Saturday, March 12, 2011
This book was written by a woman I met at a Christmas Eve Brunch for Unschooling Mom's that I attended with my daughter-in-law. It contains a powerful message. If we want to live in a world that supports authenticity we have to begin parenting consciously.
Transform Childhood, Transform the World
Parenting for Social Change is about creating new paradigms for parenting that affirm the dignity and respect the rights of all children.
The parent-child relationship is the foundation from which we learn how to interact in the world. As children many of us had our experiences invalidated, our voices silenced, and our needs and wants trivialized by parents or other adults. We learned that the world was controlled by those who had more power. Though we may have experienced glimpses or moments of a different way of being in the world, often those were few and far between. The paradigm of control and domination by those who had power was our primary experience.
A commitment to social justice parenting asks that we examine the biases and prejudices we have been taught about children and childhood. Through honest self-examination of our internalized beliefs and beginning the process of unlearning adultism, we can create deeper, more respectful, authentic, and joyful relationships with the children who share our lives.
We can create a world in which children's voices and lived experiences have value and meaning in what has been adult-dominated world. Rather than seeing childhood as the training ground for a productive adult life, childhood and children can be valued in the here and now.
Social change parenting starts from within. Each of us with the willingness to move beyond the paradigms we were taught can create an amazing place for children (and adults!)in this world. There is not an end-point that results in perfect parenting or a perfect life, but rather an exciting process and journey of learning and growth! Please visit Teresa at her website http://www.parentingforsocialchange.com/
for more reviews, information, articles, ideas, etc.!!
Here is a review by an unschooling mom. See her full post at http://www.wanderwonderdiscover.com/
Parenting for Social Change by Teresa Graham Brett is a wonderful, thoughtful, and honest book for any parent who wants to change and transform their parenting from a place of control, to a place of respect and dignity. Teresa offers her experience, her insight, and her authentic self from her own journey from parental control to parental partnership. Her writing is informative, clear, and cites valuable research on how dominance damages children. She challenges us to question our own social views and how we may treat children as "adults-in-training", rather than human beings with their own right to expression, opinion, and choice. I see so much of myself in her stories and examples as a former authoritarian parent. But, I must say, societal messages are so pervasive, as are our messages from childhood, that even the most peaceful of parents would benefit from reading this book to re-examine the subtleties of conditional love. Here is one of my favorite paragraphs from her book, pg. 96:
"Let's be clear: our work as parents isn't about doing things differently so our children will change. It's not about finding the magic words or methods that will ensure compliance and eliminate disagreements. Instead, it's about examining ourselves so that we can see how our ways of being with children have been constrained by our previously held beliefs, values, and attitudes. We do this so that we can experience authentic relationships with the children we love so that they can live their own lives, free of our baggage."