Sunday, February 5, 2012

Joe Newman: The Antidote

Is it just me, or does my parenting stink?--no, there's a whole room of us well-meaning parents and teachers who have raised lions and become lambs!  I went to a game-changing lecture, Raising Lions, at the local Waldorf School yesterday, and I literally feel it was the answers to my prayers.

Firstly, I was able to implicitly trust the messenger as it was part of a paradigm that I implicitly trust--Waldorf education.  I have admittedly become hardened to even renowned parent educators--something is always not perfect--it sounds good and then doesn't play out so neatly for us.

Secondly, because it addressed a problem, the elephant, that no one in my community seems to talk about--the errors (devastating sometimes) of too much honoring and no consequences.

"Current child rearing techniques seek to develop children who are confident, self-assured and unafraid to speak their minds--lions instead of lambs.  Although largely positive, this shift has brought with it some very serious problems in the area of behavior disorders.  Without going back to an authoritarian model, Joe Newman has developed new ways of helping children develop the ability to self-regulate without undermining confidence and individuality."

The 24 hours that followed the lecture, I have practiced what Joe recommends, and they have been the least complex and healthiest of all my recent parenting hours--second to those beautiful moments of connection of course.

Thank you Joe, and thank you Highland Hall families and teachers for being so honest and unabashed about the morning fights, getting ready for school and teachers for airing your frustrations with certain students.  What an endearing room, no politically correct parenting auras, just a sincere desire for growth and development.

I recommend Joe's book, Raising Lions, it is, in my experience, the perfect platform for being the parent and not the inner child.

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