most practical and helpful parenting book I have come across, and if you don't win the free signed copy I am giving away this week, I highly recommend that you buy it anyway!

The book, originally published as Teach Yourself Bringing Up Happy Children, first got my attention when I read this rave review from Sue Gerhardt, psychotherapist and author of the brilliant Why Love Matters:

"This is a parenting book which stands out from the crowd: easy to read without being superficial, lots of useable advice on recognisable situations, and gives a sense of being safely guided by very experienced and wise experts. It's a book which can range from practical advice to raise blood sugar with a snack after school to a spiritual dimension. Much of its advice is based on very solid research and understanding too. I liked this book ver…