Tuesday, October 02, 2007


currently reading "Parenting for a Peaceful World" by Robin Grille. wow. i can feel it changing my world as i flip the pages over one by one.

i have this longing in my heart that constantly resurfaces. i can not shake it and i can not put it to sleep. i want the oppression in Burma to end. i want the child sex slave industry in asia to collapse. i want the slaughter in africa to stop. i want the abuse of aboriginal children to finish. i want rich humans to stop plundering our environment. i want the kingdom of God to come on earth as it is in heaven.

could it be that we can create either heaven or hell on earth by the way we treat our children?

Grille argues that child rearing practices have affected societies and international affairs throughout history including the rise of Hitler and Stalin. He walks through history and shows how common parenting practices are an incredibly accurate indicator of what that society will become.

Grille outlines six different parenting modes (from worst to best). The first 4 are highly abusive and would be illegal in modern Australia. The Growing Kids God's way stuff is quite clearly number 5 (the socialising mode). But everything he is saying about the sixth mode (the helpful mode) is resonating as deeply true.

it would blow you away some of the stuff that was considered normal in other parenting mode eras. like tighlty swaddling babies 24 hours a day until they're 9 months old and stuffing their mouths with rags soaked in flour and water to stop them crying. i will never trust 'common sense' again because these practices (and many others far worse) were considered common sense in many societies for hundreds of years.

Was talking with Grandma last night about babies. She grew up in a children's home herself. She hated it. "I love how you lot love and cuddle your babies," she said, "it's much better". better than what? i didn't want to ask.

can't wait for daddy ellery to read this and hear his perspective.

alfie kohn

"There is a time to admire the grace and persuasive power of an influential idea, and there is a time to fear it's hold over us. The time to worry is when the idea is so widely shared that we no longer even notice it, when it is so deeply rooted that it feels to us like plain common sense. At this point when objections are not even answered any more because they are no longer even raised, we are not in control: we do not have the idea; it has us."