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The Natural Child is the instruction manual that should have come with your child.
Derek Markham, ecoBrain
The Natural Child makes a compelling case for a return to attachment parenting, a child-rearing approach that has come naturally for parents throughout most of human history. In this insightful guide, parenting specialist Jan Hunt links together attachment parenting principles with child advocacy and homeschooling philosophies, offering a consistent approach to raising a loving, trusting, and confident child. The Natural Child dispels the myths of "tough love," building baby's self-reliance by ignoring its cries, and the necessity of spanking to enforce discipline. Instead, the book explains the value of extended breast-feeding, family co-sleeping, and minimal child-parent separation.
Homeschooling, like attachment parenting, nurtures feelings of self-worth, confidence, and trust. The author draws on respected leaders of the homeschool movement such as John Taylor Gatto and John Holt, guiding the reader through homeschool approaches that support attachment parenting principles.
Being an ally to children is spontaneous for caring adults, but intervening on behalf of a child can be awkward and surrounded by social taboo. The Natural Child shows how to stand up for a child's rights effectively and sensitively in many difficult situations.
The role of caring adults, points out Hunt, is not to give children "lessons in life"–but to employ a variation of The Golden Rule, and treat children as we would like to have been treated in childhhood.
Jan Hunt is the Director of The Natural Child Project, Coordinator of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in British Columbia, and on the Board of Directors for Attachment Parenting International. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
|Publisher:||New Society Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Jan Hunt is the Director of The Natural Child Project, Coordinator of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in British Columbia, and on the Board of Directors for Attachment Parenting International. She has been featured on CNN Headline News and Yahoo.com and contributes to Mothering, Growing Without Schooling, Compleat Mother and Readers Digest.
Table of Contents
|Foreword by Peggy O'Mara|
|1. Parenting Children with Empathy and Compassion|
|"Getting It" About Children|
|The Importance of Empathic Parenting|
|Nature or Nurture?|
|Confessions of a Proud Mom|
|Memories of a Loving Father|
|2. Living with A Baby|
|A Baby Cries: How Should Parents Respond?|
|Ten Reasons to Respond to a Crying Child|
|Siblings Arrive All at Once|
|Ten Ways to Grow a Happy Child|
|3. Living with Children|
|Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children|
|Ten Tips for Shopping With Children|
|When a Child has a Tantrum|
|The Hidden Messages We Give Our Children|
|Ten Tips for Finding a Medical Professional for your Child|
|5. Guiding Children|
|The Parenting Golden Rule|
|The "Magic Words" Must be Spoken from the Heart|
|The Trouble with Rewards|
|Praising our Children: Manipulation or Celebration?|
|It Shouldn’t Hurt to be a Child|
|"I Was Spanked and I'm Fine!"|
|The Dangers of Holding Therapy|
|Ten Alternatives to Punishment|
|6. Helping Children Learn|
|Nurturing Children’s Natural Love of Learning|
|When does Guidance become Manipulation?|
|School Grades: Helpful or Harmful?|
|Should Homeschoolers be Tested?|
|"Learning Disability": A Rose by Another Name|
|Is "I Love Lucy" Educational?|
|7. Advocating for Children|
|Is There Room for Children in Our Society?|
|Intervening on Behalf of a Child in a Public Place|
|Intervention Can Save Lives|
|Age Discrimination Harms Young and Old Alike|
|The Kids’ Project: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse|
|About the Author|
The Natural Child is a collection of essays on parenting and education which I wrote between 1988 and the present. The essays were written to help parents and future parents understand the critical importance of treating their children with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion from infancy into adulthood. I hope to inspire parents toward a new way of being with their children that allows for a mutually trusting and loving relationship based on respectful, gentle guidance and emotional support.
This approach has been called "attachment parenting" or "empathic parenting" . It is often considered to be "New Age" but it is in fact, age-old. Many of the practices that I recommend in this book were the norm for thousands of generations, and have only been questioned within the last 100 years or less.
Empathic parenting, to put it most simply, is believing what we know in our heart to be true. Children raised with love and compassion will be free to use their time as adults in meaningful and creative ways, rather than expressing their childhood hurts in ways that harm themselves or others. If adults have no need to deal with the past, they can live fully in the present.
It is my belief that through empathic parenting the world can become a more peaceful and a more humane place, where every child can grow to adulthood with a generous capacity for empathy and trust. Our society has no more urgent task.