4 strong reasons supporting co-sleeping

Just reading Meredith Small’s Our Babies, Ourselves.  She’s an anthropologist and began her career studying chimps.  She has a solid view of humans as primates [she points out that chimps are more closely related to us than they are to gorillas].    So her view of baby-raising is shaped by  biological needs, not just custom, and she comes out pretty strongly for sleeping with infants.

She makes several persuasive arguments.

-all primates sleep with their infants.

-humans have slept with their infants for millenia.

-there is zero evidence of babies dying sleeping with their parents.

-babies breathing is strengthened when in close contact with their moms at night.

So if you are inclined, do sleep with your little ones.



10 Ways to Respond to Your Upset Child:

1.  Don’t leave the the child alone with her [or his, of course] feelings.  Sometimes a child can show upset in an “acceptable” –that is quiet–way.  Sometimes, not.  No difference.  Stay with the child.

2.  Let the child have her feelings.  “You shouldn’t feel that way,” is a common and unhelpful response.  Just listen; the stronger the feelings, the more healing is taking place.

3.  Reassure the child that her feelings are natural and unloading them is healthy.

4.  Keep your own feelings out of it.  Your job is to be there, listening, loving.

5.  Get someone to listen to your feelings at the end of this time.  If you don’t, it might be hard to do it more than once [and believe me, you’ll need to do it more than once!].

6.  As the adult, take responsibility for keeping yourself and the child safe.  That means if the child is flailing arms and legs or trying to hit you while in the throes of strong feelings, you [maybe with some help], with as much gentleness as possible as well as no blame, prevent anyone getting hurt. Don’t expect the child to be able to act rationally at this time.

7.  If at all possible, stop when the child is finished unloading the feelings.  If not possible, explain to the child that you wish you could help her unload all her hard feelings right then, but you can’t.  She will be able to sometime in the future.  You’ll find that the more often you give your child time like this, the briefer the time needed for the child to be happy again.

7.  Tell your child that you are happy to listen to what is troubling her but don’t worry about or push your child for more information.

Well, the title is ten but we got seven!  Let me know if you’ve tried them.

adult children who have different political/spriritual views from us

I remember reading years ago Helen Nearing’s book about her life with her husband.  In it she described Scott’s relationship with his son.  As some of you know, Scott was a pioneer back-to-the-lander as well as a socialist.  His son worked on Wall Street and didn’t share his perspective.  In the book, Helen shared a letter Scott wrote him in which he carefully outlined the reasons for his disapproval of his son’s politics and the reasons why he wanted to withdraw contact from him .

Well, we all make mistakes and this was a major whopper!  What we parents of adult children have to remember:  it is not their job to make us proud; it is our job to take pride in our children.  There is no other way we can stay close, enough of a motive; and no other way we can continue to have some influence on them.

tommy playing with children

This is a good example of really helpful play for children. Tommy is playing the bumbler–he can’t hold onto the children; they keep escaping. The children keep “outsmarting” him and he makes a fuss and they laugh and laugh. It’s a great contradiction to the usual for children: they’re weak and incompetent; the adults are the strong capable ones.