manifesto against parenting
“The climate movement made an enormous mistake. We focused all our attention on fossil fuels, when we should have been pointing to something much deeper: the basic logic of our economic operating system. After all, we’re only using fossil fuels in the first place to fuel the broader imperative of GDP growth.”
back to Alison’s manifesto:
A strange thing happened to mothers and fathers and children at the end of the 20th century. It was called “parenting.” As long as there have been human beings, mothers and fathers and many others have taken special care of children. But the word “parenting” didn’t appear in the U.S. until 1958, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and became common only in the 1970s.
People sometimes use “parenting” just to describe what parents actually do, but more often, especially now, “parenting” means something that parents should do.
like – mowing the lawn ness
It’s the wrong way to understand how parents and children actually think and act, and it’s equally wrong as a vision of how they should think and act.
For most of human history, we lived in these extended family groups. This meant that we learned how to take care of children by practicing with our own little sisters and baby cousins and by watching many other people take care of children.
a nother way.. deep enough.. away from measuring.. back to listening..
It’s not surprising, then, that going to school and working are modern parents’ models for taking care of children: You go to school and work with a goal in mind, and you can be taught to do better at school and work.
More than any other animal, we human beings depend on our ability to learn. And the current thinking is that our large brain and powerful learning abilities evolved, most of all, to deal with change.
The immediate trigger for human evolution seems to have been a period of unpredictable climate variability in the Pleistocene era. It wasn’t just that the weather got warmer or colder, but that it moved from one extreme to the other in an unpredictable way. Humans are causing climate change now, but in the evolutionary past, climate change caused humans.
On top of that, human beings were nomadic, moving from environment to environment, and, thanks to culture, each new generation could create and modify its own environment. All this meant that humans had to adapt to an exceptionally wide range of exceptionally variable environments.
Human learning contributes even more to the variability of our children. Our parental investment and commitment allow each generation a chance to think up new ideas about how the world works and how to make it work better. Childhood provides a period of variability and possibility, exploration and innovation, learning and imagination.
1 yr to be 5 ness
If “parenting” is the wrong model, then, what’s the right one? Let’s recall that “parent” is not actually a verb, nor is it a form of work. What we need to talk about instead is “being a parent”—that is, caring for a child. To be a parent is to be part of a profound and unique human relationship, to engage in a particular kind of love, not to make a certain sort of thing.
After all, to be a wife is not to engage in “wifing,” to be a friend is not to “friend,” even on Facebook, and we don’t “child” our mothers and fathers. Yet these relationships are central to who we are. Any human being living a fully satisfied life is immersed in such social connections.
Love doesn’t have goals or benchmarks or blueprints, but it does have a purpose. Love’s purpose is not to shape our beloved’s destiny but to help them shape their own.
What should parents do? The scientific picture fits what we all know already, although knowing doesn’t make it any easier: We unconditionally commit to love and care for this particular child. We do this even though all children are different, all parents are different, and we have no idea beforehand what our child will be like. We try to give our children a strong sense of safety and stability. We do this even though the whole point of that safe base is to encourage children to take risks and have adventures. And we try to pass on our knowledge, wisdom and values to our children, even though we know that they will revise that knowledge, challenge that wisdom and reshape those values.
In fact, the very point of commitment, nurture and culture is to allow variation, risk and innovation. Even if we could precisely shape our children into particular adults, that would defeat the whole evolutionary purpose of childhood.
We follow our intuitions, muddle through and hope for the best.
As individual parents and as a community, our job is not to shape our children’s minds; it is to let those minds explore all the possibilities that the world allows.
let’s do this first: free art-ists.
Parents, worrying about your kids is counterproductive eduspire.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/par…
The parent who chooses to ‘worry’ about the unwanted behaviour observed in a child energises and reinforces the problem (which exists only in the mind of the parent) through the power of her attention – in which case the “problem” amplifies. In all my years of experience as a teacher and life coach I have yet to meet a single child who had (seemingly) ‘gone astray’ who wasn’t fighting against some perceived threat to his ability to make his own choices (i.e. who wasn’t reacting to the interference of a fearful adult).
The only reason a child would develop an “addiction” to video games is because he has forgotten who he is; because he is out of alignment with his natural state of happiness and well-being. He is attempting to fill a perceived void by pursuing a dead end. But the behaviour itself is not the issue. The issue is his lack of alignment. …A child who consistently feels good about himself (i.e. who is aligned with the love, approval and joy that resides at the core of his being) is not going to develop an addiction to gaming… or to alcohol or to sex or to any other form of escapism because these are all examples of instant gratification: transitory (and thus illusory) happiness.
[..]Since it is not possible to change another person (regardless of their age), the
greatest gift the parent can offer the child is to demonstrate through the clarity of her own example her willingness to strive for alignment with her own authentic self. In so doing the parent inspires the child to seek his own alignment.If the child is aligned, he feels good. If he feels good, he does not look to video games to fill a void… because there is
no void to fill.
thinking.. things like school.. mess with our a and a to such a degree (encouraging you to not be you.. encouraging you to not change your mind.. encouraging you to commit.. to the flag.. to the curriculum.. to the rules.. to the pkg deals.. to certainty..) that soul mate ness and marriage/ing and parent\ing are so very compromised..
lots of attachment and parenting ness referenced in scattered