Letters from Readers
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Hi! I wanted to let you know that your response to "Breastfeeding Baby Refuses Bottle" is wonderful. It's bold, but so true. I love the idea of babies and children being allowed in more "adult" settings.
Keep up the good work!
I just finished reading your on-line articles and they are great! I really enjoyed them; they make a lot of sense. While reading them, I was thinking back to my childhood and matching your words with my experiences. You hit the nail on the head! I'm going to give the columns to my parents to read this weekend.
I always had an idea of how to raise my future children and that idea was just like what you wrote. I always heard that you shouldn't spoil children and you should punish them, but I felt differently and I often wondered if my line of thinking would create a brat for a child. After reading your articles, I know that my way of thinking will help my child to grow in a positive way!
Wow, what an awesome Web site for parents. You are so right on in my opinion. I, too, am interested in stopping child abuse. The other day I saw a lady spanking her child and saying to it, "How many times do I have to TELL YOU you do not hit your little brother?"
She then picked up the child and slammed her into the front seat of the car. Then she buckled her into her car seat and walked around to the driver side of the car and began yelling at her approximately 9-month old son as she strapped him into his seat belt. I "stood my ground" with her and watched her until she finally realized I was watching her so she finally stopped yelling and hitting. She looked very upset that I continued to stand there by the cart return where she had to come to return her shopping cart.
At that point in time, I said, "You seem really frustrated and angry with your children." She admitted she was. I told her I taught a very effective parent education class and handed her my business card. She called me recently and took the five-week (3 hour per week) course called REDIRECTING CHILDREN'S BEHAVIOR. After only the third class, she said to me, "Why hasn't anyone ever told me about this stuff - I've never heard about this kind yet firm parenting method before?"
Good question why aren't parent education courses the norm for expectant parents the same as natural birthing classes? It seem logical to me that these parent education classes that teach alternatives to spanking and yelling and time out should be the norm in every high school and in hospitals across the nation in order to stamp out child abuse once and for all. I teach my parent education classes in the Austin, Texas area and at Fort Hood Army post. It's great to see other people interested in stopping child abuse similar to how I believe. Thanks for all your good work via Internet - your articles on their Web site are great. I printed them out for my expectant daughter. Yes, I'll be grandma for the second time next April, and I'm so excited and happy about that news.
I just wanted to take a moment to say what an excellent job you've done. I stumbled across your site and was amazed to find such a trove of Alice Miller material. I have been a big fan of hers for many years now - and converted a few people along the way.
But I've certainly met plenty of opposition. It's tough stuff for most people, was for me at one point. Once you do "see" it you wonder how you could have been blind for so long. But the hardest part is seeing it, or feeling it. For these patterns of abuse are so ubiquitous, so much a part of our culture.
Hello! I am the publisher of a monthly parenting magazine, and doing research on the web, I recently came across the Natural Child Project! Let me say what a wonderful thing I think you are doing! People like you are going to change the world for our children.
The most important thing in the world to me is helping parents show love and respect in all of their parenting adventures. That seems to be your purpose and I would love to help in any way I can.
Thank you so much for your wonderful services.
With warmest sincerity,
Tanya Leehans, Publisher, Terrific Toddlers Magazine
I enjoyed reading your piece on manners "The Magic Words must be Spoken from the Heart". It put the whole issue very much in perspective for me.
Good morning Jan,
I have only touched the surface of your site; however, what I have seen is valuable and of great interest. Good job !!!... and thank you !
I really enjoyed your tribute to Diana. Such a positive conclusion. Yes. It is amazing the effect her death has had.
Dear Ms. Hunt,
I discovered your site a couple of days ago, bookmarked it, and have been returning almost every day to get a bit of reading done. I love all the articles - it's the first "general" parenting site (i.e. not specifically breastfeeding etc.) I've found that doesn't go against my grain. It's so disturbing to see people that you've always considered normal and "nice", put so much faith in "medical experts" and "baby experts" who suggest all sorts of inhuman techniques to get your child to "fit in with the family's routine". I thought these were all in the past and had died out 20 years ago. (I can talk about that for days.)
Thanks again for the great info and encouragement.
Pretoria, South Africa
I couldn't agree more with your article ["Age Discrimination Endangers Human Rights for Young and Old Alike"].
I know an old gentleman in his mid-nineties who, because he has had a series of falls (none of them injuring him, but he requires help to get up) has been hospitalized, and placed in "the pavilion" (prison for old people) at the local hospital. His private possessions are being removed from his home and he is not to return, even though he wants to. He is a wonderful person with all his mental facilities, and is being treated without any respect, and I feel as though they are killing him by denying him his independence.
I see similarities with children who - no matter how much they cry and resist - are being forced daily to attend school. Some children thrive in the structured environment, but many wither, and their intellectual development is impaired. Our individuality should be respected no matter how old or young we are. We were all once children - but so many people have no compassion for a child's suffering. We would all like to reach old age, if we have our health and brainpower, but many people have no respect or compassion for the aged.
Hopefully with people like you in this world, other's attitudes may change by being exposed to your ideas.
Thanks for a great web-site.
I'm a mother of two and I've just touched your column for two hours. I must say that your advice to troubled parents is most practical in a "long-forgotten-common-sense way". Yours is a reminder of our true self phrased in a beautiful way. It certainly sticks to my mind... The clarity of your concept in parenting reminds me of Steven Covey's (I've read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). Thank you so much for your support.
Ling from Sarawak, Malaysia
I finally made it to your site. I must say that I was very impressed with the information you have. You have excellent resources with a variety of interests. And I was surprised that you had a French version on "Les Racines de Violence" by Alice Miller. I speak French and I was quick to pick this up. I particularly enjoyed the quotes you have as well. It reminds me of me. Whenever I write to my friends, I always send them a little quote to inspire them on their journey.
Quote for the day: "Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." Plato
I agree with other readers that this is the most important site on the web. I hooked into it from La Leche League, another necessary and wonderful site. Computers are great, but we need to find out what makes people warm and human and remember that. Thanks again!
I just found some of your articles at the Natural Child Project page and all I can say is..."Where have you been all my life?" You clearly express so many thoughts about child advocacy that I have felt since I was a child (haven't we all if we are honest with ourselves?) but have never seen put on "paper". Thank you! I plan to add a link to the NCP page as soon as possible.
Hi! I wanted to let you know that your response to "Breastfeeding Baby Refuses Bottle" is wonderful. It's bold, but so true.
I love the idea of babies and children being allowed in more "adult" settings.
Keep up the good work!!!!!
I just wanted to say that you have a lovely site. The information and content are wonderful. You make your page a place for all to come and see.
I have bookmarked your site and hope to visit again soon. I'm excited to see any changes that you have made. In peace my friend.
Thank you for the wonderful website! I have been reading the articles and I am so pleased that you are sending such wonderful and needed advice to your visitors.
I am the proud mother of five beautiful children, ages 11, 9, 7, 2, and 6 months. My neice who is five also stays with us. It is my belief that children are the greatest gift one could ever hope to receive. My children are always told how important and special they are as well as how much I love them. They are encouraged to think and express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. I am often accused of spoiling my children, but I answer that loving is not spoiling. I receive lots of advice from those who consider themselves to be experts. Often I find myself wishing I was the type of person who could put other people's feelings aside when I receive their advice. But that is not my way nor is that the way I wish for my children to see others talked to or treated. So I just smile and we continue on our way as though we had not been interrupted.
Thank you for understanding and supporting the desire and need to love and nuture children! Thank you for being here!
Tracey and Children
I read all of your essays on parenting and loved them. Recently I intervened with a child who was forced to ride a carousel at Disneyland and her mother refused to listen. My message got across but I was told that it was "none of my business". Sigh. Hopefully next time I'll get my message to the child more directly and compassionately.
Hello! I absolutely love all of the articles that you have written here on Natural Child Project! A few even brought tears to my eyes! I have printed them all out and read them often. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful articles! I appreciate all of your advice that I find on this web page!!!
Re: "The Trouble with Rewards": An excellent article on an important subject!
The fundamental issue here is the same as why we must trust children to learn on their own as homeschoolers, to wean on their own as nursing toddlers, to develop on their own as growing human beings, intrinsically involved with the unfolding of their own lives. And we must allow them to do this without trying to place artificial parameters around that development or directly superimpose our own values and expectations, through whatever methods of manipulation we have in our arsenal, on those we greatly care about - our own offspring.
As soon as we as parents exert artificial control, in whatever way and for whatever reason, it creates yet another unnecessary obstacle that children have to work through before they can successfully get at their own center, own identity, own values, their own purpose, own interests, their own true self and the pouring out of their own love, waiting to give itself back to the world, and especially back to their parents.
Parents are basically the only persons in their children's lives who can give them the trust they need that allows them to be the true owners of their own lives, and to experience the genuine intrinsic rewards of being alive, that vastly outshine anything artificial. Intrinsic rewards come from being able to experience the full range of what life has to offer for any individual- life lived by itself - in its own way. As key figures in the lives of children, parents are also the ones who can, unfortunately, put the largest obstacles in the way of natural development.
Things may not happen the way we want, or when we want them to, but wouldn't we rather find out what precious treasures our children have within, by giving them the trust and freedom they need to find those treasures themselves, rather than having the fake security of trying to somehow program them to live and think only the way we feel they should?
Thank you for your acknowledgement about the I Am Your Child Campaign. I am so happy that you have enjoyed what you have seen so far from the Campaign. I took the opportunity to look up your website and thought it was wonderful. The amount of great early childhood information that you give will be a great asset to our goal of increasing public awareness for the importance of early childhood development.
I am a strong advocate for the "no spanking" revolution and I found this article (Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids) one of the easiest to understand. It is clear, concise and short (so for those people who do not like to read, it doesn't take long!)
Thank you for a wonderful web site to help people understand that children, in order to give respect, must first receive respect. I am the mother of five children ages 10, 8, 5, would have been 3, and 5 months. After the death of my fourth child, Cheyenne, I realized that I had never spoiled my children, as others said, but rather, my approach to parenting was natural, gentle and loving. How can you spoil a child with love or affection?
Again, thank you. Parents should give their children all the love and respect they expect from their child. It's difficult to think that each moment with our child may be our last ...
I positively love the Alice Miller stuff. I've read some of her work before and she's wonderful.
I want to keep telling you and telling you what a great job you're doing with your site. All the creative energy and hard work you're putting into it really shows, as does your abiding, wise love for children and their parents. Thank you!
I recently found your web site through the reference from New Age Journal. I am a producer for television, and I am currently developing a new age news magazine show. I am most attracted to your most uncommon way of raising children and believe that these messages NEED to be spread. I believe that parents do what they do because they have not been taught simple alternatives to raising children.
Your article on "Learning Disabilities" was so refreshing after arguing with the entire staff at my children's school for the last year.
We transferred our children to the local charter school this year from the regular public school in our district. The curriculum is at least two grade levels ahead so our girls spent most of the year adjusting to the new, more demanding work load. Obviously, it would take time for them to catch up.
However, without consideration for the obvious, our 1st grader was labeled ADHD by school staff (they are not doctors). After many hours of extra work at home (mind you, they attend school 8 hours per day), our daughter is nearly caught up. We are frustrated with the readiness drugs are prescribed for children that are misdiagnosed and horrified at the message it sends school-age children. Are we teaching them that street drugs are bad, but prescriptions will solve all their problems? Who are these "teachers" to push Ritalin and the like as solutions to bad instruction and chaotic classrooms anyway???
A million thanks for "calling a spade, a spade", we will visit your page often.
This morning I received my Natural Life newsmagazine in the mail. I read your article and found your web site. I am grateful there really is intelligent life on the internet! We are home educators and it is web sites like yours that help me refocus on our parental goals whilst under societal pressure to conform. Thank you.
I was thrilled to find a web site with other professionals and parents with many of the same beliefs and child-rearing philosophies as myself. My husband and I are the parents of an 18-month-old and are expecting our second child very soon. I am learning everyday about how to improve my parenting skills and the Natural Child Project web site seems to be a terrific resource to help me do that. We have found that our son behaves as well as he is treated in every situation. Thanks.
Just to let you know I have begun reading Whatever Happened to Mother? Thanks ever so much - it is EXCELLENT! I have already passed this info on to a few other "moms" as well.
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