As many of my friends know, I am a Crone with no youth or children of my own. I have never had a child. Doctors said it would be anatomically difficult and I was very clear that I did not want to pass on my family dysfunction that was well-off but very abusive. Now as I recover my true self and feel free of what I will call the “family and marriage trance” I feel blessed and able to share my great love and concern for youth who are inheriting a pretty challenging mess.
Two books vividly affected me as a young teen and avid seeker even then. The first is Aldous Huxley’s last novel, Island. I urge you to at least read the blurb. It is gloriously Utopian. What has stuck with me so vividly is that the Islanders considered children to belong to all. Whenever there was an issue in their home hut, arguing, sex, whatever, youth were able to simply go to another “family” and be welcomed.
This concept awed me. I had my dear Auntie to go to as a girl but shouldn’t we all be responsible for the well-being of children? In today’s culture, due to much strife and pain, this is often the case and mixed and non-traditional families abound. As a student at the College of Santa Fé, studying At-Risk-Youth, accepted this new normal, which is actually very old. That suited me and my own beliefs fine and later considering grandparenting as an area of doctoral study, I would discover a great amount of very positive research on the wonderful impact of grandparents. To sum up, I have long felt children’s well-being is all our responsibility.
The second book of great impact regarding loving families I read as an adult, was The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant, (considered a feminist sci-fi genius). A man escapes the cruel world into a very loving community. In fact, so loving that they ritually feed each other. I always saw as sort of a stadium event, in the moonlight, spooning food to each other. This image still gives me chills. Highly recommend this cult classic.
Thirdly, a big influence on my beliefs was going to college ONLINE and Face-to-Face at the Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. I sometimes had arguments with classmates and had to learn how to make up. I experienced my cohort, as civil and kind. This, being raised in violence and constantly challenged, was a big awakening and I will be forever grateful that I am still friends with a few. So, “families” can be kind! These are the values that lead me to share here.
A large part of my healing occurred in a snap, after journaling about my trauma first in a group with a well-known trauma coach who has over 300 YouTube videos and many are on the Insight Timer app I recommended earlier. I did not stick with the group due to other writing demands I had; she was kind and refunded my money. She did several things that were uplifting for me and best of all, I realized I know much more than she did and had studied formally. And I discovered the work of Abraham Hicks and reacquainted myself with quantum concepts, especially that we are all stardust originally and I believe we come to learn.
I finally got it that we are born perfect, and if quantum physics is right, we are made of stardust. Secondly, through the coach’s use of Erikson’s Stages of Development (which feminists like me have issues with; it is built for a capitalist patriarchal world) and made a comparison to my life, via lots of journal writing, I finally really felt pride in myself and especially in my childhood dreams that are still very alive and well. For the first time, I felt myself beyond my family’s warped concepts of me.
Please embrace this basic concept of perfection for yourself and all of us, especially in your interactions with children and youth. They come unblemished and faults are false; we are all faultless for the problems visited upon us. I am now at the point where I truly forgive.
This all was greatly enhanced by discovering the work of Abraham Hicks, who has over 1k YouTube videos by these “channeled” entities. And you may especially be touched by their take on childhood abuse. While the method may be a little strange to you, the psychology is spot on. Very liberating, forgiving and loving. Here is a video on parenting:
Esther and Jerry Hicks have several books for children, based on the adventures of Sara. Here is a link to a three book set of Sara stories. Please consider following many spiritual and psychology models and treat your kids as precious and very capable. My own book, called Who’s in Charge of My Life? has a ton of resources for you towards helping young people recognize their true value, just as they are.)
This is where I do my usual rant. NO GMOs; they are truly toxic; be as organic as possible even if you have SNAP. Eat whole unprocessed foods as a family. This is true nutrition and education as our bodies and our relations as worthy of care. If you are up to it, make your own homemade baby food. Amazon has tons of tools and books but I would be cautious about what the materials compose the kits. Are they non-toxic? READ THE REVIEWS. This looked like a great book: The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet. If you want to learn and perhaps buy pre-made, research Amazon. Here are the results of my search on non-gmo baby foods. NOTE: I had a long discussion with a very aware friend. Organic food can still be exposed to GMOs…thus we chose that search term. I am still considering if one is better than another. MOST OF ALL READ LABELS AND REVIEWS.
Do I really need to tell you this??? Let the kids lead you; make it research into fun. There are some great apps that get you outside, exploring like geocaching. I think I will let you look those up, preferably together. And of course all the usual fun things. I was jubilant when I learned to catch a fish! And later to golf. If you don’t know how to play “gamefully”, with allies, your kids do. You can bone-up reading Jane McGonigal’s Super Better and watching any of her many TED talks. Super Better is her doctoral dissertation and full are very good research. When kids play video games in the same room, they become more friendly and more socially able. Jane cured her own injury/depression treating it gamefully. She is one of my longtime heroes. Living gamefully is a life philosophy that can heal.
Jane has many TED talks. Here is one on healing trauma gamefully:
I would recommend Thich Naht Hanh, a Buddhist teacher I spent much time with and his meditations for children are on Insight Meditation app and YouTube and you can buy his books. Thich Nhat Hahn in one of his books teaches a way to develop a non-punishing time out, by allowing a child time alone in a special space with an altar and favorite objects. Mindfulness develops self-awareness; something I hope you understand as crucial to becoming a worthy adult. I just updated my own post on meditation here in light of the recent shootings and the use of psychiatric drugs on youth. Meditation on Living Co-creatively.
Lastly, there is a wonderful new author, on the lost father. I just can’t find it at this moment.
May your parenting and be caring, joy-filled and mutually beneficial. I feel I am right: the youth do belong to us all. As Sly Stone sang, “We are all Family.”