Change Yourself, Not Your Kids (Naomi Aldort)

(click on image to find on Amazon)

I discovered Naomi Aldort while perusing the web for parenting help. 

 I was immediately struck by her confident, peaceful vibe, and have since read, and implemented, a lot of her parenting suggestions.

When I discovered her book, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, I snatched it right up at our local library and devoured it within a few days (it would have been a few hours if I wasn't interrupted every 5 minutes by kiddos :)).

The quote inside the cover page alone had me in tears:

"Nothing you become will disappoint me; I have no preconception that I'd like to see you be or do. I have no desire to foresee you, only to discover you. You cannot disappoint me." -Mary Haskell

I shoved that quote under Fireman's nose right after reading it, and we both took a minute to wrap our heads around those words.

It's an especially poignant quote for Fireman in regards to Son, since Fireman was on track to become a Major League pitcher in his college years. He definitely hopes that Son will grow to love the game as much as he does, or at least want to play on a team and try it. He already has Son batting lefty and throwing righty in their front-yard practice, and I know he'd love to be a Little League coach.

But we are discovering, with our cautious and stubborn Son, that all our preconceptions must fly out the window. There's no forcing this kid into anything - he will not have it.

And this forceful will of his is both insanely aggravating and amazingly inspiring - it will serve him well as he grows.

This book is really about investigating our thoughts and past recordings that have been on replay in our minds since we were children. It's about getting past our parental autopilot and being present and mindful in each interaction with our children.

Aldort offers a S.A.L.V.E. formula as a tool to do this, and in a nut-shell it stands for:

S - Separate yourself from your child's behavior with a Silent Self-talk.
A - Attention on your child.
L - Listen to your child.
V - Validate your child's feelings and needs.
E - Empower your child to resolve his own upset.

It's about getting out of our comfort zone, and healing ourselves first, so that we can then be better parents. It's not takes time, patience and effort, all at a time when we are tired and probably aggravated by our little ones. I find that I do amazingly in my interactions with Son after brushing up on this knowledge, but then easily slip back into my pre-programming after a week or two.

Sometimes I catch myself in the middle of scolding Son, and switch over to being a mindful listener, and I have to wonder if he doesn't think I'm nuts. Sometimes I worry that he's not getting the consistency he needs when I do this 180 in my responses.

But Aldort reminds us that parenting is a continually changing journey, one that is impossible to be completely consistent about anything but love. 

Her end goal is very much the same as the amazing Patty Wipfler:  if all we do is act out of love each time we interact with our child, all will be well.

I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg with the detail this book goes into...I highly recommend you read it for yourself.

Dare to be one of the cutting edge parents in this new paradigm shift we are experiencing, and change the future for the better by changing yourself!

Have you read this book? Do you love it? Resist it? Have a hard time with it? I'd love to hear from you!

Love and light~


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