Books and more Books we found helpful in raising our Children and developing ourselves
Scroll down for more book suggestions. We do not sell any of the books mentioned here, we simply found them very helpful in our quest to raise attached well adjusted children. So pull up a soft chair, some peppermint herb tea and start perusing the pages. Peppermint is my favorite as it grew wild in our yard growing up. My father would make us peppermint tea for dinner almost every night all year around. In the summer it was fresh peppermint, in the winter it was dried peppermint leaves. Just writing about it makes me remember the details of my childhood back on the foot of the Bavarian Alps. Happy Reading.
This page was compiled by our US Distributor of the Storchenwiege baby sling.
The reading room is designed to give you an idea where we got our information about attachment parenting and the advantages of "slinging" your baby, besides our gut instinct that being close to your baby, responding to every need at all times, is the right thing to do. Luckily my mother believed in all of it at a time when doctors had the say about what is best for mother and baby relationships. She never listened to the doctor if her mother instinct told her something different, hence she raised 7 well adjusted and emotionally stable children who all sling their babies and share sleep with them.
William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, R.N - "The Dicipline Book"
William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. published several books on attachment parenting. Their wisdom has been greatly appreciated as it seems to give parents permission to follow their instinct again. We took quotes from the book "The Discipline Book" to show the benefits of attachment parenting.
Favorite quote: "Attachment parenting is like immunizing your child against emotional disease later on." (Page 26)
"In addition to our own observations, we read the most credible research that attempted to answer the age-old question What can parents do that most affects the way their children turn out? These are known as attachment studies. Attachmente researchers use the term"securely" attached children (we call them connected kids) or "insecurely" or "anxioulsy" attached children (we call them unconnected kids). The striking conclusion that we can make from these studies is that, in addition to our genetic wiring, how we become who we are is rooted in the parent-child connection in the first few years of life. Attachment researchers found that connected kids shine in nearly every area of competence and behavior." (Page 15)
"Attachment parenting begins with being open to the cues and needs of your baby, without fretting about spoiling or being manipulated. It gets discipline off to a good start by helping you get to know your baby. Alternatively, parenting styles that place the emphasis on parents getting their babies on a set schedule, under control, are likely to keep you from connecting with your baby and can undermine the development of true discipline." (Page 17)
"Discipline Benefit to mother. Breastfeeding is an exercise in baby-reading. Learning about your baby’s needs and moods is an important part of discipline. Part of learning how to breastfeed is learning to read your baby’s cues rather than watching the clock. You learn to read her body language so that you can tell when she needs to feed, when she’s had enough and when she just wants to nurse for comfort......This harmony is especially helpful if you need to overcome preconceived fears of spoiling that restrain you from naturally responding to your baby."
"The right chemistry. Breastfeeding stimulates your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin - hormones that give your motherering a boost. These magical substances send messages to a mother’s brain, telling her to relax and make milk. The levels of these substances go up during breatfeeding and during other motherly activities such as looking at and caressing the baby. They may form a biological basis for the term "mother’s intuition." Your reward for spending time touching and enjoying your baby and breastfeeding fequently is a higher level of "feel-good"hormones." (Page21,220
"Wear your baby
Beginning in the early weeks, hold or wear your baby in a baby sling for as many hours a day as you and your baby enjoy. Since 1985 we have been studying how baby waering improves behavior. Parents would come into our office exclaiming, "As long as I waer our baby he’s content." Research has validated this parental observation: Babies who are carried more cry less. For centuries parents have known that motion calms babies, especially the rhythmic motion of parents’ walking. Carrying modifies behavior primarily by promoting quiet alertness - thae state in which babies behave best. Babywearing also improves the way babyies feel. The carried baby feels like a part of the parents’ world. He goes where they go, sees what they see, hears what they hear and and say. Babywearing helps the baby feel included and important, which creates a feeling of rightness that translates into better behavior and more opportunities for learning. The brain is stimulated through motion, increasing the baby’s intellectual capacity, a forerunner to the child’s ability to make appropriate sensory-motor adaptations in the future.
Wearing imporves the sensitivity of the parents as well. Because your baby is so close to you, in your arms, in constant contact, you get to know him better. Closeness promotes familiarity. Because your baby fusses less, he ismore fun to be with and you tend to carry your baby more. The connectcion grows deeper.
Like breastfeeding, babywearing promotes eye to eye contact. As I watch baby wearing pairs parade through my office, I notice that not only are these babies and mothers physically connected, they are visually in tune. What a wonderful way to learn to read each other’s faces. As you will learn throughout this book, the ability to read and respond to each other’s "looks" is a powerful discipline tool. Over the years I have observed that "sling babies" become children who are easier to discipline." (Page 23,24)
"We would like you to consider nighttime not as a block of time for you to finally get away from your baby but a special time when you can strengthen your connection. ...we believe the nighttime environment that can best strengthen your parent-child attachmenet allows for baby sleeping near you - a style we call sharing sleep." (Page 24)
The Body Chemistry of Attachment
Good things happen to the hormones of mothers and babies who are attached. Hormones regulate the body’s systems and help them react to the environment. One of these hormones is cortisol. Produced by the adrenal glands, one of its jobs is to help a person cope with stress and make sudden adjustments in threatening situations. For the body to function optimally, it must have the right balance of cortisol - too little and it shuts down, too much and it becomes distressed. Cortisol is one of the hormones that plays a major part in a person’s emotional responses. In reviewing attachment-chemistry studies, we concluded that a secure mother-infant attachment keeps the baby inhormonal balance. Insecurely attached infants may either get used to a low hormonal level, and so they become apathetic, or they may constantly have high stress hormones, and so they become chronically anxious. The securely attached infant seems to be in a state of hormonal well-being, and because the infant is used to that feeling, he strives to maintain it. Scientists are confirming what mothers have always known: Mother’s presence is important for keeping baby’s behavioral chemistry in balance.
Besides attachment parenting helping the baby’s hormones, it also helps the mother’s body chemistry. Maternal behaviors, especially breastfeeding, result in an outpouring of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. These "mothering hormones" act as biological helpers, gving moms motherly feelings. They may, in fact, be the biological basis of the concept of mother’s intuition. Prolactin levels increase ten-to twenty fold within thirty minutes after mother begins breastfeeding. Most of it is gone again within an hour. Prolactin is a short-acting substance, so to get the best response a mother must breastfeed frequently - which is what babies want anyway. Hormones are biological helpers that improve the behavior of the baby and the caregiving of the mother. Your choice in parenting style can make them work for you." (Page 21)
"Connected Kids Are Less Accident-Prone
Securely attached children do better in unfamiliar situations because they have a better understanding of their own capabilities. " (page 29)
Article by Dr. Cramer
You're fine; you're OK' just doesn't help
A child is crying. The mother approaches her to quiet her and says,
"You're fine. You're OK."
I see the scene often.
Unfortunately in pediatrics, we sometimes inflict pain to heal. We
cause discomfort with procedures that wound temporarily but protect later.
I hear a lot of screaming children every working day. One afternoon a
child sobbed and pleaded not to get shots. Though I knew the health
benefits, it was sad to hear the intensity of her negotiations. In my
"laboratory of human distress," it is powerful to watch parents as they
attempt to comfort a tearful child. I remember a father trying to pacify
his screaming son with his cell phone when all the child wanted was to be
held in his dad's arms. No wonder in midlife crisis, men want a Corvette.
Often, the conversation between child and parent is limited to the
parent saying, "You are OK. You are fine."
All of which is baloney.
The child is not all right but terrified or hurt or ticked off enough
to shoot the doctor with his own needle.
The bigger question is how does a parent's message teach the child
about the world - a world that gets scarier with every news broadcast. Do
the parents' dismissing words set against a frightful world create a
pronounced, but silent, lifelong insecurity? It is so easy to
criticize the crying child as "being a baby." But with that dismissal, do
we lose a chance to provide important lessons?
Words do make a difference; even if we can't take away life's misery, we
need to say, "We will still be there." Otherwise our words betray our own
insecurity. Consider the following:
When we say "You're fine; you're OK," what are we really saying?
You are all right. You are in good hands. You are safe.This pain and
fear will pass.
But what about the other potential subconscious messages?
You are OK, because we are telling you how to feel. You are OK,
because we say so.
You are OK, because your crying is bothering and embarrassing us.
You are OK, because we were never taught by our parents how to
You are OK, because we don't know how to act to secure you, so we
are telling you to be fine.
You are OK, because we can't comfort you, because we are overwhelmed
Instead, what would happen if we were to say, "We are here. You are
not happy. You don't like what is happening to you. You are upset."
If we simply describe what is happening we do several things:
Our vocal tones can provide security.We recognize the child's signals.
We create a script for our response to the child's true feelings.
We allow the child the opportunity to self-regulate.
Acting how to be secure is the only true way to educate children how
to be independent and self-sufficient.
Dictating to them how to feel only promotes insecurity.
Commanding someone to be calm does not show them how to do it. Tough
love, in reality, only teaches people to be insensitive, not secure in a
tough world. Toughness, in the end, is pretty weak.
So remember when there is real pain, you're fine; you're OK just won't
Joseph Cramer, M.D., is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics,
practicing pediatrician for more than 25 years and an adjunct professor of
pediatrics at the University of Utah. He can be reached at
Another Wonderful Sensitive Article by Dr. Cramer.
office with their child I want them to see their creation as a grown woman
or man "35 years in that direction." Instead of sitting on the exam table
in diapers grabbing at their ears, they are standing in an office building
or home, dressed in a suit or in the attire of a parent. They are not
visiting a doctor for an earache, but encountering a work challenge or a
challenge in their homes.
A person's struggles will change in 35 years, but the biology will
remain the same. There will be adrenaline, there will be cortisol and
sympathetic nerve stimulation. There will be faster heartbeats, higher
blood pressure and quicker breaths.
Knowing what to do with these feelings must be taught to the child - in
the diaper on the exam table. Being instructed by a personal trainer in
coping skills teaches a child how to respond to pain and stress in 35 years
- how to meet a deadline or deal with their own future children in need.
By recognizing the emotions and responding appropriately, a parent is
embedding in their child of 35 weeks the neuronal connections and emotional
skills they will need to use when they are 35 years. Recently, in my
office, I watch in humbled awe how a father coached his toddler in stress
management. He held the child, talked to him, explained what was happening.
He told his son that he was there then embraced him gently while I looked
in his boy's ears. Now, fast forward three-and-a-half decades in the future
to a crisis not of tender ears, but of painful decisions or painful
circumstances. The tension builds, but there is a quiet sense in that child
that he is not alone. The grown child looks around for support from others,
he talks about what is going to happen, considers options and then faces
the pain with a confidence that he can't explain and can't remember
learning. Even if the struggle and solution does not include others, that
child will still have an internal impression that he is not alone.
Contrast that with a different scenario - acted out in some clinic 35
years earlier. This time the parent is less sensitive, not mean or
uncaring, just less aware or less conscious of feelings or stress. Suppose
the child is told he or she is just fine, or to stop crying. Instead of a
conversation of reassurance, there is silence and no calming. In the
future, the pressure of a business deal or personal struggle will be
handled alone. The tension and the internal pressure will increase. They
will be up at night trying to figure out the solution by themselves. They
don't delegate well. They don't collaborate easily. They forge ahead
thinking they alone know what is best. When they are alone, they are really
As parents we start the future for our children. If we practice the
sensitive style of "solution solving," our children will learn. We teach
them the future every moment.
Parents bring a child in for an ear infection. Little do they realize
they are carrying their future grown-up daughter or son on a trip in time.
Joseph Cramer, M.D., is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, practicing pediatrician for more than 25 years and an adjunct professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Montagu - "Touching - The Human Significance of the Skin"
Excerpts from Ashley Montagus book "Touching, the Human significance of the Skin."
"If this interpretation of the gestation period is sound, then it would follow more than ever that we are not at present meeting the needs, in anything approaching an adequate manner, of the newborn and infant young, who are so precariously dependent upon their new environment for survival and development. Although it is customary to regard the gestation period as terminating at birth, I suggest that this is quite as erroneous a view as that which regard the life of the individual as beginning at birth. Birth no more constitutes the beginning of the life of the individual than it does the end of gestation. Birth represents a complex and highly important series of functional changes which serve to prepare the newborn for the passage over the bridge between gestation within the womb and gestation continued outside the womb.
Because the human infant is born in so precariously immature a condition, it is especially necessary for the parental generation of the human species fully to understand what the immaturity of its infants really signifies: namely that with all the modifications initiated by the birth process, the infant is still continuing its gestation period, passing, by the avenue of birth, from uterogestation to exterogestation in a continuing and ever more complex interactive relationship with the mother, who is best equipped to meet its needs. Among the most important of the newborn infants needs are the signals it receives through the skin, its first medium of communication with the outside world." (Page 50)
"When we ask what the function is of the ordinary uncomplicated process of labor and birth, the answer is: preparation for postnatal functioning. The process of preparation takes some time, for there are many changes which must be induced in the fetus about to be born if he is successfully to negotiate the brave new world of his immediate postnatal existence. The bridge the process of birth forms between prenatal and postnatal life constitutes part of the continuum of individual development." (Page 52)
"What a newborn is looking forward to, and has every right to expect, is a continuation of that life in the womb before it was so catastrophically interrupted by the birth process. And what it receives in our highly sophisticated societies in the Western world is a rather dusty answer....The two people who need each other at this time [right after birth] more than they will at any other in their lives, are separated from one another, prevented from continuing the development of symbiotic relationship which is so critically necessary for the further development of both of them." (Page 65,66)
"Babies ingesting colostrum do not develop diarrhea....Colustrum encouarges the growth of desirable bacteria and discourages the growth of undesirable bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of the newborn." (Page 69,70)
"Separating mother and baby, dressing the baby in clothes, and similar dissociative practices certainly serve to reduce the amount of intercutaneous contact and communication between mother and infant. Instead of sleeping in another humans beings arms, as the Balinese infant does, the infant of the Western world spends the greater part of its waking hours and all of its sleeping hours alone and apart from others. .....It [the child] "goes" to sleep. Its seperation contributes to his later feeling of separatness, and to the separateness of each of the members of the family.
To be tender, loving, and caring, human beings must be tenderly loved and cared for in their earliest years, from the moment they are born. Held in the arms of their mothers, caressed, cuddled, and comforted, the familiar human environment, to which Balinese children can always return, is found in "the known arms of parents and siblings, where fright and comfort, interest and sleep, have already been experienced. Bodies are always there, other peoples bodies to lean against, to huddle together with, to sleep beside."(page 120-121)
"Rocking reassures the baby, for in its mothers womb it was naturally rocked by the normal motions of her body. To be comfortable means to be comforted, and for the infant this comfort is largely derived from the signals it receives from its skin. The greatest of all comforts is to be cradled in the mothers arms or lap or supported on her back." (page 130)
"Rocking, in both babies and adults, increases cardiac output and is helpful to the circulations; it promotes respiration and discourages lung congesgtion; it stimulates muscle tone; and not least important, it maintains the feeling of relatedness. A baby, especially , that is rocked, knows that it is not alone. A general cellular and visceral stimulation results from rocking. Again, especially in babies, the rocking motion helps to develop the efficient functioning of the babys gastrointestinal tract. The intestine is loosely attached by folds of peritoneum to the back wall of the abdominal cavity. The rocking assists the movements of the intestine like a pendulum and thus serves to improve its tone. The intestine always contains liquid chyle and gas. The rocking movement causes the chyle to move backward and forward over the intestinal mucosa. The general distribution of chyle over the whole of the intestine undoubtedly aids digestion and probably absorption." (Page 131)
"The behavior and motivations of all mammalian infants are directed towards maintaining contact with the mother. Contact seeking is the foundation upon which all subsequent behavior develops. When such contact seeking is frustrated the infant resorts to such behaviors as self-clasping, fingersucking, rocking, or swaying. These behaviors constitute a regression to the passive movement-stimulation experienced in the womb, the swaying, rocking motions, and the sucking of fingers with forearms pressed against the body. Self-rocking and similar repetitive movement-stimulation, just as self-clasping and fingersucking substitute self-stimulation for social stimulation. ..... Thus is would seem probable that self-rocking represents a form of substitute satisfaction of the need for passive movement-stimulation which would normally be obtained from a mother to whom one could cling or who carried one in contact with her body.(page 136,137)
"Spanking and slapping with the open hand in order to punish children is still too often indulged. Inflicting pain upon them in this manner deprives children of the comfort the skin usually means to them; as a result, they may come to associate their own skin and that of others with fear of contact and pain, and thus may avoid skin contacts in later life." (Page 177)
"Province and Lipton, comparing seventy-five institutionalilzed infants with seventy-five infants reared in families, found that institutionalized infants reacted peculiarly to being held, engaged in much rocking behavior, and were usually quiet and slept excessively. They did not adapt their bodies well to the arms of the adults, they were not cuddly, and one noted a lack in pliability...They felt something like sawdust dolls; they moved, they bent easily at the proper joints, but they felt stiff or wooden." (Page 189)
Tactile Stimulation and Sleep. Anna Freud has pointed out that it is a primitive need of the child to have close and warm contact with another persons body while falling asleep, but this runs counter to all the rules of hygiene which demand that children sleep by themselves and not share the parental bed. She goes on to say, The infants biological need for the caretaking adults constant presence is disregarded in the Western culture, and children are exposed to long hours of solitude owing to the misconception that it is healthy for the young to sleep, rest, and later play alone. Such neglect of natural needs creates the first breaks in the smooth functioning of the processes of need and drive fulfillment. As a result,mohters seek advice for infants who have difficulty in falling asleep or do not sleep through the night, in spite of being tired.
In Western culture one constantly encounters the phenomenon of children begging their mothers to lie by their side or at least to stay with them until they fall asleep, a suplication which the mother tends to discourage. The endless calls from the childs bed, the demand for the presence of the mother, for an open door, a drink of water, a light, a story, to be tucked in, and so on, are allsymptoms of the childs need for that primary object, his mother, to whom he can securelly relate. A cuddly toy, a pet one can take to bed, soft materials, and autoerotic activities such as thumbsucking, rocking, masturbation, are the childs means of facilitating the transition from wakefulness to sleep. When these objects are given up a new wave of difficulties in falling asleep may develop.
It is in the second year that the child experiences the need for the close contact that will enable him to fall asleep. It should be given him. A mother who is involved in the welfare of her child should not find it insuperably difficult, even in the modern world, to lie at bedtime by the side of her child."(page 253,254)
"The experimental and other research findings onother animals, as well as those on humans, show that tactile deprivation in infancy usually results in behavioral inadequacies in later life. Significant as these theoretic findings are, it is their practical value that is of principal interest to us. Inshort, how may these findings be utilized in the raising of healthy human beings? It should be evident that in the development of the person tactile stimulation should begin with the newborn baby. The newborn should, whenever possible, be placed in his mothers arms, and allowed to remain by her side as long as she may desire. The newborn should be put to nurse at his mothers breast as soon as possible. The newborn should not be removed to a "nursery" nor placed in a crib.......Fondling of the infantcan scarcely be overdone-a reasonably sensible human being is not likely to overstimulate an infant = hence, if one is to err in any direcction it were better in the direction fo too much rather than too little fondling. Instead of baby carriages infants should be carried on their mothers backs, and also on their fathers back.....Tactile sensations become tactile perceptions according to the meaning with which they have been invested by experience. When affection and involvment are conveyed through touch, it is those meanings as well as the security-giving satisfactions, with which touch will become associated. Inadequate tactile experience will result in a lack of such asociations and a consequent inability to relate to others in many fundamental human ways. Hence, the human significance of touching." (Pages 290-292)
Jean Liedloff - "The Continuum Concept"
Excerpts from Jean Liedloffs book "The Continuum Concept"
In talking about "experts" books on mothering Jean Liedloff says: "whatever it is, the young mothers read and obey, untrusting of their innate ability, untrusting of the babys "motives" in giving the still perfectly clear signals. Babies have, indeed, become a sort of enemy to be vanquished by the mother. Crying must be ignored so as to show the baby who is the boss, and a basic premise in the relationship is that every effort should be made to force the baby to conform to the mothers wishes. Displeasure, disapproval, or some other sign of a withdrawal of love is shown when the babys behavior causes "work," "wastes" time, or is otherwise deemed inconvenient. The notion is that catering to the desires of a baby will "spoil" him and going counter to them will serve to tame, or socialize, him. In reality, the opposite effect is obtained in either case.
The period immediately following birth is the most impressive part of life outside the mothers body. What a baby encounters is what he feels the nature of life to be .... What he has not come prepared for is a greater leap of any sort, let alone a leap into nothingness, none-life, a basket with cloth in nit, or a plastic box without motion, sound, odor, or the feel of life. The violent tearing apart of the mother-child continuum, so strongly established during the phases that took place in the womb, may understandably result in depression for the mother, as well as agony for the infant." (Page 36)
"If he feels safe, wanted, and "at home" in the midst of activity before he can think, his view of later experiences will be very distinct in character from those of a child who feels unwelcome, unstimulated by the experiences he has missed, and accustomed to living in a state of want, though the later experiences of both may be identical." (Page 37)
"From birth, continuum inhfants are taken everywhere. Before the umbilicus comes off, the infants life is already full of action. He is asleep most of the time, but even as he sleeps he is becoming accustomed to the voices of his people, to the sounds of their activities, to beh bumpings, jostlings, and moves without warning, to stops without warning, to lifts and pressures on various parts of his body as his caretakers shifts him about to accommodate her work or her comfort, and to the rhythms of day and n ight, the changes of texture and temperature on his skin, and the safe, right feel of being held to a living body. ....During the in-arms phase, the time between birth and the voluntary commencement of crawling, a baby is receiving experience and with it fulfilling his innate expectations, graduating to new expectations or desires and then fulfilling them in their turn." (Page 50)
"The first experiences are predominantly of the body of a busy mother. The movings about are bases for taking up the pace of an active life. The pace becomes a characteristic of the world of living and it is associated always with the cozy rightness of the self, for it is learned in arms.
If baby is held much of the time by someone who is only sitting quietly, it will not sereve him in learning the quality of life and action, though it will keep away negative feelings of abandonment, separateness, and much of the worst torment of longing. The fact that babies actively encourage poeple to trat them to excitement is indication that they ecpet and require action upon which to develop. A mother sitting still will condition a bay to think of life as dull and slow and there will be a restelssness in him and frequent promptings from him to encourage more stilulation. He will bounce up and down to show what he wants, or wave his arms to initiate a faster pace in her actions. Similarly, if she insists upon treating him as though he were fragile, she will suggest to him that he is. But if she handles him in a rough and off-hand way, he will think of himself as strong, adapteable, and at home in a vast variety of circumstances. Feeling fragile is not only unpleasant but interferes with the efficiency of the developing child and later of the adult." (Page 54)
"Applied to the phenomenon of birth trauma in civilized subjects, continuum principle suggests that contributing causes might be the use of steel instruments, bright lights, rubber gloves, the smells of antiseptic and anesthetic, loud voices, or the sounds of machinery. The babys experiences during birth without trauma have got to be those, and only those, which correspond to his and his mothers ancient expectations." .... "if the baby is taken away when the mothers is keyed to caress it, to bring it to her breast, into her arms and into her heart, or if the mother is too drugged to experience the bonding fully, what happens? It appears that the stimulus to imprint, if not responded to by the expected meeting iwth the baby, gives way to a state of grief. In the formative eons of human births, when there was no object for the mothers surge of tenderness it was because the baby was stillborn. The psychobiological response was one of mourning. When the moment is missed, the stimulus left without a response, the assumption of the continuum forces is that there is no baby and the imprinting urge must be annulled.
When, then, a modern hospital suddenly produces a baby hours, or even minutes, after the mother has gone into physiological state of mourning, the result is often that she feels guilty about not being able to turn on mothering, or to love the baby very much, as well as suffering the classic civilized tragedy called normal postpartum depression....just when nature had her exquisitely primed for one of the deepest and most influential emotional events of her life." (Page 58,59,60)
"First and foremost, there is the teddy bear or similar soft doll " to sleep with." It is meant to give the infant a sense of constant companionship. The eventual fierce attachment to them that is sometimes formed is viewed as a charming bit of juvenile whimsy, rather than a manifestation of acute deprivation in a child reduced to clinging to an inanimate object in its hunger for a companion who will not desert him. Carriage jiggling and cradles that rock offer another approximation. But the motion is so poor and clumsy a substitute for that in arms that it does little to still the longings of the isolated infant. Besides being inadequate, it is also infrequent. There are also toys hung over cribs and carriages that rattle, clink, or chime when the infant touches them. They are often brightly colored objects on strings, which add something to look at besides walls. They do attract his attention. But they are changed at long intervals, if at all, and do not begin to supply the developmental need for a variety of visual and auditory experience." (Page 66)
"When a baby has had all he needs of expeirence in hismothers arms and parts with her of his own free will, it makes him able to tolerate with no difficulty the advent of a new baby in the place he has voluntarily left. There is no ground for rivalry when nothing he still requires has been usurped....Our underlying discontent is channeled into desire for the latest things ....The first, to acquire something "right," is reinforced by the second, to obtain the greatest amount of well-being with the least effort.... The impulse to work, necessarily a strong one on a healthy continuum, is stunted; it cannot develop properly in the barren soil of unreadiness to take care of oneself. Work becomes what it is to most of us: a resented necessity." (Page 114,115)
"It would help immeasurably if we could see baby care as a nonactivity. We should learn to regard it as nothing to do. Working, shopping, cooking, cleaning, walking, and talking with friends are things to do, to make time for, to think of as activities. The baby (with other children) is simply brought along as a matter of course; no special time need be set aside for him, apart from the minutes devoted to changing diapers. His bath can be part of his mothers. Breast feeding need not stop all other activity either. It is only a matter of changing ones baby-centered thought patterns to those more suitable for a capable, intelligent being whose nature it is to enjoy work and the companionship of adults. There are endless obstacles to the human continuum in our present way of life. Not only do we have anticontinuum customs like separating infants from their mothers at birth in hospitals, using carriages and cribs and playpens, andnot expecting a new mother to bring her baby along on social engagements, but our dwellings are cut off from one another, so mothers are deprived of the copany of their contemporaries and suffer from boredom, and the children do not have free and easy access to their contemporaries and older children, except in some paygroups and school. Even there, they usually are fairly confined to children of exactly their own age, and the teachers too often instruct the children in what to do with the palythings available instead of setting examples that the children would naturally follow." (Page 161-162)
"The fact that their [babies] tornment in infancy also prejudices their ability to enjoy the rest of their lives and is, therefore, an immeasurable injury done them, does not help thier legal position. Babies cannot articulate complaints. They cannot go to an authority to protest. They cannot even connect the agony they have endured with its cause; they are happy to see their motehr when she at last arrives. ....The societies for the prevention of cruelty to babies and children concern themselves only with the grossest sort of abuse. Our society must be helped to see the gravity of the crime against infants that is today considered normal treatment." (Page163)
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki - "Ability Development from Age Zero"
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki from the book "Ability Development from Age Zero"
"My heartfelt belief is that, "The fate of a child is in the hands of his parents."
"In lectures, I often say the following to parents: today when you return home, place all of your children in a row. Then if they two of you look at each of their faces in order of birth, you will see the history of your life together as a married couple written upon the faces of your children. It is with such surprising power that a baby replies in physical form to the environment at his birth.
From the day of birth the most powerful influence in the environment is the mother. Of course, the father has influence also, but through being held and breat-fed during babyhood the mother-child connection is so strong as to be unseverable, and is held together by the living force. This living force is indescribably strong. Therefore the mother-child relationship of a breast-fed child is different from that of a bottle-fed child. The personality, the actions, and all other expressions from the parent are caught by some invisible power of the baby, who gradually patterns himself as a human being." (Page 11)
Children are Seedlings
"If adults are considered full-grown plants, then children are seedlings. Unless he seedlings are well cared for, beautiful flowers cannot be expected.....True cultivators know that a seed needs plenty of fertilizer, water and sunshine. If you hold a seed in your hand and yell, "sprout! sprout!" you are being merciless to the seed. The seed will not sprout unless the conditions are right.
Adults typically behave in this way. I often say to mothers, "How obedient children are. Adults do such cruel things in comparison. In spite of complaints, children practice the violin every day and gradually become able to play. What would happen if they were adults? If you were scolded in the same fashion, you would turn around and scold back saying, I will never touch the violin again! Children partice in spite of being scolded. Why dont you make happiness part of their incentives? If the attitude of the mother changes, then the attitude of the child will also change. Then he can reach out and grow more and more." (Pages 13-15)
"Parents should aim to develop good things in their children and think of what is necessary for their happiness. Then these necessities must repeatedly be given to their children." (Page 17)
"The ability to concentrate for long periods of time can be nurtured. Nurturing is the basis for developing ability." (Page 18)
Feel As the Child Does
"Adults may want to teach numbers or mathematics, but a child wants to be petted and have fun playing. If training can be combined with the fun, a child has the power to do things which surprise adults. Numbers must be known and mathematics must be learned. However, it is a mistake to expect a child to naturally do things from the adult world. Skillfulness in rearing a child comes from knowing and feeling as he does in his heart.
1. Begin as early as possible
2. Create the best possible environment.
3. Use the finest teaching methods.
4. Provide a great deal of training.
5. Use the finest teachers.
Adults Must Self-Reflect
Reflection is necessary in the routine, the behavior, and the conversation of adults. Parents must constantly ask themselves whether they are good examples for their children. In other words, a parents should ask himself if he is noble or if he is striving to be noble. It is inexcusable for parents not to ask themselves these questions when they think of the activity of the life force in their children. If the children are near a truly great person, they are undaunted by him, and the unhampered life force in children will internalize that persons nobleness in such a way that they could be said to soak it up." (Page 26)
"A Prayer is when you whisper the hopes of your heart. After listening to that hope and leaving the room you will not feel like scolding your children anymore. Your child will respond with a happy face when he looks at your motherly one.
The real heart of a parent is prayerful. Today it is easy to forget the prayerful heart and to settle for resentfulness and rebukes." (Page 30)
"Reflection is a wonderful human ability. It is the ability to understand faults and pursue the correct way. People who contemplate their faults tend to be more humane, and those who contemplate deeply are very great.
A parent who understands that children grow by adapting to their environment will think back on his own actions when he notices something in his child that is not good. This is because he knows that the child has absorbed the actions of his parents. A parent who reflects in this way possesses an admirable heart." (Page 31)
"Scolding children without changing oneself does not help the children. "Being good" is in their minds, but their actions come from their life force. The life force is stronger. Even if a child tries to be good, his life force has adapted to his environment and he will continue to do what he always has done." (Page 33)
"An education which consists primarily of following orders creates bad results." (Page37)
"I am often misunderstood and some people even make faces, but it is possible that the children come to me because I radiate respect for them.
Love can be given to cats and dogs because they are cute, but we should not love children for that reason alone. We should love children for the pure, beautiful things that radiate from their hearts. Love and respect combined is what establishes a bond." (Page 38)
"The heart that feels music will feel people" (page 40)
Runa's Birth. A wonderful illustrated children's book showing the process of labor and birth from a four year olds perspective. It is a must have to prepare siblings for birth, home birth or hospital birth. The parents also co-sleep with their children in their family bed. Midwife approved and child tested.
"Welcome With Love" a beautifully illustrated educational children's book on birth. It goes hand in hand with "Runa's Birth" and is a child's favorite. Beautiful warm pictures. The family is expecting their fourth child and Jack tells us all about how he is experiencing his mums labor and birth. This family also slides into the family bed the older siblings prepared in front of the fireplace for the arrival of their sibling. Warm and inviting, a child's and midwifes favorite.