When we ask why a nation behaves the way it does, the first question we should ask is: “how have children been treated there?” In 2011, I published a thumbnail sketch of the state of childhood in USA. By most critical measures, the USA languished at the bottom of all other affluent ‘democracies’, and below many developing nations. It was a powder-keg. What would happen as more and more of this critical mass of children, raised in neglect and authoritarianism, reached voting age? Cut to November 2016: the scaled-up torment of American children bore bitter fruit. Could it be that, what most refer to as “politics” and “economics”… is in reality a collective Symptom? When is “politics” a shared rationalization driven by fear, suspicion, rage and hurt; deep-set childhood trauma expressed as a set of beliefs?
It has never been clearer that the way we support parents, raise children and educate our young is the greatest determinant of any nation’s future behavior.
Here is that overview of the state of childhood in USA, it was written as an Epilogue to the second edition of my book: “Heart-to-Heart Parenting”.
It’s time, it is most definitely time. For fundamental change. For sure, it is scary to think of how endangered we are if we keep on with business as usual. But it is equally exciting to see the bounty of eco-intelligent solutions that are already here. Society needs a new narrative so we can all thrive into the future and secure a healthy earth for our children and descendants. A wonderful think tank – and heart-tank! – is taking place in Tasmania, February 2019, with a wonderful range of enlightening speakers and innovators. If you are moved to join us, use this discount code: ParentingForPeace when booking your tickets. Here is the where, the how, the what and the why.
The 55th country to ban all corporal punishment of children has just joined. Congratulations France! Here is what they said in Parliament: “Education through violence can only create more violence in society. It also leads to failure at school, illness, suicide, anti-social behavior and delinquence”. This ban has worked so well elsewhere, ushering in more peaceful societies. We will see a very different France in a couple of decades.
Great news from researchers! Sometimes legislation can change culture, and transform a society for the better. When a country bans all corporal punishment of children, soon afterwards there is a drop in youth violence rates. Ban corporal punishment and we do far more than improve children’s lives. We make the whole nation more peaceful. You can glimpse the research here.
Hurrah for Nepal! Its Parliament has finally made all corporal punishment of children a criminal offense. This makes Nepal the 54th nation to have protected children from legitimized violence. And the first in South Asia.
Meanwhile, 56 additional countries have committed themselves to enacting this ban.
And hitting children is now a crime in the schools of 131 nations.
Every year, a steady improvement!
I was very touched to receive a message from Tracey Curtis, English singer-songwriter and mother-of-five who wrote a song called: ‘Raising Girls and Boys’ inspired by my book Parenting for a Peaceful World.
She writes songs about family, life and death, protest songs and is blessed with a uniquely cheeky, clear and sweet voice. And she’s not afraid to aim her guitar at institutions that deserve it.
If the message of my book became music, I can’t be happier. Thank you Tracey. You can hear Tracey’s song, ‘Raising Girls and Boys’ (and more) HERE.
I’ve been asked so many times to deliver a workshop about adolescence (12 to 24 years) – and I’m happy to say: it’s finally ready for launch.
Great excitement, but also great turbulence and upheaval. No wonder everyone in the family needs a hand at this stage of great flux. So, as parents, teachers and elders, how can we be the best guides we can possibly be?
Join me for a seminar and some Q&A, in northern NSW:
Here are the details!
How do we connect with our toddlers and children, when their emotions – and our reactions! – can be like a storm sometimes? How do we reach them, inspire them and even heal them, when they can be so wild an restless? And how do we deal with our own exhaustion as parents, and our own reactivity? Almost every parent has these questions, that is why this is usually my most popular workshop. Boundaries of behavior, conflict resolution, a return to the joy of parenting. Lots of helpful info to share with you…and make sure you bring your questions!
Where: Federal Hall, Federal. NSW.
When: Tuesday 27th June, 10:00am till 1:00pm.
Bookings: Federal Community Children’s Centre PH: 66884371 Mandala or Lorraine
I was thrilled to be invited to the Uplift studio at Mullumbimby, NSW, for this lively dialogue with Chip Richards.
Sharing it with you: here it is!
Alternatively you can click in via iTunes, here. – and select “Raising Children for a Peaceful Future”.
What happens when there is too much information, and not enough realness? We end up feeling guilty and stuck. We don’t need ‘experts’ as much as we need open-ness.
As a parent-educator and writer I don’t get asked this often enough: “what are your own struggles as a father?” . And there are plenty of struggles; times when my own issues from childhood and adolescence are triggered. Our children help to grow us up, and yes they make us vulnerable, often. I really appreciate being asked that question at this summit! And I am glad to have shared my own growth process as a father.
Starting May 22, fourteen parenting visionaries, including myself, are sharing deep, inspiring conversations about how transformation is both possible and even likely. The Thriving Family Summit is presenting daily interviews with leaders in the conscious, peaceful parenting movement for free to all registrants. My interview is May 23, and you can join us HERE.