A New Look at Our Ages Old Human Innate Parenting Skills and Going Back to Work Following the Birth of a Child
This essay was stimulated after reading an article in the Atlantic by a working mother who, due to CV lockdown, was realizing she was actually parenting her own children for the first time instead of running them from place to place for others to care for; and a few months later hearing an interview on National Public Radio (NPR) in October or November 2020 that gave me the final push to write it.
Note: This essay is not about what age a woman should have a child. It is about the condition women who have become mothers are finding themselves in.
I was stunned to hear, in the mentioned interview, a young educated professional working mother basically sharing she felt she did not have the skills to raise her child; she did not feel capable to handle her child’s times of emotional struggle, nor provide basic guidance. Even more stunning was her tone of voice and ambiance as she presented her thoughts that left me with an impression she felt this was normal and just a fact of life. Her manner seemed to me to indicate her awareness was a sign she was a conscientious parent for knowing she lacked adequate parenting skills.
From my personal experience as a parent and as a professional who worked with thousands of pregnant and first year parents from 1988 to 2005, I found it quite concerning to hear this young professional woman speak without hearing a hint of awareness in her voice of her innate wisdom to be a parental mother. Furthermore, there was no push back from the young woman interviewer who was reacting as though these feelings were an accurate true normal state of a human parent.
In my professional role I provided sensitive guidance in various settings for thousands of new parents of all ages – teens to 40+ year olds – professionals and home makers.
In this work I observed the following: I always found present in every parent the in-common human deep feelings of courage, commitment, and willingness to figure out how to find the way to adequately care for their children.
Like in any new relationship, there are times in the moments and weeks following the birth when all new parents are in awe and at times overwhelmed when they first experience the 24/7 adjustments they are required to make within this new parent – child relationship. Within weeks as the family acquaints and adjusts to the new dimensions of their lives, they soar on to new levels of coping skills and appreciation for each other. They soon see they are all going to survive the adjustments and settle in together.
This ability to make these adjustments affirm that we all, at all ages, are constantly learning and changing our assumptions at all levels – emotional, physical, and mental – as we experience life. When in a new situation such as becoming a parent this learning curve is particularly strong.
Even when there are difficult overwhelming life challenges during the transition into family, new parents still – particularly a new mother – persist and usually succeed in improving the situation. This thread of commitment to the well being of their child continues through all the years of their life to follow.
In all due respect for the father, his opportunity to be an emotionally active supportive family participant during the pregnancy and early formative years contributes greatly to the quality of his sense of the family experience. In turn, this involvement enhances all family members, thus his family has no doubt he belongs in creating family cohesiveness and trust.
In my state of stunned surprise after the interview, my inquisitive mind immediately began to ponder what I had just heard. I could not think of one species, including humans, who lacks the innate ability to mother its young from conception on. With this awareness the following question emerged in my mind.
How did these young women become so strongly out of touch with their innate parenting skills?
As I pondered this question over the next few days the following two contributing factors came to my mind.
The First Contributing Factor
Today a large portion of the childbearing adults in the U.S., as young girls and boys in their formative ages of life – early infancy through their adolescent teen years – were raised mostly by strangers either in their homes or in day care centers and then on through the educational system. These children who were parented by strangers, were not introduced to the innate parenting skills of their mother’s and father’s daily caring hands.
In these circumstances, the children throughout their lives experience numerous caregivers who go from job to job, and educational instructors who change from year to year, some times more often. These many various changing strangers are the children’s main influence, while the skills and ambiances that a child learns about parenting, from the continuum of their parent and extended family presence, is absent.
Adults who grew up in these circumstances and who are now becoming parents, have very little experience of the continuum of love present from a caring parent during the various circumstances life brings.
With all due respect for the many caregivers in these circumstances mentioned, in reality there is no one whose love for a child can compare to the constant love for the child that exists in the hearts of their mother, father, and grandparents.
While the continuum presence of a parent or grandparent through the years can reinforce consistency that contributes to a characteristic sense of trust, accountability, and belonging in the family relationship, the changing styles from one caregiver/instructor to another cannot provide this same base line consistency and sense of belonging. Many cannot provide the sense of trust that grows between parent and child as together they gain confidence in their relationship.
Under these caregiving circumstances, a child and parent contact is usually during the stressful time of the morning as they are all rushing off to work and daycare or a school; and evenings when the parents are exhausted after working all day and the children’s minds are filled with their daycare or school interactions with multiple people. Then on the weekends, parents must catch up with the everyday household responsibilities that a woman use to take care of as part of her duties of running the household and caring for her family. Add to this the multitude of machines today that demand that we answer on a 24/7 hourly basis and we have just added another distraction that has eaten into the parent-child time together. The imbalance of these limited and stressful times together leaves little time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
These imbalances fail to establish a trustworthy relationship of consistency during the joyous and challenging times that life brings, while establishing an inconsistency of parenting accountability in a child’s life.
This lack of direct involvement of consistent parental guidance during these now adult children’s formative years has greatly contributed to their sense of distrust of their ability to find their effective parental rhythms. These conditions in many households now affect two and three generations within a family.
Before I go on to the second contributing factor: The inner sense of confidence in our innate parenting skills are only dormant, not gone. Regardless of whether we were left in the care of strangers at an early age and/or were the first generation of latch-key children in the 50s as I was, when our children are born our parenting skills will awaken if we just give them a chance.
Sure, we all make parenting mistakes as we grow with our children. Yet with a willingness and time for interaction between parents and children we forgive, correct, and adjust together to find out what works. This actually occurs everywhere in the world, with all new parents, as new families become acquainted with each other.
Simple truth: If an awakening of our innate parenting skills did not occur at the time we give birth to our young, our species would have never survived.
The Second Contributing Factor
As I continued to ponder my original question, I realized another factor that has affected the socialization of U.S. society in the last century, which at 74 I can personally speak to as one who has witnessed these changes.
In the 1960s a new social mentality began to take hold, under the new wave of the Women’s Liberation Movement; it was the idea that within weeks after their child’s birth, it was OK for new mothers and fathers to leave their children in day care centers for others to raise. Within this emerging idea there was little consideration of a woman’s important role as mother and home manager. Understandably many young women who hadn’t yet experienced motherhood took up the cause as they did indeed deserve to have all of the benefits of developing their skills to make their own way in the world within the monetary systems of our social structure.
In the U.S; industries and our government supported the idea. Now instead of only 50% of the working age adult (men) earning monetary paychecks and paying taxes, the other 50% (women) would add to the industrial work force, and now 100% of working age adults would pay taxes. This move of increasing the working population also provided more adults with money to buy products.
The concept made total sense in our capitalistic society that bases all human value on making the almighty $$$$ as the only really credible way to contribute to society. In hindsight we can notice that the importance of the mother’s particular innate and essential nurturing skills that contribute to a balanced human family is completely omitted from the picture.
**Up until the beginning of the 70s most middle class family households could live on one pay check. Outside of a manageable mortgage and auto loan there was little credit. Credit cards allowing one to overextend one’s spending did not exist. As the new standard of both parents working took hold, and with industry knowing there was more money in the pockets of the middle class, more products emerged, prices in general increased, and along with the added expenses for daycare, second cars, etc., the need for two paychecks in order to survive was well on its way to becoming the norm.
** In the homes of those living in poorer circumstances, everybody had to work at something to survive, they rented and did not own their homes.
By the ‘70s the following idea became an ideal: Women and men, before having children, should get a higher education, have a good paying job, have the financial ability to provide all of the amenities a good parent provides for a child, a car, a home, the ability to pay for all of the child’s basic needs, education, health care, etc. The impression given was that only when this was accomplished were adults in an acceptable position to have a child.
This ideal became the common thread of thought for young people to follow. This is a thread we can follow to our current society now in crisis, bowed down in debt. Credit cards became available to overextend our financial liabilities, costs for services such as higher education and health care that were once financially manageable, increased dramatically and can now deplete most families’ chances of a decent financially sound future. Many women and men who gave up the opportunity to have a child to follow this ideal are now feeling the loss of the family they will never have.
Before I dive into the next aspect of this essay, I want to make it very clear, WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS WORKED! The fact that her work was NOT socially recognized with high esteem in our industrial for $$$ profit society, does not change the importance of the contribution women’s work has made and continues to make to our society. The old truthful saying still applies today, “a woman’s work is never done.”
Today when we talk of mothers working out side of the home we are talking about a woman working two jobs. One is for a life time of 24/7 work of love, with no monetary compensation expected. The second job is 8-10-12 hours, 5-6 days a week that usually spills over into her home life – a working schedule that effects all family decisions. Sometimes she will receive decent compensation for the hours of her life she contributes to industry, while many women are paid less than their male counterparts. Many single mothers will work a full 40 hours a week outside the home and not receive enough to meet her family’s needs, all the while her personal presence is absent from the very young people she is working to support.
What began in the ‘60s by the ‘80s was the forced social norm for most new mothers to go back to work by six weeks after giving birth. A new mother was expected to follow this norm regardless of the fact that once she gave birth her natural hormonal balances were calling her to stay home and care for her own infant.
It was a common experience in my work with new mothers to encounter a sad mother sometimes crying as she was renting a breast pump in preparation to go back to work within 6 weeks of giving birth. In the conversations that ensued there was always a strong sense of regret and despair of having to leave her child and simply wanting dearly to stay home and care for her own new perfect child. Though prior to giving birth the concept of planning to return to work soon after giving birth seemed plausible, once the hormones of motherhood appeared after the birth a different reality emerged.
Note: I always encouraged these women to follow their instincts and stay home to be present in the early formative years as their child quickly goes from newborn, to infant, to a walking talking being. I encouraged them to know they deserved to see their child sit up for the first time, take their first steps, speak their first words, etc, milestones that will never occur again; to fully understand the reality that they can always get a job, a career, but will never get the opportunity again to be part of their child’s first life milestones.
With this said, there were now two social norms that re-enforced this now common feeling that a woman was obligated to go back to work early in her child’s life.
Most of the new mother’s peers were following the social norm and going back to work at six weeks and it appeared as though it was no big deal. So it seemed normal that one was to stuff one’s feelings and leave their child at this early time. To stay home with your newly birthed child seemed out of the norm, even an indication these women were using their newborn child as an excuse not to work; were viewed as wimps – not strong enough to be superwoman and do it all.
With the distances between grandparents and adult children that had become the norm in our nomadic culture, there was rarely a grandmother or auntie near by to care for the newborn, so the only choice was to find strangers in the business of child care. I cannot tell you how many new mothers, who were going back to work within a few weeks of their child’s birth, asked me, “do you know of any good full time baby-sitters?”
Another norm, due to the increases in costs of basic needs, now a commodity on the stock market, within a single – or two – parent family, as prices of goods and services continued to rise, a new mother’s salary was needed to meet family expenses. So now there was and still is the real threat that if the mother wants to keep her edge in the work place and her needed job, she has no choice but to go back to work and leave her child with others.
As I pondered further on these new norms of the idea of women joining the work force, I realized that there were primary motivators for women to go along with the idea.
A primary motivator was isolation.
With the industrial revolution that brought us automobiles and construction of highways, there was a migration of families away from communal village living with extended family near by, to the new suburbs full of strangers that were popping up across our country.
Within the immediate family of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, one car was the norm, and the father would drive it to work. As adult children and their extended families were living farther distances apart, and while men had their fellow workers to converse with, women in the home became isolated.
By this time in our industrial-minded society, women and men had been sold the bill of goods to believe that women did little during the day that contributed to the family’s well being; the work that women tended to in the home was menial, boring, and not of value as there was no monetary compensation for this work.
In this continued unfriendly to women-in-the-home society, where $$$$ were needed to acquire all basic needs, there were very few decent jobs available for women, while the male “bread winner,” who could find jobs that paid adequate living wages for the family, was the more valued adult member of the family.
Thus she was bound by the rules of society with little choice but to go along with the opinion of herself as a menial worker who could not provide for herself or her children, and with few choices to expand many personal facets of her life, thus joining the ranks of second class citizens.
In these social circumstances the male’s earning power continued to reinforce the old male superior stereotype that entitles males to economic and social advancements in life, while the woman had no economic or social rights to advance without the approval and signature of a male. All messaging seeping into the female psyche was that nothing she might do could compare to $$$$ contribution of the superior male.
Comment of proofreader: “How well I remember when I went to apply for my first credit card in about 1972 after I had been employed as a clerk-typist for one year and was granted the credit card. My friend who was a professional nurse at Alta Bates for many years was denied a card because she was married.”
Generally speaking, though, all men did not benefit from economic and social advancement, in the delusional society of male as better than, no matter how a man was used and demoralized by the men in power of the industrial complex he served, he could still be the king of his home and dominate over those considered as less important than himself – women and children, as well as all the others in society who were deemed lesser.
Too many times this domination was expressed in physical, mental, and emotional abuse mannerisms, contributing to the soaring divorce rates that begin to become common in the ’60s and ‘70s as the opportunity for women to become more financially self sufficient occurred. These just a few of the woes women, men, and their children faced as they coped with the various levels of our unfriendly to family industrial society.
With very little access to gain economic power to improve their personal lives and the lives of their children, these demoralizing situations were the most powerful reason for women to choose to go along with leaving their children in their early formative years to go into the work force. In other words: Women were fed up with being treated as second class citizens without value within our capitalistic society where $$$ rates a person’s value.
With women leaving the home for industry, and their parents’ presence minimized, another socialization advantage for industry occurred. The
opportunity to excessively influence children in their early formative years became available. Through curriculum the primary social influence that industry is the king that children should to strive to serve gained momentum.
These social steps continue to influence every aspect of how our immediate and extended families and the collective consciousness of the masses are evolving today. They greatly contribute to the continued breakdown of the family, all the while increasing the role of formal education as the know-everything ideal parent, from the perspective that “industry is king.” The goal of industrial systematic education is to instruct us to believe that the ideal life is to strive to reach the top of the industry’s position of power, i.e., to reach the top the food chain and not be eaten.”
As much as the powers that be, who are preparing the educational material today, want us to believe this goal has always been the way of humans, it is simply not true.
Study just a little and think about how and why, when Europeans were first establishing what we know today as the U.S., the Native Tribe’s children were taken from their families at an early age and placed in boarding schools. The primary purpose was to take the children away from their family influence, to change the children’s tribal spiritual belief systems, stamp out their native language and ethnic customs, and indoctrinate them with European language and customs.
No matter your indigenous origin in the Americas or elsewhere, if you do your own thinking about the times pre electricity, automobiles, roads, super markets, hospitals, etc. etc. etc. people successfully fed and clothed, themselves, traveled, cared for their health within their communities, all without the so called better modern amenities that began to emerge in the ‘40s, ‘50s, and continue to emerge today.
When studying history we see that this type of teaching in the U.S. evolved from the king’s agenda that was practiced in Europe by the elite families, long before they reached the shores of Turtle Island, the original tribal name for the lands now called the Americas, a name that originated from an Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
The elite families here in the U.S. and abroad still practice these customs. They hire educated nannies to raise their children during their early years, and then send their children away from their family to boarding schools to learn customs to improve their socialization. All of these customs are still for the sole purpose of social acceptance to assure one has the advantage of the right friends and marriage partners in order to keep their elite positions within the hierarchy.
Now when we fast forward and compare these histories with our educational systems today, we see the same purpose is still at work to influence our children and families to support industry owned by the few, just disguised within different circumstances, and to know our place in the pecking order.
At the time the formal classroom educational systems began in the U.S. we were an agricultural society and most children attended on-rom country schools. The hours spent in the classroom were much less than today; all children went home every day to complete chores to contribute to their entire family’s well being. The three months off in the summer, we now call summer vacation, was established specifically to accommodate the need for all family members to help in harvesting the food crops, crops the survival of the family and domesticated animals were completely dependent upon. There are many stories that circulate why we have day light savings time, one of them I heard growing up, it was to give more hours of daylight for harvesting at the end of the day. Self sufficiency was a must for survival.
Today the academic education system in itself is an industry that, as we can see, has propagated the idea of living on credit, thus helping to plunge most modern day adults in the U.S. into massive debt – a system based on who has the ability to pay to go to university. It is also teaching those not in the elite few how to be industrial workers and consumers, slaves of the social order, to learn for the sole purpose of how to get the highest paying job to serve industries. Very few educational classes encourage self sufficiency within community. Even the hierarchy in the social pecking order within the educational systems – from the heads of departments of education in national and state governments, school superintendents, principals, teachers, down to the child considered the least likely to succeed – is teaching children from the beginning to view themselves and others in this order of importance.
As a mother in 1964, after working for a year while my first child stayed with his grandmother, I decided I wanted to raise my own children. As my children became part of the educational system I found that many of their teachers from grammar school through high school were not parents themselves.
I am well aware there are many many excellent instructors who truly care deeply about the students they care for, and about the quality of instruction they can provide within our educational systems whether they have a child or not. With this said, what I have come to realize is, when there is a lack of personal parenting experience there is also a lack of understanding the daily physical and emotional challenges, joys, and sorrows entailed in birthing and raising a child. This is one of those experiences in life that cannot be taught, and is only accessible when one takes on the full responsibility of being a parent, day in and day out, no matter the life circumstances.
Today in 2020, within our educational systems most of the younger instructors are encumbered with student loans, few have children, and are themselves learning how to fit into the social systems. Their job is to follow the instructions they are given to teach the children left in their care, instructions that is all geared to create another generation of industrial workers.
Every parent goes to bed at night caring and worrying about what is best for their child, while on the minds of most instructors when they go to bed is not the long term future of the children in their care. If they do have a child, it is their own child’s wellbeing that is most important on their minds. If they are beginning their career, they have the same concerns when they go home at night as every other young adult human, “How do I fit into the system I am working within, how do I get along with this or that staff member, what is the best employment move for my personal future in our changing world, what am I going to do this weekend, where shall I go on my summer vacation.” If they are soon to retire, most are focused on putting their time in until they retire and what they will do after.
Though a good instructor can add a dimension of their experience to a child’s knowledge as a child grows into early adolescence, in the child’s early formative years this dimension pales in comparison to the direct active daily influential dimensions about life that occurs in the presence of parents and grandparents. These direct ancestors are the few people in the world who will go to the ends of the earth for the child’s well being, with no questions asked. Who in all of the years of their lives together, they will take a personal interest in the child’s wellbeing.
These same people can be given instructions of lessons to provide the basics – art, music, etc. for the child, math, reading, etc as the child reaches 6-7-8 years of age and the to the process easily. Some parents who who missed out on learning certain basic academics well in the mass educational systems they attended, can also be given directions in a manner that they too can learn the aspects they did not catch onto as a child.
As a child reaches mid 8-10 years of age, various group settings with a thoughtful instructor that can strengthen a child’s interest in a subject can be introduced into their life in a complementary manner. As the child reaches the age where a good sense of themselves has developed they can then go into any setting of education and thrive. One of my home schooled friends entered mainstream school as a high school student and then went on to earn a full scholarship to university.
While there are many many caring adults in the role of school teacher who care immensely for their students well being, and do the best they can to actively stimulate learning in the students in their care, yet if we think about it, when their role as teacher for the year is done, these caring people do not call or visit us ever again to find out how we are doing.
The extensive formative years continuum with the people who will care how the child is doing for the rest of a child’s life, gives the child a good solid sense of belonging that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Will give them a sense of what a loyal friend entails as well as a sense of confidence when they encounter those who care little for their well being.
Visits with other children, a few fun mornings a week at preschool with the parents participating in the care of the children, or mothers gathering together to create play groups a couple of times a week can serve just fine to stimulate the child’s socialization. These same visits and get togethers can serve as outings for mothers and fathers to develop all types of social, personal, and education growth experiences. As the primary care provider, parents can pay attention to the quality of food the child eats, provide personal guidance to steer the child in a personal way and not just as one of the crowd.
Simply put, in all of a child’s early formative years the parent should never, under any circumstances, be reduce to a drop in visitor in a child’s life.
A few of the financial benefits, developing the skills of growing food for the family saves tons of $$$ and assures food quality, this of major importance for a developing child and adult bodies; daycare expenses; adult and child wardrobe expenses. These are just a few of the details where financial costs will be reduced considerably.
While the influential presence of the mother, father, and grandparents are important contributors to the quality of a child’s maturation, there is a special importance for the mother’s presence in the early formative years.
This survival lifeline is a built in reality in all species. When we notice other species with their young, it is the mother who in the early years nourishes, cares, and teaches her young important survival skills.
This emphasis is in respect for natures’ creation of a strong personal lifeline established between the mother and child during the nine months of womb life. Once the child is born, the physical and emotional hormonal balances between mother and child are designed for the mother along with the support of the father to continue to provide for the physical and emotional nourishment for years to assure the child survives. As the child becomes physically able to navigate the world, the continued nourishment and guidance of their parents are vitally important contributing factors to the child’s emotional growth.
Did you know a mother produces breast milk for as many years as the child continues to breastfeed? This is the original supply and demand concept. In many countries women breast feed for years. In the 1990s, per La Leche League Leaders I spoke with, the average time in the world for a women to breastfed was 6 years. If you live where food is gathered and sometimes scares this ability to provide food for your child is crucial.
As we observe the human development from newborn to adult stages of self sufficiency, to the development of other species, we see human development occurs over a much longer span of time.
With this observation we can see that our responsibilities as human mothers and fathers demand a longer time span to adequately raise our children to young adults with a sense of how to care for themselves. This is an important aspect of human parenting.
In this context of our longer life span in comparison to most species, ten-twelve years of human parental presence as primary guide is not excessive.
Though the parental support is important through out the teenage years, the earlier formative years of a child’s life are most important for the child to develop a strong sense of themselves in relationship to family and the world.
While I completely agree that women deserve, without compromise or discrimination, all of the same options as men for self development, self expression, and access in all matters to care for their basic needs and expand her horizons; support and stand with women having equal opportunities, the right to have an excellent education, personal financial stability, etc. etc. etc; I also stand for claiming the deserved respect and dignity for the mother’s and father’s role as the primary care provider for their own children through at least the first ten to twelve years of their child’s life.
As each of the early years passes and the child grows in dexterity and cognitive language proficiency, much of the daily hands-on care in the earliest years also changes. As these changes occur, mothers can now expand into other avenues of participating in family responsibilities and their own life aspirations – part or full time employment, classes to improve career skills, and so forth.
From my personal experience and discussions with the many parents of adult children the following has become clear: Though the expression of the parenting connection changes through the years as the child matures into adulthood, regardless of circumstances and no matter one’s age, the thread of the deep life connection between parents and child continues to affect the quality of an adult child’s daily life. Contemplate for a moment now, as an adult, how your relationship with your parents, whether it is friendly or seems difficult, is still an important influence in your life,.
When our U.S. society began the migration of mother-the keepers of the family home hearth – from the home into the work force and separating them too soon from their children, it exhibited our societal lack of
awareness of how immediately following the birth, the natural hormonal balances of the mother and child are calling for each other frequently 24/7. This calling metamorphosizes between mother and child during the many years ahead. In the early and younger years when the mother and child are unable to heed these calls they will miss components of their normal natural maturation. These missing components will effect the father’s sense of family as well. These missing components, if left unacknowledged, affects the quality of trust within the nucleus family for the rest of their lives.
On the other end of the age spectrum, elders since time memorial have been the ones we could turn too for advice.
Another reality I have gleaned from being a mother and a grandparent – and interacting with many new parents and grandparents in my work is, there is no stronger motivating factor to a woman and man than to have a child, and then later to become a grandparent.
The experiences of both of these stages of life, have powerful maturing influences to awaken us to our larger purposes. Becoming a parent and a grand parent inspires us to make the world a healthy viable place for all people. which in turn gives our children and grandchildren a healthy society to live in. These maturing hormonal factors come with the territory of becoming a parent and then a grandparent.
This amazing elder source has fallen by the wayside in the past five decades as the professional advice sector, media industries, and our technological protheses brains we call computers, have become our young parent’s go to source for advice. With the emerging of these for-profit industries we have seen a further separation of the generational family continuum.
Some immediate approaches that can assist in accepting the natural awakening of parenting skills during pregnancy and birth:
Give new mothers time to explore and enjoy their pregnancy. Reduce stressors. If employed, lighten the work load in the early months of pregnancy. In the latter months of pregnancy time off to enjoy mothering her unborn, rest, and prepare her home, nurture her mind, body, and emotional self through the transformational transition occurring within her body and her personal life.
An important aspect we as pregnant individuals can do to create an emotionally healthy society, is to provide a sensitive respectful social support environment for our children to grow within; and once our child is born, lots of face to face contact with minimal technology interaction. This quality of respectful caring foundation expands a child’s ability to grow into sensitive adults with a respect for their elders and others.
The lives of those, of all ages, who provide quality sensitive emotional and practical care for the new parents, and are present at the birth to welcome the new family member/friend, are greatly enhanced. Through participating in this life changing event, familiar long term relationships are deepened and strengthened exponentially. Again this parental behavior teaches the child about a respectful caring society.
If we become familiar with the transformational transition occurring when becoming grandparents, especially the grandmother, we find there are intuitive urges to care for their adult children as they become parents. If we become socially sensitive to this human caring support characteristic – family elders following these intuitive urges and their adult children receiving this sensitive care it will go a long way to help new parents awaken to their own innate parenting skills. In the past, this continuum of parenting adult children as they transition into family was the normal rhythm that has gone dormant as parents of adults have been replaced by modern day professionals.
As you, a modern day adult child, and your elder take the next step to develop respectful communication, along with groups of new parents providing mutual support for each other, a wealth of inner innate parenting skills and strengths within all ages will reemerge. With the awakening of respectful connection to this direct thread of strength between parent and child, we can reestablish an understanding of the healthy elder generation wisdom keepers who exist in all families. I emphasize “respectful,” an entirely different relationship than one of parents – children of any age blaming, shaming, and guilt-tripping each other for some past transgression or mistake.
To the industrial complex, that has worked diligently to reduce the value of women in the work force who take time out to care for their families:
I proclaim that a woman who has given birth and parented a child through the formative years of life brings a tremendous amount of intuitive and practical organizational skills to any environment; has had immense exercise in learning about, and responsibly addressing, unknown circumstances in challenging environments and human interactions.
Given the inner intelligence women carry to bring and sustain all aspects of all living human beings into fruition, I personally want women who value themselves as a woman with this enormous mental and physical capacity and have experienced this powerful life-giving process to be involved in all aspects of our world’s social development. I want them working right along side men who have also been fully engaged in the experience of total responsible involvement in their children’s conception, birth, and social development.
In our industry-driven society, it is time for our industries and our government to provide supplemental income for parents so they can be directly involved in their children’s primary care and educational guidance from conception through the first 10-12 years. Parents in this capacity can learn from others and form their own social groups and educational systems to best serve their children. These provisions are healthier choices than the financial support we currently provide for strangers to raise our children in day care and the educational industry.
I end with these thoughts on parenting.
I truly feel our society would improve leaps and bounds if every mother and father were encouraged to embrace their role as the main stay of their family hearth and the most important guiding light in their child’s formative years.
As a living loving parent what we always have going for us in any situation, is the love we have for our children and they have for us. This love does not go away even if it is sometimes expressed in anger, rejection, and disappointment. Always remember, if love was not present, the anger that comes in the face of disappointment could not be present either.
Nurturing this love and the joy it brings strengthens us to keep going to find our way to a solution through the challenging times.
For all parents of all ages, there is a difference in being a living loving parent, and the idealized parent who always knows the correct social approach. The latter is not possible.
From my perspective, it is time to recognize that from conception through the elder years, we humans travel through multiple stages of emotional and physical development every step of the way.
With this in mind, avoid throwing out the inner voice of your intuitive parenting guidance while trying to follow the advice according to whatever book or industrial trained professional is popular at the time, that promises if we just do this or that we will have the ideal child. Unwritten in most intellectualized books or professional concepts, though glaring if we think it through, is the concept that if the ideal child does not appear after following all the instructions, it is because the parent or the child did something wrong. It is never the writer’s or professional’s inadequate information that is lacking in the knowledge or actually incorrect.
In reality, our human species has emerged from all walks of life. In every family, personal to each family, there are numerous dynamics – ethnicity, ancestry, experiences, etc. – which create differences in how a parent approaches any issue. So again while you may find helpful information in written or professional guidance, do not ignore your intuitive guidance about what works best for your family as you integrate from the information.
I encourage you, as mothers and fathers who are parenting a child of any age, to take the time to explore and give yourselves a chance to discover your innate skills to enjoy parenting your child. Remember, if we make a mistake our children love us like no one else in the world and they always give us another chance no matter the mistakes we may make as we learn.
The key to finding our way together as family, as we nurture the mutual thread of love and respect that is naturally strong between family members, is communication that nurtures love and respect.
When we discipline, discipline not for the sake of being right, or forcing ourselves as a parent to force a child to fit into the many unhealthy societal norms we are burdened with today. Do so as an elder providing guidance through redirection of the child’s attention, kindness, and restrictions appropriate to the child’s age.
In all situations of discipline do so thoughtfully with loving firmness so the child knows you are trustworthy and accountable. As you find the loving route for what is the best action or non-action to take in the moment for your child and family. In this manner time will help you find your way. All the while your child is learning through your example important lessons of accountability, self respect and respectful human interaction with others.