I wanted to share my son's comment on
My 4 -year-old son was watching the movie
"Prince of Egypt." At one point in the movie, an Egyptian
soldier was whipping an Israelite slave for not working up to
"par" - upon seeing this my son turned to me and said, "Why
are they hitting him? It doesn't make him want to go faster, it just makes
him fall down and be angry."
When I first received your Parenting
Cards, I put them carefully away, up high where the kids couldn't grab
at them and possibly ruin them. My daughter Rachael, 3 years old at the
time, asked me what they were. I told her they were cards about children
that Mommy and Daddy could read. "What do the cards say?" she
asked. "Well," I said, "they say things that remind Mommy
and Daddy of how special and wonderful you and your baby brother
"Oh, can you read some to me?" she said.
I told her okay, and sat down and read some to her and
her brother. She thought that they were so great, the things they said.
She asked me when do I read them for myself, and I said that I guess
whenever I feel like it.
Later on that day, I was feeling some stress coming in
and things were feeling tense. My son, Nathanael, was screaming, the dogs
were barking, the phone was ringing, I was trying to get housework done...
you get the picture! I was standing in the middle of the kitchen feeling
like I was going to explode. Rachael grabbed a kitchen chair, slid it over
to where I was stashing the Parenting Cards up high, and reached in. Then
she called out, "Mommy, here, maybe you should read one now!"
She had a big, proud smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes that
spoke of great accomplishment. She got off the chair, ran over and handed
a card to me, and asked "What does it say, Mommy?"
The card said, "Be spontaneous with your child -
you have a lot to share." Rachael was still looking at me with a big
grin. I dropped was I was doing – housecleaning - got down to her level,
and gave her a big hug. Then Rachael and I just spent some time on the
floor playing. The dogs stopped barking, I ignored the phone, and
Nathanael started laughing and playing with us. My tension slipped away
and I could breathe and smile again.
I have since put the cards down low on the kitchen
counter in an old granola bar box, at Rachael's request. Every time she
senses that things may be getting a wee bit tough for me, she goes over to
the box and brings me a card. It always catches me off guard.
Rachael being that wise and intuitive reminded me about
the power of your ideas, Jan, and the truth that lays in trusting your
child. Our children are more "ahead of the game" than we could
The cards are great - they lift my children's self
esteem just by the fact that I care enough to have the cards there.
Rachael feels empowered and safe by being able to approach me in my tense
moments and by knowing that I will respond in a gentle, loving way when I
see what she is doing to help me, and I love her so much for it!
I hope this letter is not too long but I just had to
share that story!
Thank you again!
Love, Karen Larson
Thank you for helping me to see my daughter smile again.
I want to thank you for your articles "A Baby Cries: How Should Parents
Respond?" and the parenting advice response to "Mom Offended by Comment on Thumb Sucking".
My 4-month-old daughter began sucking her thumb very
suddenly. She sucked her thumb so much that my frequent nurser barely
nursed at all. She looked as if she wanted to nurse but she wouldn't. She
would just whimper and suck her thumb and wouldn't smile.
Thanks to your articles, I realized that her
thumb-sucking was a signal that her needs weren't being met and not a
normal stage of development that everyone said it was. I think she sensed
my struggle of trying to practice attachment parenting while receiving
messages from family that I nurse her too often, her sleeping in our bed
is wrong, carrying her will spoil her and all the other detached parenting
comments that attached parents receive. I was doing all the things that an
attached parent does, but my inner conflict was causing anxiety which I
believe caused my daughter's thumb-sucking.
After a few days of doing nothing but nursing,
reassuring her that she could nurse as often as she needs, lots of warm
baths and cuddling, my daughter began smiling again. Each day she smiles
more and she even laughs when I tickle her belly. As you know, the most
beautiful thing in the world is to see your child smile.
Thank you for your supportive, encouraging, and
enlightening web site.
Thank you for a very thorough and beautifully stated
article ("Is It Time to
On her first visit to her new cousin's home, my
(co-sleeping) three-year-old pointed to the crib and asked "Is that
Emma's little baby cage?". I'll be sending your words to my sister,
now pregnant with her second. I wish everyone could read what you wrote.
After visiting your site and reading
some of the articles, I felt my heart soaring. I thank God with all my
heart for people like you an your contributors who care so much, do so
much, share your wisdom, and uplift the world with your service to our
children. Thank you.
Hello: I am the mother of four,
grandmother of one. I was a day care provider for 15 years. I have been
around children my entire life. I just wanted to say I love your website.
I will be ordering bumper stickers as soon as I can. I love your mission
statement. I have had these thoughts about child care all my life but
sometimes I have not had the nerve to stand up for my beliefs, because I
am a minority. Thank you for letting me express my thoughts.
I would like to sincerely thank you
for the opportunity to access this invaluable information. I honor your
vision and your exceptional work. As a parent, it is comforting to see so
much documentation supporting my innate choices. As a professional, I find
"The Natural Child Project" one of the greatest gifts I can
share with my patients, as well as my friends. I am deeply touched with
your dedication to our children and your ability to educate their parents.
Thank you again,
Dr. Michele Mountain
By the way, I was having some issues with my
mother-in-law and I printed out lots of articles from your web site and
gave them to her! Worked like a charm!
Thank you for having them
there because they are gentle reminders that children are human beings,
I just had to let you know, as a mother of five who shares your
beliefs about parenting and childcare, how much I appreciate what you are
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your careful
thought, your belief and your dedication to the children of this world. I
am a wholehearted supporter of compassion and respect for children and am
doing my own little part in making this a more holistic reality. All of my
four children (number 5 is on the way), were born at home and in water. I
did this because it seemed to me to be the most gentle, most loving and
compassionate way of welcoming babies to our world.
Thank you for the wonderful job.
I drop in to this excellent site from time to time, and always
find something useful. Often the fact there are other parents out there
having similar experiences the world over is all that it takes.
My wife has discovered that our son cries when he is developing,
i.e. every time he has had a bad night, he can do something new the next
day. At first, when he was very little, we thought it was a coincidence,
but as time goes by, and we take note of the occasions this happens, we
are convinced that there is a real cause and effect.
Bradley is sleeping through most nights now, but when he
doesn't, you can bet he can do something new the next day. Most recently,
a night when he woke four times crying quite vigorously was followed by
his being able to stand unaided for the first time. When younger, he had
bad nights followed by being able to roll over for the first time, point,
and carefully place objects. And of course, a bad night's teething is
really just dental development!
Whether this is a biological event, connections being made in
the brain (cerebral growing pains you might say), or just our fanciful
thinking, I think it's worth other parents considering. It certainly helps
to think that when you are cuddling your child for the third time that
night, and it's still only 2.30 AM, that he/she will be able to do
something new and wonderful the next day!
Thanks again for an excellent site.
Jan, I say that there is only one reason not to hit your child:
IT IS WRONG!!!!! How do you decide that it is it wrong? Does it pass the
test, "Do not do to another what you would not want done to
yourself"? (Confucius - about 480 BCE). If you hit, you are saying to
the child, "You don't know right from wrong, I have to teach you
Socrates was condemned and executed about 380 BCE, for saying in
effect that people have an inherent sense of right and wrong and an
inherent sense to do right and that people should listen to their
"inner voice" which I take to mean another way of saying
"conscience". Most parents today are trying to
"execute" that inherent quality in their children.
I recently pulled up on the Web the official creed of The United
Church of Canada and under 2.5 Article V. "Of the Sin of Man",
it states that "...all men are born with a sinful nature". Is
there any religion that does not have that creed? This belief was proven
to be wrong by the French obstetrician Frederick Leboyer, and well-written
in his book Birth Without Violence (1974 in French, 1975 in
English) about 24 years ago. And also, we now have the empirical evidence
with hundreds, probably thousands of gentle births where the baby is right
away, a minute or so after birth, returning a face-to-face smile to his
Your site is a wonderful support for people trying to be better
parents and better people. It is an invaluable source of eloquently
written essays concerning issues that matter to parents and children, and
anyone who cares about treating one another with dignity and respect.
I just wanted to share a very important discovery I made
regarding my daughter and her constant behavior problems since she was 18
months old. You may recall that I am an attachment parent like you are -
nursing, family bed (still!), homeschooling, etc.
Well, our almost 5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with
attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder and
obsessive-compulsive disorder. She was on Paxil & then Prozac for
months. By chance, I spoke with a physician a while ago, who recommended
we stop all red #40 food dye from her diet. This includes things like pop
tarts, most vitamins (!!!), most over-the-counter medicine, Doritos,
breakfast cereal, candy, etc. As soon as we stopped her consumption of red
#40, ALL her problems went away. She is now a very happy, sweet, obedient
and smart little girl who is happy to do homeschooling with me. Maybe you
could somehow share this information with other parents who have
"problem" children. It sure has been nothing short of miraculous
Thank you for your gentle and wonderful web site. There are
days, such as this, when my instincts become lost in a world that is so
focused on the material, and the logical, and the financial, and the
"next big thing". Thank you for helping me hear and respect my
instincts again, and the needs of my very wee children.
I found out about your web site from "BC Parent"
magazine. I had to write to express to you my immense gratitude for this
web site. It contains, for me, probably the most treasured and valued
sharing of ideas and information that I have received on child raising
ever. I have two children aged 31/2 and 7 months. My husband and I plan on
homeschooling both of them. I could spend forever on this site. I always
seem to lose track of time when I am exploring it and connecting with all
of the links provided as well. It is the sharing of experience and ideas,
and the "community" that I see in this site is what makes it
such a success for me. It is so wonderful to see that so many are knowing
and recognizing children for the pure and profound beings that they are.
By being with and guiding our children with pure love and respect, we are
giving that to ourselves and the divine child within us as well.
Thank you again for such a phenomenal web site!!
I love your web site, and I want to tell you about the learning
curve it has been for me. I arrogantly thought I knew it all. I have
detested smacking since birth, but through your web site, I am being shown
ways other than any punishment, which is great, and feels innately right
to me. I like James Kimmel's piece on punishment.
Shortly into my secondary education, I realized it was
oppressive and very structured. I became interested in alternative
schools, but now through your web site, I have learned about
Co-sleeping was also something I hadn't thought about. All
around is evidence of the pain caused from poor parenting, but people
don't seem to recognize it as such. The other night after reading your
piece on attached parenting, I saw on the TV Julian Lennon talking about
how John had abandoned him, which surprised me.
It is wonderful to be introduced to fresh ideas, especially ones
that are so inherently humane and right.
All the best,
I agree with what you have written about praising the child. Why shouldn't we
express our joy? The child will easily recognize manipulation anyway.
I think it is a wonderful idea to post children's art work! Kids
have so much talent that goes unrecognized.. Now this is their chance to
show how much they learn from us as role models, parents, etc. Bravo
Natural Child Project for recognizing how important kids are in this
Thank you for your article on praise. The positive mirroring
that children see reflected in their parents' eyes is so vital to how they
come to view themselves.
Deliberately withholding spontaneous praise is like withholding
smiles, hugs, kisses or other signs of affection. Praise, when it is a
genuine outpouring of joy and caring for our children, is simply verbal
affection - nothing more, nothing less. It sends the message that "I
enjoy who you are". No one can have too much of that!
What The Natural Child Project does for me is broaden my
thinking about children and their issues, and I like that. Things like
co-sleeping and [avoiding] time-out that I hadn't thought much about, have
opened my eyes, and make just so much sense when I think about them, and
reflect on my own childhood - which is another good thing. You can't move
on until you have dealt with issues from your own childhood.
Thank you so much for your article "It Shouldn't hurt to be a
Child" My blood never boils hotter than when I hear of abuse or
violence of any kind being justified on the grounds of religious beliefs.
Whether it be the violence in Ireland or the Middle East or in your own
home, I've always been of the mind, "Leave God out of it and take
responsibility for your actions." Your eloquent article states with
clarity other alternatives to spanking/hitting a child. Thank you for
saying what so many of us believe. Children are for loving.
I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for the work that you
do. The "Parents Guide to the Internet" (Mothering,
May/June1998) has changed my parenting in the most positive, wonderful
ways. Thank you!
I just discovered this site today and have been swept away by
the wonder of seeing the artworks by the children of the world. What fun
and what a gift to the world! The children of the world will lead us into
the 21st century.
Thanks for a great site.
I would like to say thank you for your response to the question,
"Is a crying child
manipulating the parent?" I have a
4-month-old, very intelligent baby boy who definitely knows that "Mum
will come when he cries". Before reading your response I thought that
"leaving him to cry" after all the necessary things had been
taken care of, was the right thing to do. But your last paragraph really
hit home with me and I will be passing this on to my husband. Love and
encouragement is definitely the best form of parenting. I
would like to say thank you for your response to the question, "Is a crying child manipulating the
parent?" I have a 4-month-old, very intelligent baby boy who
definitely knows that "Mum will come when he cries". Before
reading your response I thought that "leaving him to cry" after
all the necessary things had been taken care of, was the right thing to
do. But your last paragraph really hit home with me and I will be passing
this on to my husband. Love and encouragement is definitely the best form
I have a 4-month-old, very intelligent
baby boy who definitely knows that "Mum will come when he
cries". Before reading your response I thought that "leaving him
to cry" after all the necessary things had been taken care of, was
the right thing to do. But your last paragraph really hit home with me and
I will be passing this on to my husband. Love and encouragement is
definitely the best form of parenting.
Thank you again. Your page will be on my Favorites list!
Bravo and amen to Debbie McAllister in her response to the person who advocates the
"biblical spanking". She is right on the money.
And, in response to another letter, author's name withheld,
about "Godly discipline": "hitting" and
"love" - done and said in the same breath - is an oxymoron. When
are folks going to wise up to the dangers of spanking!
What a wonderful article ["Learning
Disability - A Rose by Another Name"]. It is such a pleasure to
read an article from an expert who believes in children.
Many things I read about learning disabilities bring tears to my
eyes. Reading about how many children have been "drugged" for no
reason at all makes me cringe.
I was told by "well-meaning" people that my son, at
the age of 3 had "ADD". I was shocked to learn that the reason
this person thought that is because my son wouldn't sit down for at least
an hour while I was visiting people, and that my son didn't do what he was
told the first time I told him. The worst part of this story is that the
person I'm referring to is a special education teacher in an elementary
The thing that scares me is that after several months of hearing
this, I actually started to believe it myself, and feel that there was
something wrong with my son or myself. Come to find out my son is fine and
so am I. He has successfully made it through preschool last year and his
teacher just loved him, telling me that he is a very energetic little boy,
but his willingness to learn is wonderful, and he has a heart of gold -
something I lost sight of because of one "nosy" person's point
of view. My advice to every parent that has to go through this: listen to
people's advice lightly and listen to your heart good. Your child is
beautiful and intelligent and never lose sight of that, not even for a