Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Parenting and Society: Naomi Aldort interviewed by Noticias Positivas Magazine in Spain

Parenting philosophy and society:
Spanish Editor Graham Forrest of Noticias Positivas Magazine interviews Naomi Aldort

Editor: This is a question with many ramifications but can you boil down, what is in your view, the job of a parent?

Naomi Aldort: A parent is here to escort a new soul into the experience of being human. It is a job of nurturing the process of another’s unfolding much like gardening. When we care for a flower, we don’t intervene with its being; we don’t pry its petals open or paint its colors. It is not up to us what kind of flower it is. We provide for it so it can bloom in its own magnificent way and in its own time. We don’t care for the flower if it blooms; we care for it so it can bloom. The nurturing is respectful of God, of nature’s creation and of life. It is unconditional love with utmost humility and respect toward creation.

Therefore the job of a parent often ends up being about her own spiritual unfolding. To care for a child with unconditional love, trust and respect, one has to unfold oneself. In a way it is a divine job, which means, it requires of us as parents to self-realize and come to be at peace so we can nurture another to be herself or himself, with love and guidance, but without interfering with creation; with who the child is.

Editor: Why do parents find it so hard to trust their children and their own intuition?

NA: The problem of trusting the child and one’s own inner wisdom is the result of parenting and modern culture. As children, most of us were literally trained by our parents not to trust ourselves and instead follow authority and the opinions of others.

The lesson of “don’t trust yourself and follow others’” is subliminal and deep. It shows up in the daily life of a child without anyone thinking of it. When we wanted to sleep with our mother most of us were told that our intuitive need is wrong and we should sleep alone. Our desire to be close to mom has been turned into doubt and confusion in many ways. Teachers in school, with best of intention, strengthen this message of, “Do as you are told even when it goes against your inner voice.” 

I am not talking about programmed desires and wants. I am talking about primal needs and authentic inner voice. In my workshops and talks I clarify the distinction between superfluous wants to true autonomy of the child.

Editor: Your web-site announces you as a “facilitator of self-realization through parenting.” What exactly do you mean by this phrase? In your one-on-one sessions and your workshops, in practical terms, how do your work with parents?

NA: Everything and everyone in your life is the mirror of your perceptions. You see the world from your unique point of view. Children are the greatest mirror of all because they don’t yet have much of their own “stories” yet. You get a true reflection.

When parents study with me, they acquire tools that help them free themselves from limiting thoughts, past pain and stories that get in the way of being the parent they want to be. They learn to see the reflection in the child, and to become more capable and peaceful parents. 

A parent may have an aggressive or tantruming child. Through their work on seeing the reflection they find how the child’s tantrum or aggression is actually a reflection of the parent’s inner or outer emotions and behavior. Even the gentle and kind parent may discover the inner volcano she may have ignored for years.

When we try to control the child for our convenience or conviction, we miss an opportunity to grow and to become the parent we truly are at heart. Each parent knows these moments of not acting from love but from another painful place that is imprisoning them. In those times, instead of releasing old pain and limiting habits, a parent may tell the child to adjust her behavior so that she/he (the parent) can stay in a familiar emotional state. This makes parenting more difficult, less connected and both, child and parent lose. 

Such parental need to control is obviously unconscious and not a fault; nothing to feel guilty about. We all do it and must forgive ourselves and look forward the next opportunity. We look forward to the next time things go “wrong” so we can practice peace.

Parenting can be a spiritual path towards self-awakening, if we want to “ride” it with awareness. 

How does your work with parents fit into the greater context of social change all over the globe?

Our global goal is peace among people and with the planet. We have learned that we must live with the many types of ethnic, cultural, religious and national groups at peace. We have to start at home. If we cannot have peace within ourselves, we cannot have peace with our spouses, family and children as well as in the community and the global society. Peace starts with how we raise children and how we treat the loving gifts of the earth.

Children join whatever human world we offer them and adopt whatever ways of being, thinking, feeling and relating we immerse them in. They have no frame of reference other than our models and the way we treat them. 

Parenting is actually the fastest way to bringing peace to humanity. War starts in the home and so does peace. It starts inside the soul of each person and each parent. Becoming focused on creating inner peace every moment and bringing peace to parent child relationship is the most effective remedy to all wars. The tool is unconditional love.

Obviously we are very far from this goal. Governments still claim to lack the funding for parent education and support, but they have money to build killing machines and armies. War starts at home. War starts with each one of us inside and as we respond to our spouses and children. 

All societal developments is rooted in separation. What I teach is unity and connection. Children growing this way can become the new possibility of peaceful humanity.

So far raising children has been a struggle against the child; ways to shape the child into what we believe he/she cannot become without us.

Some parents think it is not possible, and that children behave badly when not coerced, controlled and shaped. However, in every case in which such a parent talked to me directly, we found that the child’s behavior was caused by the controlling ways in the first place. The transformation of understanding and connection always brings this struggle to an end and reveals a loving and highly caring and responsive child.

What we are learning is not permissiveness, nor license. It is instead a way for a parent to be authentically herself. The role of a parent is one of a leader. True leaders bring peace, not by force, but by love.

The insight I bring into parenting is the heart of current trends, bringing love to the source; the beginning of life.
If we can move away from the struggle of manipulating birth and children and instead, learn ways to trust and to nurture their innate magic, we will raise the people who will be peace and bring peace to society.

©Copyright Naomi Aldort

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Your baby and child don't need toys

Your baby and child don't need toys:
By Naomi Aldort
Author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

Our babies are best off with human connection and with nature and the arts. Everything else seems to me like a substitute and less than the best, so I examine it carefully. Is this toy developing the baby’s intelligence? How can you know? You don’t. You know they want to sell it to you and that’s the real motivation behind marketing of toys and most products. This is all you can know. Your baby or child may master that toy and it looks complicated and requires brain power. But what it does to the total development you cannot know. You can use things; I only suggest not to believe in their value. 

Your baby does not need toys. Your child does not need toys. Toys did not exist until recent history. I grew up with one stuffed monkey that was repaired a couple of times, a couple of board games, a ball (for a limited time) and a rope. I did have a piano and attended classical music concerts. My best childhood memories are of pretend games with my brother, outdoor games with neighborhood kids with sticks, ball, acting, running and imagination, singing and dancing. These things are nature/God’s brain developing plan. Can we top it with substitutes? I doubt it.

The industry wants to sell their products. More rooms (one for each child which is more furniture, toys etc), more gadgets, more things and even artificial experiences. Many of these make children more addicted and dependent on external stimulation and less self-reliant.

I invite you to go “raw” with parenting. Raise your own child directly, with eye contact, talking, reflecting, singing, listening to music, dancing, acting, touching the earth, smelling its aroma, sitting in a puddle getting messy, gazing at a butterfly and laughing together for no reason at all. 

Notice that the most joyous moments of your life are when you are with those you love; connected and surrendering to the moment.

You want your child to know so much. Why? So he will be happy! But he is already happy. Be with his happiness so he can keep this joy alive and familiar. Why train the baby out of her natural inclination for being exuberant and thriving on human connection? We don’t need anything. Nature didn’t goof nor missed anything. It gives us for free the greatest joy of all in every moment.

Sure, use gadgets and modern comforts as much as you want. But when you remember that you don’t really need any of it for you to be happy, you are free to enjoy life in the moment. Don’t believe anything! And, empower your children not to believe anything. 

Without believing that your baby and child need toys or other stimulation, you save money and you spend more time relaxing and enjoying your child.
(You don’t need to spend time to earn as much money; you spend less time on shopping and on cleaning; more time with your child.) 

If your child could be an adult for a minute and reflect back to you about her own childhood, she would say, “I wish you spent more time with me.” No need to feel guilty for any kind of substitute you do use; only to cherish the moments that you do have with your child and know: YOU are the best and most educational “toy” your baby and child have.

©Copyright Naomi Aldort

Thursday, July 18, 2013

When Your Child is Bored

When Your Child is Bored
By Naomi Aldort

I have often pointed out that boredom is good for your child; a great learning tool. It forces the child (and adult) to be in the now and generate presence which is always exciting and expanding. It is what propels true learning, self-awareness and inner connection.

What I have not focussed on is the reason a child would even see herself or himself as “bored.” What does this concept mean? Without being taught other concepts, it would not occur to a human mind to be “bored.”

“Bored” implies something missing. What is that something? What is missing? Only a mind that assumes that something outside of the experienceof “being” has to happen, will conceive of anything ever missing in the moment.

A mind can only learn from human made experience that one must be constantly busy and stimulated or entertained. Only a mind addicted to such over stimulation would see itself as “missing” something when being with no external engagement. In other words, we are teaching children today to be addicted to distraction from the here and now. We teach the child to “need” the next “dose” of “something” to stimulate her/him.

To undo some of this trend, find times for yourself and your child to enjoy being in the moment with nothing to distract the nature of being.When your child says “I am bored,” respond with, “Good. Enjoy.” Depending on the child’s age you can add things like, “Enjoy being quiet with yourself.” Or, “Yes, that is a wonderful chance to just notice things... feel your breath, marvel nature...” etc.

My children and I used to (and still do) stand without uttering a sound in the dark of the night in the forest and “listen” to the silence... feeling presence... hearing the heart beat, breath, wind, oneness.

Be a model of not rushing to fill your time with activities, computer, even reading and talking. Demonstrate the value of stillness, being present, and of not seeking distraction from who we are. Include family meditation, or a silent walk in nature, in your daily living. Model valuing presence, stillness and a space of nothingness which allows our true being to shine in the moment.

©Copyright Naomi Aldort