Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Whatever Happened to Mother?

Reading conversations on public message boards among adoptive parents about child rearing reveals a widespread, almost passionate resistance to new learning. Our culture has taught us to look for easy and convenient one-sentence solutions. One pill, one sound byte, one easy-to-remember rule.

We shy away from the hard work of examining our lives honestly and questioning our parents' methods. As a result, we continue to apply those same methods with our own children. Rationale: I'm just fine, so the methods used with me will be good enough for my children. Yet in 1979 - three decades ago - Alice Miller gave the world an astonishing gift called The Drama of the Gifted Child. By all accounts, a widely read book.

Yet we still say, "Kids these days!" Yes, we are still blaming it on the kids, as if they are responsible for their own nurturing. Or we blame it on an adopted child's genes (while taking credit for all the good stuff). To see it happen with children adopted as infants is that much more troubling because they have already suffered a primal trauma that adoptive parents (usually) had nothing to do with.

And now, on to the subject of this post: Whatever Happened to Mother? This is an e-book written by Dr. James Kimmel published on the Natural Child website. It will shake you until your brains rattle in your head and you cry a river and throw things. It is upsetting probably to nearly every mother who reads it. But reality is sometimes harsh. This book has been a staple in my repertoire for so long that I only today realized I don't have the link on this blog (and have now corrected that). Please do click on the link (above or in the right-hand column) and save it to your favorites - it is not a short book.

Between Whatever Happened... and Drama..., I hope this will provide those who asked with an answer of sorts. I cannot neatly answer questions about this subject in a few short paragraphs. My knowledge has been acquired by reading hundreds of books and reams of articles and studies. It is just not that simple.

I will leave you with Dr. Kimmel's Preface:
A society that is not responsible to its children, that does not provide them with what they need, will breed a population of asocial and antisocial individuals. Even more destructive to children, in terms of their individual mental health, is a society that pretends to be responsible to its children, when it is not. Its children will not even know what they need. They will be alienated from their human requirement of nurturing.