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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?


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An academic DRAFT document provided for the symposium on the Representation of Childhood in Arizona State University, March 2009. A proposal by Naomi Aldort.


Representation of childhood in modern western culture is based on seeing children as flawed and needing to be shaped into adults. The child is seen as failing to be an adult and therefore represented as inferior and cannot be trusted to unfold correctly on her own. Her basic needs are held as “wrong” and are constantly fought against.

Based on this representation, children are not seen; they join society when they have been turned into “adults.” The child is taught adult manners while her childlike ways often elicit scolding, leaving her feeling failing and dependent on external guidance. She spends much of her young years with peer groups controlled by adults.

This view shapes who children are in their own eyes. They grow up to believe that someone other than they should guide their way (the media, peer pressure etc.) The result is a culture of seekers of approval; humans whose depression and dissatisfaction lie in looking outside for cues and for acceptance, while often missing the joyful confidence that comes from being guided from within.


Just a few examples of the manifestation of this childhood representation:

·     Birth: Mothers have been shaped to believe that a doctor should “deliver” their babies.

·     Feeding: The baby learns to ignore her own cues and surrender to mom (who follows the doctor).

·     Learning: Being corrected and taught, the child loses faith in herself and becomes dependent, insecure and needy of approval.

·     Manners: Seeking approval becomes the top priority at the cost of honest relationships. Parent-child struggles start when a child rebels against being controlled, leading to the many difficulties and disabilities we witness today.

·     Sleep: Babies and young children are denied their basic need to sleep next to their mother, learning to ignore self and obey other.

·     Schooling: The invention of an institution for the control of education is the ultimate in modern western representation of children. The child is raised in “herds” of compliance to the adult view of her and how she should be.

The following are some of childhood practices and result of this representation of childhood:


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